Here’s Why Proper Cyber Security Documentation is a Must for Your Small Business
There are many reasons for small businesses to have proper IT Security policies in place that emphasize reporting that can help an organization identify vulnerabilities and make changes. We’ve outlaid in this article some key reasons why proper Cyber Security Documentation is a must for your small business in New York if you are to experience anything close to robust security defenses in a continuous fashion.
The Official Word on Why Small Businesses Need Cyber Security Documentation
Many businesses in the United States have been putting resources—including people, technology, and budgets—into protecting themselves from information security and cybersecurity threats. As a result, they have become a more difficult target for malicious attacks from hackers and cybercriminals.
Consequently, hackers and cybercriminals are now successfully focusing more of their unwanted attention on less-secure businesses. Because small businesses typically don’t have the resources to invest in information security the way larger businesses can, many cybercriminals view them as soft targets.
Your small business may have money or information that can be valuable to a criminal; your computer may be compromised and used to launch an attack on somebody else (i.e., a botnet), or your business may provide access to more high-profile targets through your products, services, or role in a supply chain. It is important to note that criminals aren’t always after profit. Some may attack your business out of revenge (e.g. for firing them or somebody they know), or for the thrill of causing havoc.
Similarly, not all events that affect the confidentiality, availability, or integrity of your information (called “information security events”) are caused by criminals. Environmental events such as fires or floods, for example, can severely damage computer systems. The overall impact of an incident could include:
- Damage to information or information systems;
- Regulatory fines and penalties / legal fees;
- Decreased productivity;
- Loss of information critical to running your business;
- An adverse reputation or loss of trust from customers;
- Damage to your credit and inability to get loans from banks, or
- Loss of business income.
Unfortunately, in one respect, small businesses often have more to lose than larger organizations simply because an event—whether a hacker, natural disaster or business resource loss—can be extremely costly on a per capita basis. Small businesses are often less prepared to handle these events than larger businesses, but with less complex operational needs, there are many steps a small business may be able to take more easily.
Thus, it is vitally important that you consider how to protect your business. Small businesses often see information security as too difficult or that it requires too many resources to do. It is true that there is no easy, one-time solution to information security – it takes time and careful consideration with all relevant stakeholders.
However, when viewed as part of the business’s strategy and regular processes, information security doesn’t have to be intimidating. A strong information security program can help your organization gain and retain customers, employees, and business partners. Customers have an expectation that their sensitive information will be protected from theft, disclosure, or misuse. Protecting your customers’ information is an example of good customer service and shows your customers that you value their business, potentially increasing your business opportunities.
Similarly, employees have an expectation that their sensitive personal information will be appropriately protected, and a comprehensive information security program can help employees feel valued and help improve their knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Also, other business partners want assurance that their information, systems, and networks are not put at risk when they connect to and do business with your business; demonstrating to potential business partners that you have a method to protect their information (proper cyber security documentation and reporting) can help strengthen and grow your business relationship.
Developing or improving your information security program with cybersecurity documentation will also make it easier for your organization to innovate – taking advantage of new technologies that can lower costs while delivering better services to your customers.
It is not possible for any business to be completely secure. Nevertheless, it is possible—and reasonable—to implement a program that balances security with the needs and capabilities of your business. This publication provides small businesses with basic practices and tools needed to develop an information security program to protect your business’s information.
[Source credit: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)]
Prof. Edward Humphreys, the convener of the working group that developed the standard (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 27), says: “Cyber-attacks are among the greatest risks an organization can face. This is why the much-improved version of ISO/IEC 27004 provides essential and practical support to the many organizations that are implementing ISO/IEC 27001 to protect themselves from the growing diversity of security attacks that business is facing today.”
Security metrics can provide insights regarding the effectiveness of an ISMS and, as such, have taken center stage. Whether you’re an engineer or consultant responsible for security and reporting to management or an executive who needs better information for decision making, security metrics have become an important vehicle for communicating the state of an organization’s cyber-risk posture.
[Source credit: International Organization for Standardization]
Most Companies Fail at Cyber Security Documentation and Metrics
With over 400 global business and security executives participating in a benchmark survey called The 2017 State Of Cybersecurity Metrics Annual Report, more than half of respondents scored an “F” or “D” grade when evaluating their efforts to measure their cyber security documentation, investments, and performance against best practices.
Based on internationally accepted standards for security embodied in ISO 27001, as well as best practices from industry experts and professional associations, the Security Measurement Index benchmark survey provides a comprehensive way to define how well an organization is measuring the effectiveness of its IT security.
Findings from this Cyber Security Metrics survey include such eye-opening facts as:
Failures in planning
- 1 in 3 companies invest in cybersecurity technologies without any way to measure their value or effectiveness.
- 4 out of 5 fail to include business stakeholders in cybersecurity investment decisions.
- 4 out 5 companies don’t know where their sensitive data is located, and how to secure it.
Failures in performance
- 2 out of 3 companies don’t fully measure whether their disaster recovery will work as planned.
- 4 out of 5 never measure the success of security training investments.
- While 80% of breaches involve stolen or weak credentials* 60% of companies still do not adequately protect privileged accounts—their keys to the kingdom.
- 58 percent of companies are failing in their efforts to measure the effectiveness of their cybersecurity investments and performance against best practices.
- 4 out of 5 companies worldwide are not fully satisfied with their cybersecurity metrics.
Most survey respondents do not feel confident about how they are measuring the value of their cybersecurity investments, and 80% stated that they are not fully satisfied with the metrics available.
But, no matter the current statistics or state of your cyber security situation, Krantz Secure Technologies can help.
Our IT security engineers understand what proper cyber security documentation, reporting, and metrics can do to create the right policy and ongoing protection for your New York business.
Just ask these satisfied clients who know.
We Can Help You Implement Stronger Cyber Security Documentation and Policies
Small businesses across NY market sectors turn to Krantz Secure Technologies for managed IT security services in New York City that include stronger cybersecurity documentation and policies, so give us a call today at (212) 286-0325 or send an email to [email protected] for more information or to get started right away.