Cybersecurity Foundations For Board Members and Officers

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Board Member Basics

Digital risk management, or cybersecurity as most of us call it, has become a $100 billion industry responding to a $500 billion global problem. Daily reports of data breaches at major organizations can be overwhelming to most business directors and officers and this often leads to paralysis, avoidance and a ‘band-aid’ response.

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Here are some cybersecurity basics for your Board of Directors and Officers to discuss to begin moving down the path towards effective cybersecurity risk management:

  1. Enlist the services of Maryland cybersecurity companies to guide you. Unfortunately, the nature of cybersecurity is that you are only as well-protected as your weakest link. And, since there are many ways that adversaries can compromise your data and operations, it is essential that every nook and cranny be properly evaluated and addressed. Maryland cybersecurity companies have experience conducting network security assessments and doing the most complex cyber protection work in the world. They also have the people, processes and technology necessary to ensure that your organization properly meets this difficult challenge. If you think that you are a match for these adversaries on your own, you are sadly mistaken.
  1. Understand and prioritize the value of your assets. Some of the data stored on your systems is extremely valuable to you and those with whom you do business – customers, vendors, etc. Other data is not quite as valuable and some is not particularly valuable at all. Consider the damage to your business or to your customers or vendors if the data is compromised. An understanding of the consequences is an important input to determining your budget for cybersecurity protection.
  1. Manage the paths to access to the most valuable data. Most companies have not rigorously managed the risk of access to valuable data so now is the time to do it. Often, it will make sense to eliminate some of the interconnectivity so that fewer paths to valuable data exist. This is one of the areas where the experience of Maryland’s cybersecurity companies is invaluable.
  1. Manage who has access to valuable data. In conjunction with understanding system connectivity that enables access, it’s important to ensure that only people who must have access to valuable information actually have that access. Implementing strict identity and access management policies are another critical step in ‘locking down’ your system.
  1. Know that stopping intrusions is not enough. Experts uniformly agree that motivated adversaries will get in regardless of how well you try to prevent it which means that detecting their presence and mitigating their actions is essential. Once again, Maryland cybersecurity companies have the knowledge, experience and technologies to ensure that detection occurs right away and that mitigation is swift and effective. The average intrusion is not detected for months and that’s because experts were not deployed to ‘balance the scales.’

You can manage the risks posed by adversaries in a thoughtful and cost-effective manner. While these cybersecurity basics can help you get started, it’s important that you start your dialogue with a cybersecurity expert now. The cybersecurity companies in Maryland have the tools and the expertise to help you implement an effective cybersecurity strategy.

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