As we enter a new year, the tradition of making resolutions often centers on personal growth, health, or career aspirations. Yet, in our increasingly digitized world, where technology intricately weaves into our lives, it's crucial to address a resolution that often goes unnoticed – strengthening our cybersecurity practices.
The start of a new year typically prompts businesses to focus on budget planning and identify high-priority initiatives. However, we find that security measures are often relegated to a lower priority in budgetary planning.
In a landscape filled with digital advancements, strategically allocating resources for robust cybersecurity practices is more important than ever. Rather than framing it as a resolution, let's approach 2024 as a year to integrate comprehensive cybersecurity strategies into our financial and operational planning. Here is a guide on how to incorporate cybersecurity initiatives into your budget and security planning sessions:
- Optimize Employee Cyber Hygiene:
Initiate a company-wide password audit during budget planning. Encourage employees to adopt strong, unique passwords and implement a policy for periodic password updates. Advocate for the incorporation of password managers to streamline access while strengthening security.
- Mandate Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Strengthen access controls by budgeting for the implementation of MFA across sensitive systems and applications. This additional layer significantly mitigates the risk of unauthorized access, particularly for critical business accounts.
- Prioritize Patch Management in Budget Allocation: Allocate funds for a protocol that ensures timely software updates and patches. Regularly updating operating systems, software, and applications is a vital investment in protecting against known vulnerabilities.
- Invest in Continuous Education and Training: Allocate budget for cybersecurity awareness programs and regular training sessions. Keeping the workforce informed about evolving cyber threats and phishing techniques is an investment in fostering a culture of security awareness.
- Establish Robust Data Backups and Recovery Plans: Allocate resources for comprehensive data backup and recovery strategies. Regularly backing up critical business data to secure locations and testing recovery plans are essential components of a secure budget and security plan.
- Conduct Network Security Assessments: Allocate funds for thorough assessments of network infrastructure during budget planning. Enhance defenses by updating firewall configurations, employing strong encryption protocols, and strengthening intrusion detection and prevention systems.
- Routine Penetration Testing: Recognize the importance of routine penetration testing in your budget and security plan. Allocate resources for engaging a reputable vendor to conduct thorough penetration tests, identify vulnerabilities, and ensure a proactive security posture.
- Promote Vigilance Against Phishing: Devote resources for instilling employee vigilance against phishing attempts and social engineering tactics. Emphasize the importance of verifying the authenticity of communication and exercising caution when handling sensitive information.
- Invest in Cybersecurity Solutions: Include budget allocation for robust cybersecurity tools such as advanced endpoint protection, threat intelligence platforms, and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems. Proactive detection and threat mitigation is a wise strategic investment.
- Engage Cybersecurity Experts:
Consider allocating budget for cybersecurity consultants or specialized firms during the planning sessions. Conduct risk assessments and implement tailored cybersecurity strategies aligned with your business objectives.
Incorporating these business-focused cybersecurity initiatives into your fiscal year budget and security planning sessions will not only fortify defenses but also demonstrate a commitment to safeguarding valuable assets and customer trust. Remember, cybersecurity is an integral part of financial planning and operational resilience.
Make 2024 the year you prioritize cybersecurity, turning these strategies into enduring practices. Stay safe, stay secure, and embrace a digitally resilient future! If you need help, contact us today!
About the author
Devin Ball is an Account Executive specializing in cybersecurity solutions for businesses. Devin works closely with organizations to identify and address critical vulnerabilities, implementing state-of-the-art security protocols to safeguard against cyber threats.