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How to assess your cyber security & data breach risk | self-assessment questions

Marie Spanswick - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Questions to ask yourself about your own arrangements

1. Do you know where all your sensitive or valuable data is held? Who has access to it? How is it protected?

Companies spend many millions on collecting information on customers, and their sophisticated buying habits, because the knowledge gives you a competitive edge.

Your devices and computer systems hold sensitive customer data, your financial projections, your new business leads. But where is it all held, every piece of it, every copy of it? Who has access to it? How is it protected? How do you make sure only the people you want access to it, can access it - where ever it is?

Large and small organisations can find it hard to answer these questions, especially if there is slack administration of rights management and people can save data to their own hard drives, or devices.

This priceless data needs extra layers of protection. But you must first know where your ‘crown jewels’ are held to understand your risk and be able to protect them properly.

Things to consider

Products such as Nuix Information Governance can discover exactly where all your valuable data is held, and move it to more secure locations.

Security software such as Seclore FileSecure can protect your information when it’s inside (and outside) your network.

2. Do your teams use laptops, tablets, smartphones, memory sticks etc to connect to your email systems or network (through WiFi, USB or even power chargers)? Do you have endpoint protection?

85% of exploits detected in 2014 were third party plug-ins (such as downloaded software or apps).

Things to consider

This problem can be solved with software such as  Avecto Defendpoint,  which protects 400m laptops, smartphones and tablets worldwide. This includes 1.2m endpoints at the world's largest banks, the computers and devices owned by 75 government agencies, nine major aerospace leaders and three highly secretive F1 teams.

You can download a security snapshot of 2015 threats here too.

3. Do you know that you haven’t already been breached and information hasn't already been stolen? Do you know that a threat isn't sat on your systems waiting to be triggered? Have you been overwhelmed by alerts and false positives?

Security breaches are often only discovered long after hackers have had access to your systems. On average, a company finds out they've had a data breach some 170 days after it's happened. And the longer a threat sits on the system, the more damage it can do and the more data it can steal.

Things to consider

Advanced threat protection systems – such as Damballa - look inwards onto your network to check for suspicious behaviour. This breach-ready approach cuts down threat discovery time to minutes rather than months...which in turn reduces the impact and cost of a systems breach.

This kind of detection system doesn't need to know the name of the threat, it just needs to spot the unusual or suspicious behaviour. It also minimises your risk by reducing the amount of time wasted chasing security alerts and following false positives.

Want to do or find out more?

There is a lot more we could say but if these questions have generated more questions of your own, please just get in touch.

We can help you assess your current levels of protection and discover some of the practices and products available to help you become more secure, and protect your customers, business and reputation.

Call us now on 01296 621121 or email: Ruth.Edmonds@Avatu.co.uk to start the conversation.

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