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Don’t Wait for a Cybersecurity Breach - 3 Steps to Prepare Your Firm in Advance

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The threat of a cybersecurity breach is always looming in today’s digital age. The past two years in particular have been fraught with enormous breaches at huge companies - companies like Target, Equifax, Yahoo, and the SEC

In 2016, Ginni Rometty, IBM's chairman, president and CEO, said, "Cyber crime is the greatest threat to every company in the world." But the question isn’t who will be attacked next - the question is how are you preparing for it?

A successful company knows their first line of defense against a cyber attack is only as strong as their IT team.

A cautionary tale stems from what happened to the SEC. Their internal security team didn't have the resources it needed to be successful and when the SEC was hacked, they were forced to try and deal with it using repurposed equipment and undertrained employees. If your IT team doesn’t have the resources they need, they can’t educate their teams, beat hackers and prevent security breaches.

There are three things that are essential to your IT team’s success rate against cyber attacks: vision, training, and funding.

Prepare Your Firm Against the Next Attack By Focusing On These 3 Items

A Focused Strategy

For anything truly productive to happen, your IT team needs a clear, focused and strategic vision. There needs to be objectives for your firm’s IT team as a whole in order to establish the appropriate plans of action for security breaches and other security activities.

Examples of goals:

  • Organizing regular cybersecurity trainings for the entire firm
  • Establishing regular security checks and malware updates
  • Creating a cybersecurity response plan if a breach does occur

By establishing a strategic vision and the objectives of the IT team, you can also better request funding for your department. When you know the objectives and your team's needs, you can ask for the appropriate resources to make that happen. The cost of the resources needed to bolster your firm’s IT department is minimal compared to the potential damage one cyber attack could cost.

Training, training and more training

In order to provide your firm with the best support, continued education and training is recommended for your IT team. Malware, ransomware, and other types of malicious cyber threats are constantly evolving and your IT team needs to be ready, aware and able to educate the entire team on how to deal with the latest attack method.

If you have established that the IT team’s objective is to be up-to-date on the latest in cyber threats and security, you need to make sure the firm provides the resources necessary to make that happen.

Training resources could include:

  • Funding a webinar
  • A visit to a conference
  • Hiring a specialized trainer

There also needs to be ongoing training from the IT team to the rest of the firm. Many cyber attacks happen simply because someone opened an unknown attachment on their computer and got a virus. It’s important for the IT department to take the lead and host regular cybersecurity training sessions with other departments. This training and activities are all part of setting a strong barrier against cyber attacks throughout the entire firm.

Give Your IT Team Resources

So you’ve set your team’s objectives and in turn they’ve provided you with a list of their needs in order to achieve those objectives. To move forward, you have to request funds and other human resources for your IT team so they can put forth the security necessary for the firm’s digital assets.

Changes in protection can be costly, but considering that the average cost of each stolen record is $141 as of 2017, the additional resources provided to IT will be worth it. $141 doesn’t seem like much, but we’re talking about a singular record. If someone stole 1,000 records in a data breach, well, that’s $141,000. Not so easy to recover from at that point.

The bottom line is, if you’ve established a clear vision for your team and they’re requesting appropriate resources to meet those objectives, it’s essential that they are properly funded.

Cybersecurity Crimes are No Joke

While they can’t be avoided completely, your firm can be better prepared to handle them in the future by checking off each of these steps. Staying organized with clear objectives and an overall vision, plus training and essential resources, will help your firm and IT department to be stronger against threats and more prepared for any cyber attacks that could come your way.

The Complete Cybersecurity Training Checklist


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Will Stagl

Will Stagl