As cyber security threats continue to increase, Small Businesses need to constantly assess and resolve their IT vulnerabilities.

These days, no business can avoid the issue of cybersecurity. From agriculture to software development, small businesses that want to take advantage of today’s technology need to recognize the consequent need to find and maintain system security. Short of learning the hard way, how do businesses both big and small assess their system’s security? Where does a small business start on their security-centric journey? Enter the Small Business Security Audit – a checkup of your system vulnerabilities revealing the best places to shore them up.

Reports forecast more than $6 trillion in annual cyber crime damages by 2021, a cost bound to grow even larger. As many larger companies have recently learned, the worst possible time to learn that a system is in need of securing is after a data breach or other cyber attack occurs. These breaches grab headlines but are only part of the problem, as even small businesses rely heavily on both on-premise and cloud-based systems that are vulnerable to hacks. From email servers to file sharing applications to password keychains, small businesses are just as reliant on IT systems systems to function. This means a solid security plan needs to be in place, which happens to be one of the outcomes from a Small Business Security Audit.

It’s no longer enough to just have anti-virus software, or a firewall application. Even platforms developed for enterprise business use, as robust as they often are, can and will fail. Equifax and other recent breaches have revealed that cyber criminals perpetrating attacks today aren’t necessarily interested in what’s on your business’s books—customer data is often the primary target. However, this doesn’t mean that a small business without a large database of consumer information are off the hook. Ransomware, a nasty malware that locks up your system until a ransom is paid to the attackers, is growing in popularity, especially targeting small businesses that may not have as robust a security infrastructure in place. Cyber criminals are always looking for new ways of exploiting system vulnerabilities, so it’s imperative that businesses most at risk are vigilant.

Why a Small Business Security Audit?

The best means to making the necessary cybersecurity improvements is to start with a Small Business Security Audit. An IT security audit will help determine most, if not all, of the common warning signs that any of the systems you utilize are at risk. First, can your business point to someone, some department or perhaps a managed security services provider that’s the definite owner and manager of your business security program? If there’s no such leader, then your security management is most likely being neglected. Most small businesses don’t have the luxury of a full IT department, let alone a separate cyber security team. The average cost of a data breach will top $150 million by 2020, a cost far above what most small businesses owners can invest into a security program equivalent to those of the larger enterprises. 

A further sign that your small business could be vulnerable is a lack of data assessment. Risk management is all about creating priorities and determining the value of assets. If you and your business can’t say confidently what data is a top priority, then an audit is the first step toward creating such a framework. That framework must be developed to manage both current and potential vulnerabilities, such as maintaining access event logs, where your data is being shared, and more. Having a survey of the systems you use, what sensitive material is stored there, and your plan of action in case of an attack is crucial. An audit is, for those creating such a framework or developing theirs for the first time, comparable to a blueprint that shows where security tools like event logs and remediation patch management are necessary.

Our Small Business Security Audit will provide your business with:

  1. A clear “blueprint” or framework for what assets and IT systems need the most attention
  2. A list of priorities for developing a modern security program and management oversight
  3. A set of tasks to complete for your security program or an external IT partner to ensure the security of your assets

Security management is an essential part of a modern business’s health. Cima Solutions Group offers CimaCare Managed IT Services that brings experienced, expert personnel to the auditing, assessment and management of your system security. CimaCare is not a reactive approach to IT security; it is a proactive, management service committed to your business’s IT security. Conducting an audit to determine potential problem areas and then working with a MSSP to resolve and further manage those areas is an effective pathway to securing your business’s data assets today and into the future.

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