6 Questions businesses should ask during their year-end cybersecurity review

As the year draws to a close, businesses must assess their cybersecurity posture to ensure they’re prepared for potential threats in the coming year. While traditional cybersecurity assessments are valuable, asking the right questions can significantly enhance their effectiveness.

Here are six questions businesses should ask during their year-end cybersecurity review:

1. What are our most valuable assets, and how are they protected?

Conduct a business impact analysis to identify and understand the importance of your most critical data and resources. Next, map your data flows so you can understand how data is stored, accessed, and transmitted within your organization. Pinpoint vulnerabilities along the way to identify security gaps at every stage. With this roadmap, you can prioritize investments that shield your most valuable assets and secure your critical data and processes. Such investments may include access controls, data encryption, firewalls, and intrusion detection and prevention systems.

2. How well do our current security controls work?

Simply implementing security controls isn’t enough. To truly protect your valuable assets and data, you need to ensure these controls are functioning effectively and providing the intended level of protection. This requires regular testing and evaluation through various methods, such as vulnerability scanning and penetration testing.

Once you’ve identified weaknesses in your security controls, you need to address them promptly to minimize the risk of compromise and to safeguard your valuable assets and data.

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3. Are our employees aware of cybersecurity risks? Do they have proper cybersecurity training?

While robust technical controls are essential, human error continues to be a major chink in the armor. Cybercriminals can trick employees into divulging sensitive information, clicking malicious links, or downloading malware. This is where security awareness training steps in and serves as your shield.

Well-trained employees can better identify and report suspicious activity, such as phishing scams, unusual access attempts, or changes in data, potentially preventing cyberattacks before they escalate. And with proper training, employees are also more likely to comply with essential security policies, protecting themselves and the organization.

4. How quickly can we detect and respond to cybersecurity incidents?

In the face of cyberattacks, swift and decisive action is paramount. Minimizing damage and hastening recovery from such threats relies on a robust incident response plan. This plan should provide step-by-step guidance for each stage of the incident response process to ensure everyone knows what to do. It should also define who is responsible for different tasks during an incident to minimize confusion and delays.

Once you’ve developed your incident response plan, run regular drills and simulations to test it and identify any weaknesses. Use these tests to evaluate the effectiveness of your response and identify areas for improvement so you can update and improve your plan accordingly.

5. Do we have a plan for data recovery in case of a cyberattack?

A robust data backup and recovery plan is crucial for minimizing the impacts of cyberattacks and data loss events. It specifies the frequency of backups, outlines which critical systems and files must be included, and details a secure off-site storage strategy. It also defines clear steps for restoring data from backups, including assigning roles, outlining responsibilities, and establishing communication protocols.

6. Are we keeping up with the latest cybersecurity threats and trends?

Given the ever-evolving nature of cybercrime, it’s important to stay informed about emerging cyberthreats and vulnerabilities. Subscribe to security advisories and invest in threat intelligence solutions to keep your defenses up to date.

By asking these questions and taking the necessary actions, businesses can significantly enhance their cybersecurity postures. This proactive approach builds a more resilient organization that’s better equipped to withstand the ever-shifting cyberthreat landscape.

To ensure your company’s defenses remain strong at all times, partner with the cybersecurity specialists at Interplay. We offer a comprehensive suite of security services, including IT security audits, password management, end-user security training, and security authentication management. Get in touch with us today.