Through the NIST’s updated cybersecurity guide, small businesses can develop the metrics, terms, supply chains, and purchases necessary to stay safe
New developments in cybersecurity present both opportunities and challenges for small businesses. They allow your firm to improve security and lower the risk of attack, but they also provide hackers with new information to optimize their attacks. It is thus essential that your organization responds promptly to these developments, taking advantage of new strategies and technology before attackers have a chance to get around them. The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s recent cybersecurity update provides a unique opportunity for small businesses to protect themselves, emphasizing the importance of:
The update provides standardized definitions for some key cybersecurity terms, including “identity proofing,” “authorization,” and “authentication.” This goal is to improve firms’ ability to communicate on IT topics and coordinate security efforts. If all of your employees agree on the meaning of the major security terms, your company can respond more swiftly and efficiently to new initiatives that protect their systems. Standardized definitions also make it easier for your business to verify that employees are taking the necessary security steps, as well as to reward safe employees and censure irresponsible ones.
In addition to agreed-upon security terms, the updated guide also emphasizes the need for security metrics. Quality metrics allow your organization to measure your past accomplishments and develop clear goals to continue improving security. You also need metrics to provide security information to your suppliers and customers, both to keep them safe and to give yourself a reputation for responsible IT use.
Supply Chain Considerations
The updated security guide places added emphasis on the importance of risk management throughout your supply chain. Malware may enter your company, and sensitive information may leave, through your suppliers, customers, and carriers. It is thus crucial not only to shore up security in your firm’s internal systems but also to make sure that the organizations you partner with take similar steps. Try to learn as much as you can about how your partners protect themselves, identifying gaps in their security that leave both of your organizations exposed. Then optimize your systems to fill in those gaps, and inform your partner about the risks of their current practices.
Although no organization’s security is perfect, some firms do not even try to stay safe. The updated guide thus highlights the importance of taking cyber security into account when making purchases for your company. Before buying a new product or service, develop a list of security objectives. Then consider how many of them each prospective provider meets. If you cannot find a firm that meets all objectives, choose the one that meets the most, and adjust your internal strategy to compensate for the targets they did not satisfy. You should also continuously reassess suppliers, abandoning those who do not update their security procedures regularly.
Hammett Technologies strives to translate new cybersecurity trends into actionable steps that companies throughout Washington, DC or Baltimore can implement. For advice and support on keeping your firm safe, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (443) 216-9999 today.