Cyber security maintenance – five top tips
What does cyber security maintenance have in common with bikes?
Well, have you ever brought your bicycle out of the shed after winter only to notice that the chain was stained orange with rust?
This would normally be down to inadequate maintenance. You probably forgot to protect the chain with a coating of oil to shield it from the elements before it was laid up over winter.
Cyber security is no different. Inadequate forethought and ongoing maintenance leads to all sorts of bigger problems down the line.
A five minute job now could save you lots of time and money in the future.
Cyber security isn’t all annual one-off pieces of work that require a large amount of effort to get through. In fact, a large part of it falls under maintenance. This means making regular small changes, tweaks and enhancements to your systems or compliance requirements. Ideally, you’ll avoid a large amount of work over a short period of time. (Normally just after a breach or before a compliance audit).
Maintenance should be a regular and set function that is written into the business’s normal operational function.
Otherwise, you could, for example, end up with vulnerabilities and exploits exposed because you haven’t maintained a thorough system level vendor patching regime. Compliance is another area that commonly suffers from lack of maintenance. Whether it’s system security frameworks, quality assurance programmes or important payment card compliance.
Top tips for managing your cyber security maintenance
1) Create an annual cyber security maintenance plan
Think ahead and create an annual plan of cyber security maintenance. You’ll avoid the high impact, resource-intensive and often time-limiting effort to complete important or big tasks in one sitting.
You’ll be able to create a forecast of maintenance tasks for the year ahead. This makes it easier for your team to maintain any critical system or compliance requirements, as well as spreading the cost across the year.
2) Include a staff awareness element
When maintaining Cyber Security, it is important to keep staff updated with the latest threats. Focusing on those that could affect their working environments (such as how to spot phishing emails, or what an email account compromise might entail, for example) is a sensible strategy. This will go a long way towards protecting your organisation from cyber attack.
3) Incorporate a patching schedule
We all know the importance of ensuring critical systems are updated with the latest vendor security patches (if you don’t, check this out). Make sure you understand industry legislation requirements, and keep a track of the compliance requirements you need to adhere to.
4) Keep track of authorised admins
If you maintain a list of your authorised system administrators, you’ll ensure you have full knowledge of who can make critical changes within your business. This is especially useful when a member of staff leaves, and is vital in rapidly-growing businesses. It can be hard to keep track of who has access to what in startup-land.
5) Don’t forget about compliance
Whether it’s an ISO 27001, Cyber Essentials certification or PCI compliance, you probably have a lot to do to meet the requirements. And, in the case of PCI DSS, if you get things done quickly, you’ll avoid fines for not meeting their standard.
Cyber security maintenance keeps the wheels turning in your business
When you create and stick to a plan, you enjoy greater efficiency, a clearer focus, and a more even distribution of time and cost across the year.
And if you don’t have the time or resource internally to do this yourself? Get in touch – we can help take cyber security maintenance off your hands for a fixed monthly fee.
Read more here, or fill in a contact form below.