Like everything in life, the data you handle carries risks with it. Risks that it will go missing, get lost, be stolen or sold on. It’s the business owner’s worst nightmare. But while the risks of handling sensitive data can be large, there are ways to manage and mitigate them. In fact, you have an obligation under The Data Protection Act 1998 to ensure that all data in your possession – be it customer, supplier or employee data- is stored securely, handled correctly and destroyed effectively when it is no longer needed. To help you with this, cyber security consultants like us are on hand to help you with your risk management strategy around digital data. While you’re thinking about cyber risk management, there are a few things to bear in mind.
Accept That There Will Always Be Uncertainty
Risks are not always predictable, and they can never be eradicated completely. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try – but instead simply accept that there will always be an element of risk in handling sensitive data in the digital world. Risk management is an important part of the cyber security measures you put in place, and accepting the uncertainty that comes with it means that everyone in your business will understand that they can ask for help, admit mistakes and seek advice from your trusted cyber security experts with confidence.
Make Security Risk Management ‘Business As Usual’
Managing cyber risk is not a one-off activity. In order to make sensible decisions about what you are doing to protect the data in your possession, risk needs to be managed all the time. It must become an integral part of your everyday business operations, requiring the same attention for upgrades, adjustments and maintenance as any computer, software or piece of equipment. By integrating risk management into your daily routine, you are able to minimize your risk even further.
Understand What Risks You Are Taking, And Why
It is very important that you as a business owner understand what data needs to be protected, what risks you are taking with that data and why. This includes having a clear view of how your data could be compromised, what impact that compromise would have on you and how likely it is to happen. Understanding this will help you to prioritise your responses and tailor your cyber security measures accordingly.
Ensure Systems Are Secure And Usable
In our experience, systems that are protected to the point of being unusable only encourage users to find workarounds, which simply undoes all of your hard work, makes your employees less productive and jeopardises your data. Instead, your approach to risk management should recognise the need to be both secure and usable by design in order to be effective.
Seek Advice And Assurance
If you aren’t familiar with the technology or the issues facing you, it can be difficult to understand how to manage your risk effectively. If this is the case, don’t make decisions for the sake of it, or rely on your friends for guidance. Instead, seek advice from a qualified cyber security professional like Bridewell Consulting to guide you through the process. We can help you understand, through careful risk assessment, exactly what your risks are and advise you on how best to manage or mitigate them. Our experts can recommend, implement and manage bespoke solutions to protect your business and manage the unique risks you face, allowing you to relax and focus on running your business. For more information, or to book your cyber security consultation, get in touch with us today.