What is Cybersecurity and why is it important to you whether you are an individual, a business owner or a college student?

Cybersecurity is the protection of Internet-connected systems, including hardware, software, and data, from cyber attacks.  Part of living in the digital era is understanding that our private information is more vulnerable than ever before. News stories about ID theft and data breaches abound, with the effects being felt by millions of consumers. And while companies and institutions are constantly working to protect themselves with increased security measures, you can play a role in this fight as well.

Matt McCormack, Chief Security Officer at Virtustream explains, “Teachers in classrooms are using SMART boards. Someone who comes to your home to do contract work will whip out a smartphone or tablet and add information to an app on the spot. The mistakes that cause the most damage at companies are security-related—something as small as clicking attachments in emails without knowing if they are safe.”

In an age where we manage more and more of our lives digitally, it means that anyone—in any career—should know simple things about keeping security up to par. At work, this will help companies maintain robust protocols. At home, it will help you protect your own information.

Five Core Functions of Cybersecurity

These are the five core functions of having a strong Cybersecurity system for yourself and/ or your business.  Additionally, I have provided some helpful hints that you should employ to strengthen your cybersecurity for your business and home.

IDENTIFY – know who has access and control to your computer environment\

  • Limit Authority to install software
  • Determine the proper access for using all or some of the internet for your employees and your children
  • Exercise due diligence in hiring employees and others who will be exposed to confidential information

PROTECT – Firewalls and anti-virus and make sure your software is up to date

  • Get professional help with security when you need it
  • Properly dispose of old computers, printers and scanners
  • Remove and shred all hard drives from all devices before disposal
  • Employ encryption for sensitive personal information

DETECT – Remain aware

  • Inventory your computers and hardware
  • Identify sensitive computer information
  • If you allow employees to use their own devices (BYOD) make sure you implement proper BYOD security

RESPOND – Have a plan

  • Train employees on proper safeguards
  • Create, implement and maintain and business continuation plan

RECOVER – Have backups and copies of important personal, business data and information

  • Utilize and test your backup systems regularly to determine the integrity and usefulness
  • Use and manage cloud storage for documents

These five core functions of cybersecurity are the framework for creating a stable cyber environment and support the three principles of cybersecurity – confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

This all sounds like a lot of work however not having a cybersecurity plan could require you to overcome a data breach or having your network hacked and your business crippled.

As the Boy Scout motto says, “Be Prepared”.

Have questions about where to start with your business or personal cybersecurity plan?  Give me a call and we can discuss how to protect your assets  – both personal and business and get you connected with the right professionals.

Set up a phone call with Michael

Michael Tannery CPA, CDFA® AIF®

Registered Principal

Tannery & Company

Tax – Accounting – Wealth Management

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