Maintaining your defences is as important as setting them up to begin with.
If you think investing in cyber security today will always keep your business safe, think again. You need to continue working on it, sticking to best practice and always being on your guard.
Starting something strongly is always good, but it’s generally much more difficult to maintain things over a long period of time.
Anyone who’s ever lost a few pounds after Christmas and then put it all back on again will know what I’m talking about here. You begin with every intention of following your new year’s resolutions: you’re going to eat less sugar and more vegetables, and you’re going to get regular exercise. And that’s what you do. By February, those jeans you couldn’t button up anymore are fitting you again, and you feel great. Problem is, you start to get complacent. You skip the odd run here and eat the odd burger there. Then by April, you find yourself sitting on your sofa munching your way through an entire chocolate fudge cake while binge-watching Breaking Bad on Netflix. You’re too afraid to get on the bathroom scales, but if you did, you’d find yourself even heavier than before.
And so it is with cyber security. But instead of morning jogs and more fibre in your diet, it’s a new firewall, training programmes and a Cyber Essentials assessment.
All good stuff, of course, but nothing lasts forever. Security hardware and software need updating regularly, and every few years, ithey may need replacing entirely. Training staff in cyber security awareness massively improves your business’s defence against threats, but if you don’t keep hammering the message home, people eventually forget things or don’t have the most up-to-date information. And assessments like Cyber Essentials should be done yearly, to ensure best practice is being maintained, and also to keep up with the latest developments in cyber security.
When you look at it like this, it seems obvious, but all too often businesses that have invested in cyber security solutions soon find themselves slipping back into bad habits. With their guard down, it only takes one bad day to suffer a significant cyber breach. Organisations in this position can find themselves facing a hefty clean-up and repair bill, and possibly a huge ransom to pay.
So if you want to keep your body and your business in good health, you have to stick to your plans. Don't burst out of the blocks and take an early lead, only to stop halfway down the track to wave at the crowd. Otherwise, you’ll eventually find your good intentions doing little more than paving the way to cyber security hell.
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