For business of any size, making sure they are not only compliant with security regulations but continually improving and adjusting the measures they have in place is vital. Quite often the factor which determines how a business approaches cyber security is the mindset of the board. 

A board which understands the information security needs of a company, and more importantly, understands the damaging impact of a cyber security breach is vital to ensuring a proactive approach to cyber security. In order to help increase buy-in at board level, not only can it be helpful to make clear the impacts of a cyber security attack, but also make it clear that cyber security should be viewed as another essential business expense. 

Just as with security for a building, having a proactive mindset towards cyber security is vital when it comes to maintaining the overall security of a business. While security frameworks such as GDPR have helped organisations embed greater information security processes and culture for those who’ve embraced them, there’s always more that can be done to be truly proactive in approach. 

Having a board which understands the need to consistently improve cyber security, and not simply rely on an in-house IT department, will allow companies to proactively fix issues which could lead to attacks in the future. Investing in specialist penetration testing consultants who can conduct security procedures such as penetration testing is a worthwhile business expense, and often proves to be money well spent  in order to alleviate risk to your company brand and the fines you could suffer as a result of a security breach. 

Without a proactive mindset, and by simply carrying the risk, major issues with your applications or infrastructure could go undetected.. It is often ‘hard to see the wood for the trees’ for internal departments looking for issues in their own systems and as a result critical issues could be missed. 

The impact on businesses can be just a disastrous as it is for clients following a cyber security breach. From a business point of view there can be substantial fines which result from attacks, along with the often more serious damage to the reputation of a business and the subsequent loss of customer confidence following a security breach. The outcome of both can be catastrophic. Statistics from the National Cyber Security Alliance indicate that 60 percent of small and medium sized business cease trading within just six months of a cyber security breach. 

Overall it is clear that taking a proactive approach plays a key role in the endeavour to prevent attacks and the loss of sensitive customer data. In order to do this, it is vital to have board level support underpinned with a robust business case for investment in new approaches and initiatives.  It is also important to understand that engaging with specialist cyber security providers is not a criticism of any internal departments capabilities, but rather a recognition of what external experts can bring to the business. Furthermore, being proactive with cyber security will allow any business to better protect against attacks rather than simply attempting to fix them and deal with the consequences when they happen. It can also represent a worthwhile investment, particularly in comparison to the cost of facing lines as a result of significant cyber security breach.