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BBB: 5-step approach to better business cybersecurity | Business

Having an effective cybersecurity strategy is critical to business success. The number of U.S. data breaches tracked in 2021 hit an all-time record high of 1,862, according to a recent report released by the Identity Theft Center.

BBB reminds business owners that a little maintenance will go a long way in making sure your business is safer from cybercriminals. BBB reminds business owners to ensure they develop successful strategies to protect their systems from attacks and provides a five-step approach as a guideline.

“A good cyber security plan has multiple parts to it, much like a puzzle,” said Mark Seguin, Founder and CEO of TBG Solutions. “A very important piece of that puzzle is training your employees in a way which changes thinking, changes behavior, and ultimately manages risk.”

The 5-Step Approach to Better Business Cybersecurity, based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, represents an approach that applies to the specifics of your business, helping you understand how best to identify and protect your business’s vital data and technology assets, and how to detect, respond to and recover from a cybersecurity incident.

This training program is a collaboration between BBB and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). The goal of this approach is to empower small and midsize business owners and principals to begin to evaluate what business assets need to be protected from cyber-attacks and encourage them to make their business more resistant to cyber-attacks or other incidents, and more resilient if an incident occurs.

Step 1: Identify

Take inventory of key technologies you use and know what information you need to rebuild your infrastructure from scratch. Inventory the key data you use and store and keep track of likely threats.

Step 2: Protect

Assess what protective measures you need to have in place to be as prepared as possible for a cyber incident. Put protective policies in place for technologies, data and users, and ensure that your contracts with cloud and other technology service providers include the same protections.

Step 3: Detect

Put measures in place to alert you of current or imminent threats to system integrity, or loss or compromise of data. Train your users to identify and speedily report incidents.

Step 4: Respond

Make and practice an Incidence Response Plan to contain an attack or incident and maintain business operations in the short term.

Step 5: Recover

Know what to do to return to normal business operations after an incident. Protect sensitive data and your business reputation over the long term.

“With a large number of businesses moving toward hybrid (home/ office) work environments,“ said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB in Central East Texas. “Conducting regular risk assessments and allocating more of the budget to cybersecurity efforts is essential in this day and age.”

Consider hiring a professional to perform an annual cybersecurity risk assessment. They will help you identify, analyze, and evaluate your company’s level of risk and help you develop solutions. Go to bbb.org to find a trustworthy professional near you.

For additional resources, go to BBB’s Cybersecurity HQ, Stop.Think.Connect.org, and www.stopthinkconnect.org and The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency.

For more business advice, read BBB’s tips for businesses. If you’ve spotted an online scam, report it to BBB ScamTracker. Subscribe to BBB Scam Alerts for weekly updates about new scams. Business owner? Get BBB Accredited. Remember, great businesses are out there. Always look for the BBB seal; it’s the Sign of a Better BusinessSM. Start with companies you can trust by going to bbb.org.

BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB Central East Texas was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties. Visit bbb.org for more information.

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