When you build your business, your attention is rightly focussed on delivering your services and managing the back end. Sometimes the tech side of things can be a little ad hoc, or it can be treated as a set-and-forget item on a to-do list. Unfortunately for busy managers, technology and particularly cyber security is an evolving space and there are always new threats and challenges making themselves known.
Partnering with a cyber security consultant is often the fastest way to secure your data, reduce risk and manage compliance issues. If you are unsure about the risks of operating in the digital environment, or you want to shore up your defences, but you don’t know where to start, then hiring a cyber security consultant is likely a wise investment.
What can a cyber security consultant bring to your business
If you have a particular issue that must be addressed, it’s wise to seek out an IT security consultant with direct experience in the field. If you are searching for a consultant because you know you need help with cyber security but you’re not sure what that entails, working with a consultancy is likely the right option. A digital security team will be able to assess your current security set up and advise you regarding the most urgent areas to address. When you interview your potential consultants, ensure they can,
- Tell you about emergent cyber security trends including recent threats,
- Demonstrate an understanding of the GDPR and accompanying business confidentiality realities,
- Communicate cyber security concepts to anyone in the business regardless of experience, and
- Demonstrate initiative and curiosity in the role so that service goes beyond adhering to checklists.
Seek out consultants based on recommendations from trusted peers and validated testimonials. Contact 3 different consultants to compare services and attitudes. Your chosen consultant should be able to show evidence of past successes in businesses that have similar operating conditions to yours.
What role can a security consultant play in your business
Because cyber security is so critical to a business’ success, you should ensure your consultant is focussed solely on the digital health of security systems and policies. Don’t be tempted to give this responsibility to a staff member in addition to their other duties. A cyber security consultant can attend to many different areas of security. It’s likely the areas that need the most attention will be identified through discussions and potentially an audit of current practices. Your consultant may,
- Plan, create and implement staff digital behaviour policy,
- Identify staff training needs; create and deliver training sessions,
- Provide advice regarding system upgrades,
- Develop security routines and inspection checklists,
- Advise IT team regarding best practices and current threats,
- Audit mobile device security including network availability,
- Liaise with clients and business partners to assess adjacent security risks, and
- Provide assurance to clients and customers about your cyber security credentials.
Cyber security consultants and threat reduction
The threat of security breaches, hacking and data theft cannot be overstated. Billions of pounds are lost each year to cyber-crime. While you may think that small businesses aren’t likely to come to the attention of hackers the reverse is true. Small businesses typically have fewer resources to secure sensitive information than large companies, so they make for easier targets.
As soon as software updates are released, malicious actors are working on identifying its vulnerabilities. Groups of people are combing your personal social media profiles for data to use when crafting emails designed to fool your staff into thinking they are authentic. Disgruntled ex-staff members who still have their login details saved on their home computers. These scenarios are all possible and the effects destroy businesses regularly. Having a cyber security consultant on your team can greatly reduce the risk of these threats and the potential consequences, too. Working with an experienced professional can help protect against
- Denial of service attacks,
- Ransomware data-as-hostage situations,
- Data theft,
- Internal sabotage,
- Loss of revenue through loss of trade,
- Loss of reputation and consumer confidence,
- Legal proceedings,
- Intellectual property theft,
- Loss of sensitive and confidential data,
- Theft of funds,
- Extortion, or
- Loss of shareholder value, and more.
If there is a breach of some kind, your cyber security consultant should know the notification procedures as required under the GDPR. Compliance is important when things are going well, but there are significant potential consequences for businesses who fail to act correctly when a breach is identified. A good consultant will have the confidence to act quickly to stop threats in their tracks, isolate damage and identify the cause – these qualities are invaluable. An external consultant is more likely to keep a cool head under pressure and can act promptly as they are not bound emotionally to the business or any current procedures. They can also analyse current operations impartially to give a neutral view on what’s working and where the vulnerabilities are.
Should you hire a consultant?
The world of cyber security is complex. There are many facets of cyber security and they often intersect and influence each other. Working with a cyber security consultant can help to clarify your current situation and where you can improve your defences. Consultants can also lay the foundations for proactive security measures like staff training, policy creation, audit and regulatory compliance and data back-up creation. Hiring an expert can give you confidence that your business is well protected, leaves your IT staff to concentrate on support and maintenance, avoids adding another permanent staff member to payroll and ultimately provides a compliant and secure environment so you can operate with surety.
Computers in the City, your cyber security partner
Computers in the City is London’s longest standing IT partner. With over 20 years’ experience, we can assist you to meet your IT support, digital security consulting and cloud computing needs. Let us help you develop the cyber security protocols in your business. We’re proud to be local, offering 24 hour support in straightforward language that takes the stress out of IT support.