This blog was posted on Inside Indiana Business’s website here.

In a society where information is openly accessible across the globe, it will come as no surprise that this same information is being held or stolen on a daily basis. Corporations, small businesses, and individuals alike are exposed like never before. Coupled with the rate at which technology changes, this risk is constantly fluctuating and evolving to the point where it can seem overwhelming to stay informed and remain safe.

This spring, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a ‘Shields Up’ warning to counter possible Russian attacks. ‘Shields Up’ means everyone from large government agencies to businesses of all sizes need to assume there will be disruptive cyber activity in the imminent future and they need to make sure they are prepared for it.

While it can be scary dealing with these real-life threats, there are a plethora of ways to protect your organization if you have the right tools in place. As a business consulting expert who specializes in cybersecurity, here are a few tactics our team has found to be successful for building security for information, people, and processes in the workplace.

Transfer risk from your business to insurance 

Security Magazine reported “more than two-thirds (67 percent) of companies with fewer than 1,000 employees having experienced a cyberattack, and 58 percent having experienced a breach.” Attacks have become so frequent that the federal government has recently introduced new legislation that requires certain organizations to have cybersecurity insurance.

If your business stores sensitive personal data of any kind, you are at risk and the protections of putting an insurance policy in place are extremely beneficial. Read the fine print to understand how coverage helps you in certain situations, how much you’re likely to pay in premiums and what the policies you are considering cover and what is excluded. Evaluate which risks you are willing to tolerate when it comes to cybersecurity in order to determine the right policy for your company.

Preparation, not panic

The goal of cybersecurity is to implement procedures and controls to ensure the safety of your organization and preparation is a key step. A few tools I recommend to protect against unseen threats include: implementing multi-factor authentication; updating software on a regular basis; using strong passwords; creating and enforcing company security policies and educating and training team members on negligent practices.

Once the preparation has been done, regularly run tests of your response plans. Review response times, conduct gap analyses and clearly define your team’s roles and responsibilities. Proactively testing your cybersecurity will help ease anxieties and move your organization out of panic mode.

Share your knowledge

From reporting malicious or unusual activity in a timely manner to information-sharing arrangements, knowledge sharing is instrumental in protecting ourselves and clients against virtual attacks. Tapping into a variety of resources to stay up-to-date, including netlogx Cybersecurity Assessment for businesses and organizations that want to audit their existing setup, will ensure that we all have our ‘Shields Up’ in order to take proactive steps to protect against active threats.

Corporate leaders have an important role to play in safeguarding their organizations and creating systems that are efficient, reliable, and resilient. A shift from reactive to proactive when it comes to cybersecurity and having our ‘Shields Up’ to protect our most critical assets is the only way we can reduce future risk and provide protection against cyberattacks.

Mark Lambert is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with over six years of experience in project management. He currently is a lead senior consultant who provides cybersecurity expertise for his employer and clients.