How to Get Started with Cybersecurity at Work

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Every business faces different cybersecurity risks, which is why it’s important to have a plan in place to protect your data and systems. But how do you get started with cybersecurity?

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity refers to the measures taken to protect confidential or sensitive data and computer systems from being hacked or accessed maliciously by unauthorized parties, including cybercriminals and foreign governments.

As the world becomes increasingly connected and reliant on digital technology, cybersecurity has become essential for businesses to secure their infrastructure and to protect critical information assets. It’s important for companies to be proactive about cybersecurity. Even small businesses need to invest in cybersecurity measures, whether that means training existing employees or hiring a cybersecurity expert.

What Do Cybersecurity Experts Do?

Cybersecurity experts are invaluable when it comes to protecting a business from potential cyber threats. They not only work to identify and implement preventative measures, such as installing the right kind of firewalls or antivirus software, but they are also able to monitor for suspicious behavior that could indicate a breach or malware attack.

Cybersecurity experts have a specialized skillset which makes them uniquely qualified to spot small flaws in an organization’s security infrastructure that could be exploited by hackers. They can also act quickly in the case of any data breaches or other intrusions, ensuring that the system is adequately secured, and all personal information is protected. Ultimately, hiring a cybersecurity expert ensures that businesses are taking every step necessary to keep their systems safe and secure.

What are the Risks of a Cyberattack?

Cyberattacks can have serious consequences for businesses. These attacks can result in data theft and destruction, system downtime, reputational damage, and an increased risk of financial loss.

Cyberattacks come from a variety of sources:

  • malicious hackers looking to exploit vulnerabilities
  • insiders with access to sensitive information
  • employees who accidentally leave systems open to attack

Businesses must be aware of these risks. While hiring a full-time cybersecurity expert is one way to protect your company assets, there are other options to get started with cybersecurity, especially for start-ups and other small businesses.

5 Ways to Get Started with Cybersecurity

Now that you understand the importance of cybersecurity, it’s time to take practical steps to implement cybersecurity measures at your company. Depending on the size of your business, your budget, and your overall cybersecurity risk, you may choose to take multiple steps to protect your company.

Train Existing IT Staff in Cybersecurity

Training your existing Information Technology (IT) staff in cybersecurity is essential for businesses aiming to stay ahead of the ever-evolving cyber threats. Taking proactive steps now to strengthen and enhance their knowledge of security can give a company the assurance that their data and networks are properly secured.

Certified cybersecurity experts are in high demand, yet there are courses available that can train your existing IT team in the basics. Here are a few cybersecurity certifications and study materials to offer your IT professionals:

  • Microsoft Certified: Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals
    • The self-paced course is free. To achieve certification, you must pass a single exam, which costs $99.
  • ISACA Cybersecurity Fundamentals
    • ISACA offers a self-paced course, lab work, and a study guide to help IT professionals prepare for this exam, with prices ranging from $40 to $220. To achieve certification, you must pass a single exam, which costs $150 for ISACA members and $199 for nonmembers.
  • CompTIA Security+
    • They offer a variety of study materials, which are discounted if you purchase a bundle. To achieve certification, you must pass a single exam, which costs $392. The bundles include the price of the exam.

SkillUp also offers a variety of free cybersecurity courses if you need to get started with cybersecurity on a tight budget.

If you’re looking for more cybersecurity certifications, we have an additional list of 14 cybersecurity certifications to offer your existing IT employees.

Train All Employees on Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity should be a top priority in any workplace. While training your existing IT staff is key to getting started, it’s also important to train all employees in cybersecurity. Your employees should receive both initial training and refresher training at least once every few months. Cyber threats are constantly evolving, so your employees need to understand the latest risks.

Ideally, you’ll bring in a cybersecurity expert to train your employees. A security training program tailored by a qualified expert will ensure that even non-IT personnel understand how to identify dangers posed by viruses, malware, and other malicious activities.

If you’re not ready to bring on a full-time cybersecurity expert, your cybersecurity training needs to cover a few basic things, including:

  • How to create strong passwords
  • How to identify and respond to phishing attempts and other malicious emails
  • Why it’s important to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when working remotely
  • Appropriate Internet use guidelines

When all of your employees are equipped with the right knowledge, tools, and resources, they can work together to create a secure and engaged workplace.

For more specific advice on getting started with cybersecurity, check out the FCC Small Biz Cyber Planner.

Use FCC Small Biz Cyber Planner

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has put together multiple helpful resources on cybersecurity. This includes their top ten cybersecurity tips for small businesses.

For more detailed help, utilize the FCC Small Biz Cyber Planner. This tool allows you to input information about your company, its assets, and potential cybersecurity threats. After you answer the questions, the tool gives you a customized cybersecurity plan with step-by-step instructions to secure your company.

If you realize that some of the recommendations are too challenging or time-consuming for your current IT staff to handle, it might be time to invest in cybersecurity. One option is hiring a full-time cybersecurity expert.

Hire a Dedicated Cybersecurity Expert

In an age when digital threats are constantly evolving and putting businesses at risk, hiring a full-time cybersecurity expert is a smart investment for your company. Not only can this specialist help you identify weaknesses in your current security protocols, but they can also proactively develop new plans to keep your data safe and secure.

Here are just some of the tasks a cybersecurity expert can handle:

  • Training employees on cybersecurity
  • Designing and implementing security protocols for workplace computers
    • Firewalls
    • Anti-virus software
    • VPNs
    • Multi-factor authentication
  • Monitoring employee usage of company computers for unsafe activity
  • Setting up data backups
  • Staying updated on the latest cyber threats
  • Staying updated on the latest technologies and recommending security upgrades when needed

Cybersecurity experts are in high demand right now, so read our cybersecurity recruiting guide to improve your odds of attracting top talent.

Cybersecurity requires nonstop cover, every single day, every single hour. This usually means more than one full-time employee, which might be outside of your company’s budget. Another option is to outsource cybersecurity.

Outsource Cybersecurity

Outsourcing cybersecurity is an affordable and efficient way to protect your business. And if you choose to go with a managed service security provider (MSSP), you’re not alone. According to Markets and Markets, the global MSSP market was evaluated at $27.2 billion in 2022.

There are multiple benefits to outsourcing cybersecurity. First, you can get things started immediately. Your MSSP will already have trained experts and cutting-edge technology ready to protect your business. They can quickly set up any infrastructure your company needs and begin monitoring operations for any cyber threats.

In addition, the cybersecurity expertise provided by an MSSP will almost always be better than what you can get with an in-house cybersecurity professional. This is especially true if you’re a small business just getting started with cybersecurity. When you outsource support for security issues like data breaches and malware attacks, you know the problem will be addressed promptly—no matter how complex or unique the threat may be.

Finally, outsourcing cybersecurity is cost-effective for round-the-clock coverage.

Are You Ready to Hire a Cybersecurity Expert?

If you’re ready to make your first cybersecurity hire, but you’re not sure where to start, Insight Global can help. We can quickly tap into our existing pool of cybersecurity specialists and find you multiple candidates for your open role. Contact us today!

Need help finding talented employees? Visit Insight Global's Staffing Services page to get started.