by Gerry Schneggenburger, NWIRC

Does your business have the following systems engineering tactics in place?

  • 2-Factor authentication to enable remote users into your operational systems
  • VPN service, plus an HR policy requirement to use it for 100% of all off-site systems usage
  • A Secure FTP application when transferring sensitive eDocuments to customers and suppliers
  • Periodic and ongoing eMail training to help your employees spot malware and scams
  • An HR policy requiring notification when an employee departs, so system User-IDs can be disabled (including cloud applications)

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these, consider upgrading your business planning over the upcoming quarters to include Cyber Incident Prevention. Why?

  • 61% of small businesses have experienced a cyber-attack in the past 12 months
  • 58% of cyber victims are identified as small businesses
  • 34% of all documented attacks targeted are manufacturers
  • $60K is the median cost of a data breach

By partnering with various information systems engineering experts, NWIRC has learned the above tactics will greatly improve your odds of thwarting cyber threats. Following this logic will not only lead your firm to safer digital operations, but can also commence formal cyber compliance. Cyber compliance is now a requirement within the military supply chain. Others, such as medical device manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, and pharmaceuticals, will modify and adopt their own cyber compliance standards.

You may be thinking, ‘What if my business can’t afford cyber-threat prevention now – what’s the cost of remediation later?’ It’s been the experience of some NWIRC defense-related clients, that proactive upgrades cost in the range of $10k to $30k. Whereas, once compromised and your customer is informed, the cost to identify vulnerabilities and remediate can easily be in the range of $50k to $100k, not including the potential loss of sales revenue if your customer can no longer conduct business with your firm. For more information or guidance on connecting with an expert, consider reaching out to your NWIRC Strategic Business Advisor for assistance.

Gerry Schneggenburger has 30 years of executive business management experience with an IT foundation of systems development, programming, database administration, systems network engineering, and IT lean continuous improvement skillsets.