Protect Your Business from Cyberattacks with Cybersafe Tips for CIOs

Being a Chief Information Officer is like being a general in an ongoing war with multiple fronts, enemies, and outcomes. The prospect can be overwhelming; however, we're here to help you shoulder the load and come out on top using the following strategies, tactics, and tips.

Fortify Your Front Line

It's no wonder, but a fraction of cyberattacks on enterprise businesses begin with email. Simply put, in a company with hundreds of employees with email accounts, it's the most accessible point of attack. And that makes every employee a potential liability.

You can turn these liabilities into a fortified front line against cyberattacks, however, with comprehensive training covering email and other cybercriminals' tactics.

Phishing Awareness. Train employees to recognize the signs of phishing, spear phishing, vishing (voice phishing by phone), and smishing (short message service or text phishing).

Social Engineering. Commonly referred to as "hacking the human mind," social engineering is gaining an employee's trust through deceptive acts to access information, money, or other property.

Access Techniques. Employees should understand how bad actors access or compromise physical spaces through badging, piggybacking, shoulder surfing, impersonation, and rogue devices.

Simulated Testing. Simulated training mimics actual attacks without negative consequences. These can also reveal your company's click rate—the percentage of employees that fall for the simulation and need further training.

Get Your Data in Order

Data breaches can cripple your company in no time, leading to shutdowns, financial loss, and erosion of customer trust. Understanding your data and when it's at risk is critical to information security. Of course, you know this, but we're here to break it down.

Data Classification. Classifying your data is the first step in understanding what goes where and how to protect it. It organizes information into categories, like Top Secret or Public, which dictates who can access it. If you still need to formalize a Data Classification strategy, make plans to do so. You can learn more about Data Classification here.

Data Loss Prevention. You can prevent data loss by better understanding the causes, when data is at risk, how it flows throughout your enterprise and how it fits into your overall data classification strategy. You might be surprised to learn that not all data loss starts with malicious acts. Careless or inept employees can also be a catalyst.

Data Breaches. Data breaches occur, but you can mitigate the damage by having a plan. While your role in any breach will be to identify the source and eliminate causes, others in your organization will also be involved.

Depending on the scope of the breach, your plan might include public relations, operations, human resources, and C-level management.

Find an Ally

Enterprise businesses occupy a cyber criminal's sweet spot. They're large enough to be significant targets and typically stretched on the information technology front—making them ripe for attack.

Cybercriminals, like electricity, travel the path of least resistance. If your company is a hard target, they'll move on to other organizations that haven't shored up their defenses.

While you may possess the intellect, training, and skills to protect your company, in theory, it's tough to do it alone. It's why many companies partner with outside firms to strengthen their overall information security stance:

Information Security Consultants. One way to enhance your IT game regarding cyberattacks is to engage an information security consultant. You may pay $55 per hour for services, as reported by ZipRecruiter, but it's a relatively small price compared to a full-blown data breach or cyberattack.

Full-Service Agency. Consider a full-service information security agency if you prefer to outsource training and enhance your employee stance through simulations and ongoing education. Here are the top ten firms working with enterprise businesses today, according to

  1. American Cyber Security Management
  2. Knowbe4
  3. Infosec IQ
  4. Proofpoint
  5. Cofense
  6. Terranova
  7. SANS
  8. Barracuda
  9. CybSafe
  10. Mimecast

Create a Culture

Enterprise companies that create a culture of security awareness are more likely to avoid being victimized than those that treat it as a once-a-year training event. The more you can consistently engage employees and keep information security top-of-mind, the more effective you'll be.