By Sean McDermott, CEO and Founder of Windward Consulting
As the world becomes more digital and with attacks on businesses increasing every day, it is more important than ever for consultancies to take cybersecurity seriously. Did you know that 45% of organizations worldwide will have experienced attacks on their software supply chains by 2023? That's a three-fold increase from 2021.
Cyberattacks are becoming more common, and the stakes are high as consultancies become more reliant on technology. Protecting your business from a cyberattack should be a top priority—it's not just the IT department's duty; it's everyone’s responsibility. Firms hold a tremendous amount of valuable data, including customer intellectual property, employee personal information, and internal confidential documents. We are entrusted with securing this data and using it only for intended purposes.
A Breach of Trust Can Take Years to Recover
Some CEOs and founders may find themselves personally liable for data loss. This responsibility can be stressful when your employees handle sensitive data daily, for which you may have little to no direct oversight. You may live in a house of cards, bonded together with trust. If that trust is broken, the whole house may come tumbling down.
Many people think of large corporations when it comes to cyberattacks, but small businesses are just as vulnerable. For example, 60% of small businesses will go out of business within six months of a cyberattack. That's why all companies need to take cybersecurity seriously. By doing so, you can protect your business, your employees and your clients.
Promoting that you have a strong security strategy in place is also essential. Your consultancy’s strategy can also be a differentiator for your firm vs. a competitor. Potential clients will be looking for this when choosing with whom to work with.
Everyone is Accountable for Your Firm’s Security
As mentioned earlier, cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, not just the IT departments. Employees must understand their role in keeping a company safe, from the CEO to the summer intern. Promoting a safe cybersecurity culture can help ensure that employees take the necessary steps to protect company data.
There are several things you can do to protect your business from cyberattacks.
- Educate yourself and your employees about risks and best practices is critical.
- Implement controls such as firewalls, password policies, and access control firewalls, password policies, and access control controls can help mitigate risks.
- Stay up to date on security patches is crucial to keeping your systems secure.
- Have a plan in place for how to respond to a breach or attack.
Cybersecurity: A Leading Concern for Consultancies
Protecting your business should be a top priority. You can help keep your company safe from attacks by taking the necessary steps. Make sure to take cybersecurity seriously because it could mean the difference between a thriving business and one hacked and struggling to recover.
Check out Deltek's on-demand webinar, where we discussed the top concerns consultancies face in today's ever-evolving cyber world and I’ll provide details on how to protect yourself and your consultancy.
About the Author
As a serial entrepreneur, Sean McDermott has worked for more than twenty years to assist hundreds of global clients and the Federal Government in the design, development, and operation of large-scale IT networks and data centers. In 1997, Sean founded Windward Consulting Group to help CIOs strategically transform IT from a “cost of doing business” into a competitive business differentiator. As CEO, Sean sets and manages the overall direction of the company including the firm’s service offerings and strategic partnerships. Since then Sean has also founded a number of additional companies including RealOps (acquired by BMC Software) RedMonocle, App47 and Helix Ventures. He regularly blogs on topics of leadership and technology on his WheelsUpWorld.com blog.
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