Over half of small and medium-sized businesses –61% to be exact – were hit by a successful cyberattack in 2023. That means that if your organization wasn’t targeted last year, the odds are likely you will experience an attack this year.

What can busy organization leaders do about it? It starts with beefing up your security posture and taking moreproactive approaches to Pittsburgh cybersecurity. 

Security posture is defined by theNational Institute of Standards and Technology as, “the security status of an enterprise’s networks, information, and systems based on information security resources (e.g., people, hardware, software, policies) and capabilities in place to manage the defense of the enterprise and to react as the situation changes.”

In plain terms, this means to enhance your security posture, you must first have the structure and processes in place to prevent a future disaster. To help leaders handle this pressure, we created an actionable roadmap you can follow below. Let’s dig into how you can start approaching cybersecurity for your Pittsburgh organization.

Tip #1: Require Multi-Factor Authentication for Everything

First, let’s talk about an easy way to enhance yourbasic cybersecurity protection. Password breaches are so common it’s almost an epidemic. Thankfully, it’s an easy challenge to solve. 

Relying solely on passwords for security is like leaving your front door unlocked.Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an added layer of security. MFA requires users to provide two or more verification factors to access a resource such as an app, online account, or VPN. It combines something you know (like a password), something you have (like a smartphone), and something you are (like a fingerprint).

The effectiveness of MFA is well-documented. Just look at what the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency has to say:

“Implementing MFA can make you 99% less likely to get hacked, according to Microsoft.”

- Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency

Requiring MFA means Pittsburgh organizations can instantly increase their cybersecurity posture without much effort or investment.

Tip #2: Boost Your Microsoft 365 Cybersecurity Posture

Microsoft 365 is a common staple for collaboration and productivity within organizations. However, its widespread use makes it a common target for IT security risks. This is why it’s important to enhance your Microsoft 365 cybersecurity posture to safeguard your data and communications.

To do this, Microsoft offers a valuable measurement called the Microsoft Secure Score. It’s a reading of an organization’s security posture. Regularly reviewing and improving your Secure Score is a smart and effective way to curb potential vulnerabilities.

Curious about the recent cybersecurity awareness month trends? Check out this article!

Tip #3: Implement Cybersecurity Awareness Training for Your Employees

One of the most critical yet often overlooked aspects of cybersecurity is human error. It can often be the weakest part of your digital armor. From organizations large to small, the need forcybersecurity awareness training remains vital.

“While this may seem obvious to tech workers, regular reminders to all employees can help prevent cyberattacks and secure your company’s digital presence.”

-Forbes Technology Council

Keep in mind that training should not be a one-time event but a routine process to instill a culture of IT-savvy staff. Here are actionable steps to enacting this type of training for your staff:

  1. Customize a Program: Understand your challenges and tailor your cybersecurity training to the specific needs of your team.

  2. Regular Updates and Refresher Courses: Cyber threats evolve constantly. Keep your training updated and schedule routine refresher courses.

  3. Promote a Culture of Security: Encourage employees to be proactive in reporting suspicious activities. Reward those that do so!

  4. Connect with aCybersecurity Pittsburgh Service Provider: You don’t need to do this complex training alone! Having an expert take over frees up your time and is often a strategic investment.

Tip #4: Learn if Cybersecurity Insurance is Right for Your Organization

A culture of preventive action and training helps avoid cyber threats – but they still might happen. To avoid losing reputation and a costly incident, it’s worth it for organizations to consider cybersecurity insurance. Keep in mind that,according to IBM, data breaches can cost an average of $3 million per incident

Think of it as similar to driving a car. You might be the safest driver on the road, but you can’t control other people. Cybersecurity insurance is designed to mitigate any risks that might turn into realities. 

It typically covers expenses related to cyber incidents such as investigation costs, legal fees, and damages from data breaches or system downtime. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. The rightcybersecurity coverage depends on your organization’s specific risks and needs. 

That’s why partnering with an IT MSP can help bring down your cybersecurity insurance premiums, because they know what you really need. With premiums costs rising11% year over year in 2023, this is invaluable advice.

Sign up for a free webinar on how organizations in Pittsburgh can grow using tech!

Tip #5: Establish an Incident Response & Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan

Similar to cybersecurity insurance, preparation is the key to handling cyber attacks. The startling thing is that42% of small businesses have no cyber attack response plan!

This oversight leaves systems vulnerable to prolonged downtime and significant financial loss in the event of a cyber incident. A well-structured backup and disaster recovery plan can mitigate these risks.

By regularly backing up data and having a clear, step-by-step recovery process in place, businesses can quickly restore operations with minimal disruption. This not only protects against data loss but also ensures business continuity, which rolls into maintaining customer trust. 

Don’t forget about having an incident response plan in place as well. This plan focuses on identifying and mitigating data breaches, cyber attacks (like malware, ransomware, phishing), or any unauthorized access to systems. It outlines roles and responsibilities for a response, procedures for documenting incidents, and strategies for containing threats.

If you don’t have a plan like this in place, a breach can catch you and your team off-guard. That’s why an incident response plan is vital for minimizing the damage from an incident.

Cyberattacks are important even after the holiday season. These three tips from Rick Topping’s interview with WTAE can help you stay on track year-round.

Take Security Action Now for a Better Tomorrow

Strengthening your Pittsburgh cybersecurity is now a necessity. Following these tips will help fortify your organization against the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. Remember, effective cybersecurity requires continuous effort, vigilance, and adaption. 

Take security action now, and secure a better, safer tomorrow for your team. 

At Ceeva, we’ve helped organizations handle these challenges since 1992. We offer inclusivecybersecurity Pittsburgh services. Interested in how we can help you follow this roadmap? Learn more aboutour approach.