In today’s digital age, where organizations of all sizes rely heavily on technology, ensuring robust cybersecurity is non-negotiable. At the same time, with the restricted cash flow that many non-profit organizations face, the temptation is strong to compromise, using a hodge-podge of free tools that may not be optimal for protecting your network and data. Understanding your organization’s cyberscore, or cyber risk score, is crucial for safeguarding against cyber threats and potential data breaches. This article explores the significance of cyberscores, explains what they are, and provides insights on calculating and improving your organization’s cyberscore.
What Is a Cyber Risk Score?
A cyberscore is a comprehensive assessment of your organization’s cybersecurity posture. It evaluates the likelihood of external attacks on your systems, such as data breaches and malicious hacks, while identifying vulnerabilities within your digital infrastructure.
Think of a cyberscore like a credit score, but specifically tailored for system security. A higher cyberscore indicates a more secure computing network. Typically, you invite outside security consultants to perform these assessments. It’s a good idea to assess your cyberscore at least once a year to stay proactive.
It’s important to understand the individual areas that contribute to your overall cyberscore. Together they can help you devise a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. Key factors influencing your cyberscore include the presence of strong passwords, implementation of multi-step verification, up-to-date antivirus software, the sensitivity of stored information, and the security measures surrounding that data. Additionally, factors like cloud storage, server security, asset importance, data on individual devices, and third-party data sharing play a pivotal role in the assessment.
4 Reasons Why Cyberscores Matter
Cyberscores hold a multitude of benefits for businesses, beyond just protecting against external threats. Here’s why they are essential:
- Mitigate Risks: By knowing where your organization stands in terms of cybersecurity, you can prioritize necessary improvements, reducing the risk of cyberattacks and security issues.
- Better Insurance Coverage: A good cyberscore can positively impact your insurance coverage, potentially lowering your rates. Insurers perceive less risk in businesses with strong cybersecurity measures.
- Outside Funding: Demonstrating your organization’s commitment to cybersecurity can increase its value and attract external funding. This is especially critical for non-profits seeking investment.
- Improved Reputation through Compliance: Meeting international business standards, such as HIPAA, NIST, or ISO, requires a robust cybersecurity framework. A high cyberscore indicates compliance with these frameworks, ensuring your organization’s credibility.
Helping Non-Profits Calculate Their Cyberscore
Whether you’re engaging an external agency or relying on your IT department, understanding how your cyberscore is calculated is essential. The calculation involves assessing all company systems, considering the likelihood of an attack, and evaluating its potential impact.
At Gryphon Consulting, we’ve prepared a simple checklist that can serve as a preliminary evaluation tool, helping non-profits quickly spot vulnerabilities in their cyber defenses. With a better idea of where you need to bar the doors, so to speak, we can help you devise a plan that will keep bad actors at bay.
5 Suggestions to Improve Your Cyberscore
Regardless of your current cyberscore, there’s almost always room for improvement. Here are some actionable steps to enhance your organization’s cyberscore:
- Apply Security Updates: Outdated systems are vulnerable to attack. Regularly update your software and infrastructure to bolster security.
- Make a Plan: A quick response to security breaches is crucial. Create incident response plans and conduct regular reviews to increase your cyberscore and mitigate potential impacts.
- Use the Right Tools: A comprehensive modern workplace solution, such as Microsoft 365, takes care of many security vulnerabilities simply by implementing it across the entire organization.
- Educate Your Team: Ensure your team stays informed about common cybersecurity threats and implement best practices across all departments. A well-informed team can significantly contribute to prevention efforts and elevate your cyberscore.
- Monitor Risk Levels: Stay vigilant by monitoring risk levels regularly. Hybrid work technology is constantly changing. With that change comes new risk factors. Stay on top of evolving best practices to keep attackers out.
Understanding, calculating, and improving your organization’s cyberscore is essential for safeguarding sensitive data and maintaining the trust of your customers and stakeholders.
To take proactive steps in enhancing your cyberscore and securing your hybrid workforce, consider our hybrid workforce security checklist. Our expert team specializes in helping businesses fortify their cybersecurity measures and navigate the ever-evolving landscape of digital security.