October 19, 2022

6 min

Small Business Cybersecurity Resource Guide

So, your business has been a victim of a cyberincident. Now what?

CDW Expert

2 People working in computers in an office with headphones on.

If your organization has experienced a cyberincident, it is critical to take immediate action to do as much damage control as much possible. Here are four tips to respond:

  1. React as quickly as possible: The best way to combat wasted time is by planning for incidents in advance.
  2. Don’t declare “mission accomplished” too soon: It’s not enough to only treat the symptoms of an attack, it’s critical to treat the root cause as well. Look for anything else attackers may be doing, have done or might be planning to do and minimize vulnerabilities.
  3. Complete visibility is crucial: It’s important to have access to high-quality data to accurately identify potential indicators of attacks and determine the main source. This is key to seeing the signals and knowing what to prioritize first.
  4. Ask for help: Even organizations with large teams of skilled security analysts can benefit from collaborating with a third-party partner to bridge any gaps and ensure resources are always available when you need them.

For more information, visit 4 Expert Tips to Respond to a Cyberattack (expertswhogetit.ca)

The most important questions to ask a cybersecurity partner

To ensure you’re choosing the right cybersecurity partner for your organization, here are the key questions to ask during your initial consultation:

  1. Have you worked with organizations in my industry before?
  2. Do you have references we can contact?
  3. What type of regulations and safety requirements does my business need to comply with?
  4. Who will be performing the security assessment and inspection?
  5. How will you help us keep our employees from exposing sensitive information?
  6. Do we need to worry about the security of the applications, software or cloud-based storage systems we use?
  7. What should we do if something happens to our network?

When hiring external partners, not knowing what questions to ask can be half the battle. Asking these simple seven questions is a great place to start and will allow you to find the best fit for your organization. At CDW, we have nearly 20 years of experience providing security assessments and consultation upon results, as well as designing and implementing strategic security solutions for a range of organizations spanning commercial, government, education, financial and healthcare industries.

Reporting a cyberincident

Organizations can report cyberincidents through the Government of Canada Centre for Cyber Security website. Reporting a cyberincident helps the cybercentre keep Canadians safe, and the information you provide enables the centre to provide cybersecurity advice, guidance and services to other businesses who may be experiencing similar threats or incidents. The site also provides information and guidance for small and medium businesses on ransomware and other cybercrimes, fraud, spam, social media-related issues and online threats related to extremism, terrorism, espionage or serious violence.

Key considerations for effective incident response

An effective incident response strategy should include a thoughtful approach:

  • Governance: Policies and procedures are the roadmap that grant responders the authority to carry out their work.
  • Planning: Creating a step-by-step guide allows IT teams to implement procedures developed in a calm environment to the chaos of an unfolding security threat.
  • Detection: Organizations must maintain visibility into all aspects of their computing infrastructure to detect early signs of an attack.
  • Testing: Annual penetration tests help ensure incident response plans fit the current environment and that all team members understand their roles.
  • Response: The faster organizations can respond and contain an attack, the less reputational and operational damage will be done.
  • Flexibility: Plans should set the guiding principles for a response that allows teams the flexibility to adapt to ever-changing circumstances.
  • Recovery: Recovering from a security incident is a time-consuming task that requires the assistance of subject matter experts and cybersecurity insurance policies.
  • Standards: Organizations should draw on the collective wisdom of the cybersecurity community when building an incident response program.

For more information, visit: How incident response addresses evolving security threats (cdw.com) Top 10 best practices for cyberbreach post-crisis communication (paloaltonetworks.com)

Educating employees on cybersecurity

The biggest line of defense for an organization sits between the keyboard and the chair. It is vital that organizations of all sizes take a proactive, ongoing approach to educating your entire workforce about cybersecurity threats and counter measures before someone or something compromises your systems, data, reputation or even business operations. This includes clearly communicating the potential impact of a cyberincident on your organization and transparency about how each employee has a responsibility to be cybersmart. It’s important to hold regular cybersecurity training and refresher sessions, implement policies and rules for email, internet browsing, social media and mobile devices when on the organization’s network. You should also equip your employees with the training and tools they need to be able to recognize and respond to a cyberthreat before it has time to evolve into an attack.

For more information, visit: Educating employees on cyber security (sungardas.com).

CDW and Small Businesses: CDW provides small business owners with flexible, effective and cost-efficient IT services and solutions to help businesses scale with any audience and in any sector. To get dedicated support for your small business today, visit: CDW and Small Business.

CDW Security Self-Assessment Tool: Organizations can use the free Security Self-Assessment Tool to understand how their cybersecurity posture measures against their peers. Upon completing the assessment, organizations will receive a personalized report outlining:

  • How secure your business is compared to your peers.
  • Security approaches and best-practices to adopt.
  • Recommendations to help improve your businesses security posture.

To assess your security, visit: CDW Security Self-Assessment Tool

CDW Cloud Security Posture Assessment Tool: This assessment is also free to complete and provides visibility, analysis and recommendations so organizations can take immediate action to address misconfigurations in their public cloud. This tool tests the security of an organization’s public cloud and ensures that their environment complies with frameworks like NIST, CIS, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, GDPR and more. To assess your cloud security posture, visit: CDW Cloud Security Posture Assessment.

CDW’s Penetration Testing: Using industry-recognized and proven methodologies to discover, analyze and exploit vulnerabilities, CDW’s penetration testing services provide detailed reporting, including a remediation plan to assist in ensuring your organization’s information assets remain protected. To start assessing your IT environment today, visit: CDW Cybersecurity Assessments.

CDW’s Amplified Security: CDW’s Amplified Security consultants design, orchestrate and manage a comprehensive security strategy with a portfolio and services that identify and assess IT network security risks, increase your understanding of and visibility into risks and prepare your organization for an evolving threat landscape. To protect your organization against data breaches and other threats, visit: CDW Amplified Security.

CDW’s SIEM solutions: Bring automation to the management of security threats with a scalable and reliable data platform for investigating, monitoring, analyzing and acting on your data. With the assistance of our highly skilled and specialized security analysts, CDW helps you assess your SIEM requirements. To achieve real-time visibility across your entire business, visit: SIEM solutions.

Protect critical business systems from compromise: CDW’s vulnerability management services incorporate a systematic approach that ensures vulnerabilities are rapidly identified so that mitigation strategies can be implemented, and business risk is minimized. For vulnerability management services, visit: Vulnerability management services.

CDW’s Data Centre: Prevent a data disaster with CDW’s data backup and recovery best practices, which draw on virtualization technologies and emerging data backup software. For strategies for cloud, flash array and backup and recovery data storage, visit: CDW’s data centre.