Your company faces potential threats every day from hackers and online criminals. Whether they are interested in stealing money, absconding with information, or just harassing and creating embarrassment for your organization, you need to be prepared to stop them. While you can gain a measure of protection by investing in antivirus and anti-malware software, your cybersecurity strategy needs to be built into your technological infrastructure. Investing now in a sound, broad-based approach to cybersecurity concerns can save you headaches, customers, and money.

Your Legal Risks
According to the 2015 Global Risks Report from the World Economic Forum, the risk of cyberattacks, both in frequency and in severity, is only growing. As the devices and networks involved in what you do every day become more complex, more data is at risk, and there are more points of attack where cyberattacks can create problems for you.

The problems themselves can be severe. Under Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation, companies have duties not only to protect their customers’ information but to respond and report quickly in the event of a breach. Failures in either area can result in large fines and other sanctions against the company. Further, failure to protect private or confidential information can lead to lawsuits against your organization for negligence, breach of privacy, or breach of contract when contractual obligations include the protection of confidentiality for customers or trade partners.

Creating the Right Cybersecurity Strategy
With the risks involved, creating a comprehensive strategy to combat cyberattacks is critical for your organization. This should begin with mapping and analyzing your entire system, identifying how and why data is stored.

Beyond this, your strategy should include testing to identify potential vulnerabilities. Scan your system constantly for evidence of existing infiltration. Work with programming experts who can attempt to breach your defenses, and can then create patches to eliminate those weaknesses before a cyberattack can occur.

On top of that, you must have in place the means and personnel to handle a cyber-attack crisis, if your system is breached. This should include, of course, what is required in order to repair the breach and end the data leakage, but also public relations experts and lawyers, in order to handle the crisis and what will most likely immediately follow – reputational issues, possible loss of business as well as lawsuits. And all of this must be handled in a quick and efficient manner; any delay has the potential to create catastrophic damage to your business.