How Can You Tell If Your IT Security Is Working?

Security should be a priority for SMEs, but even those organisations which have invested in order to protect their IT assets may be uncertain about how well their systems will hold up to an all-out cyber attack. So how can you tell whether or not your security is up to scratch?

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Threats and Testing

A number of high-profile breaches have turned the spotlight on IT security in recent months, but figures from insurance firm Zurich suggest that plenty of SMEs are still not getting the message.

Smaller enterprises that are aware of the threats they face and have taken action to lessen the risks also need to be aware that an untested security solution is yet another unknown variable in a complex web of potential complications. This makes enacting stress tests to push systems to the limit in a controlled environment especially important.

Testing is not just about probing for vulnerabilities in the code or network infrastructure: it’s also about preparing staff for worst-case scenarios and ensuring that they know how to respond effectively. It is even possible to set up bespoke scenarios which seek to weed out human error and allow you to provide employees with training that will target any weaknesses and plug gaps before they are exploited.

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Developers like offer file integrity monitoring tools that can also be useful when it comes to putting IT security through its paces and pinpointing potential threats before they wreak havoc.

Practical Elements

In the age of laptops, smartphones, portable storage and a range of other personal devices entering the workplace, the potential avenues of security vulnerability are multiplied. Thorough testing should take this into account, as data loss and theft can easily occur when physical hardware is involved.

Some specialists set up dummy USB sticks in prominent places around an office to see how quickly curiosity gets the better of the staff, while others run simulated phishing campaigns to draw attention to any deficiencies in training in this area.

The size of a business and the industry in which it operates will have just as much of an impact on the type of threats it faces and the security it requires as a result. Getting third-party firms to carry out tests is a cost-effective and powerful way of minimising risk.