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The Most Important Questions to Ask a Cybersecurity Consultant

Here we discuss the most important questions you should be sure to ask your cybersecurity consultant before you hire them. Click here to learn more.

cybersecurity consultant

Approximately 14 million businesses are at risk for hacking and cybercrime each year. There's no denying that cybercrime is on the rise. 

With more businesses relying on computers to s

tore customer data, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information, that number is only expected to increase.

Establishing a good cyber security system is key in keeping your business safe from those threats. But if you're like most business owners, you don't even know where to start.

Before hiring a cybersecurity consultant, it's important that you know if they're equipped to help your business.

Wondering how to tell? Read on to find out what you need to ask each consultant!

1. Have you worked with businesses in my industry before?

Many cyber threats are uniquely tailored to individual industries and localities. This means that the security needs of your company may not be the same as others in your state.

The right security consultant should have experience working with others in your industry.

The more experience they have, the better prepared they'll be to assess your company's security risks and find the best solutions to keep you safe.

Even more important, they should be able to explain their experience to you in plain language. If they can't tell you about their past work in a way you'll understand, they won't be able to help you identify, fix, and prevent security risks as they develop.

2. Do you have references we can contact?

The best way to decide if the consultant is the best fit for your business is to speak with their past clients.

If their clients have great things to say, you'll probably be happy working with the firm. If not, heed the warning. Look somewhere else.

Don't be afraid to do a quick search for reviews online. Places like Google, Yelp, and even Facebook can help you decide if a firm's claims and experience are legit.

3. What types of regulations and safety requirements does my business need to comply with?

Every industry has different regulations and compliance standards that they're legally required to follow.

Protecting against cybersecurity threats without violating those requirements is an absolute must. The consultant should explain the steps to address those threats without compromising your company's compliance with the law.

The only way they can do so correctly is if they're intimately familiar with the regulations for your industry.

4. Who will be performing the security assessment and inspection?

Part of every cybersecurity consultant's job is to assess the vulnerabilities of your computer systems and network.

To do this, some consultant firms use in-house experts to find flaws and weaknesses with your systems. Others prefer to outsource the assessments to contract workers or external companies. While both are great options, you need to understand who will be performing the tests.

If the assessments will be performed by the consultant firm, the employees have already been vetted. If they're contracting out, make sure you understand how the firm will vet their workers.

During the assessment process, your information is vulnerable. In the wrong hands, access to your system could lead to your sensitive information getting hacked.

According to the Better Business Bureau, one out of every four businesses gets hacked or faces some other type of cybercrime. That threat can come from anywhere.

Knowing that the individuals conducting the assessment will respect your company's private information is imperative.

5. How will you help us keep our employees from exposing sensitive information?

Your employees are your best line of defense against hackers and cybercriminals. Good cyber security firms know this and will take steps to train your employees on how to better prevent cyber threats.

At a bare minimum, the consultant should help them create better passwords. They'll also make recommendations on your personal device policies and how to handle information transfers from machine to machine safely.

These basic suggestions will be only the tip of the iceberg. Your company's unique security needs can't be adequately addressed until the assessment is finished.

No matter what risks they identify, the consultant should be willing to spend time training your employees. Their purpose is to teach business owners and their employees how to protect themselves, not just to catch and fix a few initial flaws.

6. Do we need to worry about the security of the applications, software, or cloud-based storage systems we use?

No software program or application will ever be completely invincible. The cybersecurity firm will be able to examine the known risks associated with those programs and help you protect against them.

During the assessment, their team will also see how the programs interact with your network. If they find flaws, they may be able to create a better security protocol to protect your sensitive data or may have recommendations on different programs that will work better for your needs.

7. What should we do if something happens to the network?

Losing sensitive data and information is always a risk, but there are steps you can take to get that information back.

When speaking with the consultant, ask them about a recovery plan. They should outline the steps you'll need to take to get your data back if a hacker were to break into the network.

Before they leave, the plan should be in place and your team should understand precisely what to do to get the information back quickly.

Why Hiring a Cybersecurity Consultant Matters

As a business owner, you know how to run your business and keep your clients happy. But you may not know how to protect their sensitive information on your own.

Working with a consultant gives you the tools you need to protect your sensitive information at all times.

As threats change, a consultant can help you alter your security measures to protect against new viruses and malicious programs. You'll never have to go it alone.

Contact us today to schedule a cybersecurity assessment.

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