How to Ensure Your Finance or Recruitment Business is Cybersecurity Compliant

For all businesses, cybersecurity should be a fundamental aspect of maintaining trust with customers and partners. For others, it’s a regulatory requirement. Ensuring your business is compliant with cybersecurity standards can protect you from data breaches, legal penalties, and long term reputational damage. But how do you go about achieving and maintaining cybersecurity compliance when it comes to your business?
Cybersecurity compliance is all about making sure your business follows the rules and best practices to keep your information safe from cyber threats.

Steps to Ensure your business is Cybersecurity Compliant

Identify Relevant Regulations

Firstly you will want to start by determining which regulations apply to your business based on industry, location, and type of data you handle.
For instance with finance being a regulated industry you should be registered and comply with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Any business handling client or candidate data will need to follow the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
There may be several regulations that apply to your business. It’s important that you keep up to date with what the requirements are for your industry as they can change.

Conduct a Risk Assessment

In order to understand the potential threats, vulnerabilities, and risks within your business we recommended conducting a risk assessment. This will highlight and prioritise areas needing immediate attention. As a cybersecurity partner we can conduct this risk assessment for you and help advise and implement the steps required to protect your business.
By doing so we can also highlight the areas that aren’t compliant as part of your regulatory requirements.
It’s all too easy to overlook risks when you’re in the business, let the experts support you so you can focus on what you do best.

Develop and Implement Policies

If you don’t already have comprehensive cybersecurity policies already in place, then you don’t want to overlook this step. Cybersecurity policies outline procedures for data protection, access control, incident response, and employee responsibilities.They can also make it easier to demonstrate compliance during audits and regulatory reviews.
Once you have created these, they should be communicated and be accessible to all employees.

Establish a Cybersecurity Framework

We highly suggest adopting a recognised cybersecurity framework such as CyberEssentials / Cyber Essentials Plus or ISO27001. These frameworks not only provide structured guidelines for managing and improving your cybersecurity practices, but also give you confidence that you are doing what you can to protect your business.
If you’re not already Cyber Essentials certified, get in touch and we can help advise you on the best way to approach this framework.

Employee Training and Awareness

It’s not enough to just put technical solutions in place. One of the biggest vulnerabilities in a business is human error. Regularly training employees on cybersecurity best practices, recognising phishing attempts, proper data handling, and responding to security incidents is a must in order to add another layer of protection. For some regulations, your employees will need to know how to report incidents in a documented way and within a certain time frame. Providing them with the necessary training will help with this.

Implement Technical Solutions

For cybersecurity compliance you will need to deploy technical measures such as firewalls, encryption, intrusion detection systems, multi-factor authentication, and regular software updates. These solutions help safeguard your data and network from unauthorised access and cyber attacks.
Your IT provider should be implementing all of the above for you and helping you to understand why they are important when it comes to cybersecurity and compliance. They can also help to monitor your systems to check for suspicious activity. This time of proactive monitoring means you can identify potential issues before they create major challenges for your business.

Monitor and Audit

We’ve just mentioned this above. You should be continuously monitoring your systems for suspicious activity and vulnerabilities. Running regular audits of your cybersecurity practices against compliance requirements is also recommended. The tactics cyber criminals use are always evolving, so as such the requirements may change. You don’t want to be left behind and caught out.

Incident Response Planning

Alongside your cybersecurity policies, you want to develop and maintain a well-defined incident response plan that outlines the steps to take in case of a data breach or cyber incident. It should include communication protocols, roles and responsibilities, and recovery procedures.
This enables your organisation to respond quickly and effectively to security incidents, minimising damage and recovery time.

Data Management and Protection

In order to be cybersecurity compliant, you will need to ensure proper data classification, storage, and disposal practices. This includes encrypting sensitive data and maintaining backups to prevent data loss.
The regulations and frameworks you align with will outline what this looks like for your business.
If you’re unsure then your IT provider should be able to help.

Vendor Management

Just because you are taking cybersecurity seriously, doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone else is. Before partnering with third-party vendors and partners, we suggest you assess and ensure that they comply with relevant cybersecurity standards. As part of the regular audit, you will want to be performing regular security assessments of your vendors to ensure nothing has changed that affects you.

Document Everything

One of the best business practices is to keep detailed records of your compliance efforts, including policies, risk assessments, training sessions, and incident reports. During audits and investigations, documentation is a great way to demonstrate compliance. You don’t want to be scrambling under stress, trying to pull together documentation at a later date or after a breach.

Next steps to be cybersecurity compliant

As we’ve mentioned above, cybersecurity regulations and threats are constantly evolving which means achieving and maintaining cybersecurity compliance is an ongoing process. Stay informed about the latest regulatory changes by subscribing to cybersecurity news and industry forums, training sessions and conferences.
Your IT provider will also be able to help advise and provide guidance and solutions based on your business requirements and regulations. You don’t need to work through and implement all of the above yourself.
By following the steps outlined above, your business can build a robust cybersecurity posture that not only meets regulatory requirements but also protects your valuable data and enhances trust with your clients and candidates.
If you need any advice about any of the above, get in touch. As an National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) assured service provider we can help support your business on your cybersecurity journey. We are on a mission to help all businesses be protected and remove the hurdles and complexities that can come with cyber. 

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