What do Potential Cyber Security “Scores” Mean for Your Business?

When you’re applying for a credit card, a loan, or any other number of things, the businesses you are applying to will check your credit score. This helps them to determine the risk level in taking you on as a client and protecting their own assets. While FICO and other credit boards gauge ratings and scores for millions of people nationwide, there is a consortium of business including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, among others, that’s developing a rating system to quantify cyber security scores. Unless you’ve studied or have experience in cyber security, it can be really difficult to tell if your company’s network system is secure.

In terms of credit scores, 650-750 is considered to be good, over 800 is great, and scores that fall under 600 could probably use a little work. Using the current FICO scores as a baseline for cyber security, let’s see how a scale like this could be used to gauge your company’s risk and security factors.

Where the Scores Come From

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with several major brands across the country including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Home Depot, and Starbucks is working to create a central standard that other measurements can compare to. The financial giants are obvious choices due to their need for advanced security protocols to protect the immense amount of money being handled by their firms. Starbucks is an interesting choice, because although they don’t necessarily store sensitive information, they do have interaction with millions of credit cards every year.

300-500: High Risk

Let’s say your cyber security score is in this range. You could be in serious trouble, even if you just manage a small business or startup. While you might not need the impressive protection system that massive companies have, you really do need something. If you interact with customers at all, their information could be at risk for hackers who will assume that you are an easy target because of your size. We recommend that you seek immediate help from a network security expert and start repairing your score.

500-650: Medium Risk

In this range, you might be able to fend off some attacks or mitigate potential breaches. However, hackers are persistent and typically have very powerful tools at their disposal which can perform repeated, heavy attacks that your system might not be able to stand up against. If you have a cyber security defense strategy set up to defend against small attacks, a hacker might be able to find a workaround for it that will give them access to all your data.

A good security system will help avoid that issue by having multiple layers, greatly reducing the chances that an attack gets all the way through. Sometimes, all it takes is a hacker to get lucky and they’re in. Avoid that by upgrading your defenses, either with the help of a professional or by educating yourself. While your threat isn’t as immediate, there should still be some urgency in the process.

650-775: Lower Risk

Within this range, your cyber security score could be a little deceiving. With credit scores in this range, creditors generally have more faith in borrowers. However, when it comes to security, even “lower risk” is still something to watch out for. You’re not applying for an apartment, you’re defending against attackers who are searching for your data and that of your clientele. As a result, while being at a lower risk is good, there is still room for improvement, especially if you are in the financial or healthcare industries. This is also where the help of an expert will really come in handy.

We highly encourage that you at least consider the value of the data you are protecting and determining whether or not you need to improve your current security protocols. If you have questions or are looking for consultation, we are here to help.

775-850: Low Risk

Under this hypothetical scale, this is the range in which every business, regardless of industry, should strive for. In this range, your risk is minimized by as much as it probably can be which, in the case of cyber security, is the best you can hope for. However, even the best security systems aren’t completely impenetrable. Even if your organization is as secure as possible, it’s vital that you remain vigilant and aware of any potential threats or breaches.

One thing to remember is that there’s no one way to reach the score. Experiment with a few different types of defenses and find one that works best for your company!

Ramifications of a Cyber Security Score

In the coming years, your cyber security score could become a huge factor in the success of your business. Cyber attacks are becoming more and more common and consumers are becoming wary of who they are giving their information to. If you have a low score, you may lose out on business when people aren’t willing to take a risk.

In fact, it’s already impacting businesses. According to TechCrunch, Yahoo!’s value dropped by $350 million as a result of their poor cyber security defense strategy and the attack they sustained because of it.

Next Steps

Businesses try to cut costs to maximize profits and, as a result, tend to only invest in cyber security after they’ve taken an attack. At that point, your data is probably already compromised. The only way to avoid it is to be preemptive by investing time, resources, and talent into creating a secure system for you and your clients.

When this new system is instated, NIC will be there to help you get a cyber security score that you’re proud of. Call today at 1 (877) 721-3330 or send us a message through the contact form on our site and we’ll be happy to tell you about all the great ways we can protect your company.

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