In every business, data security is a top priority due to rising cyber threats. As long as our information is valuable, our digital data will always be under attack. Today we will discuss the common cyber threats businesses face and how cybersecurity technical writers can improve your company’s strategies against potential cyber threats.
In today’s digital age, the threat of a cyberattack is always looming. Why? Because criminals profit off of personal and financial data. The same applications and software used to run daily business operations are the technology that exposes many businesses to cyberattacks.
Whether a business to business (B2B), business to government (B2G), or business to consumer (B2C) of any size, every business is at risk of a cyberattack. Thus, it is critical to have a cybersecurity plan in place to counteract the threat of cybercriminals. With a rise in remote work due to the global pandemic, cyber threats will increase more than ever as hackers target a workforce unprepared for the security risks posed by working from home. This is a timely example of why it is crucial to be vigilant and prepare for the ongoing fight against cyber threats.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is “The protection of computer systems and networks from the theft of or damage to their hardware, software, or electronic data, as well as from the disruption or misdirection of the services they provide.”
To prepare for a cyberattack, businesses should first be aware of the different types of cyber threats. Keep in mind that other types of cyber threats do exist, although the types listed below are the most common ones encountered.
Types of Cyber-threats
- Malware – a software created to gain unofficial access to impair computer networks, systems, and overall functions.
- Phishing – schemes used to deceive users into providing sensitive information or data via email, website, text message, ads, or other forms of digital communications.
- Ransomware – a type of malicious software designed to restrict access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.
- Social Engineering – a data breach designed using social interaction to reveal sensitive information through clicking or downloading malware or trusting a malicious source.
- Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attacks – a malicious attempt to disrupt a computer network by overloading its system.
How Do Cyber-Threats Impact Your Business?
A cyberattack can have devastating impacts on a business, from a tarnished reputation to the disruption of daily operations to the loss of trusted customers and suppliers or the loss of important data and information. Furthermore, businesses also often suffer from legal ramifications and financial losses created by the cyberattack. These can include lawsuits, fines, etc. Some businesses may never recover from an online attack, putting them out of business permanently.
Every business must come to terms with the reality that, one day, they will face a cyber threat. How a business responds when that day comes will determine how effective its strategies are at protecting company data. Being ready for a cyberattack and able to recover from one are just as important as being able to avoid or prevent one. In order to help adequately prepare for a cyber attack, every business should consider the benefits of hiring a cybersecurity technical writer.
How Can Cybersecurity Technical Writers Help a Business?
Before we get into how technical writers can help with cybersecurity, we need to first explain the role and responsibility of cybersecurity technical writers, and how it differs from other technical writers.
What is a Cybersecurity Technical Writer?
A cybersecurity technical writer is responsible for creating preventative and risk management strategies to protect an organization from cyber threats. They are also responsible for making corporate network use policies, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), recovery documentation, and other technical documentation related to security and data protection. Like normal technical writers, cybersecurity technical writers also make sure that the documents they work on are clear and easy to understand.
The main difference between the two is that where other technical writers create multiple kinds of technical documents, cybersecurity technical writers are assigned work that specifically involves writing cybersecurity plans and related documents. In essence, cybersecurity technical writers are more specialized and tend to stay within their field of expertise, where other technical writers may be assigned a larger variety of tasks, but are not as experienced in any one field.
In particular, the kinds of documents that cybersecurity technical writers work on include:
- Cybersecurity plans
- Training manuals
- Security policies
- Legal documents
Benefits of Cybersecurity Technical Writers
Now that you know what a cybersecurity writer is, let us get into how they can help with cybersecurity.
First and foremost, cybersecurity technical writers create strategies for keeping businesses and other organizations safe from cyber threats. These cybersecurity measures and strategies ensure that a business can protect its data, resources, customers, employees, and reputation. As previously mentioned, cybersecurity technical writers also help by clarifying complicated ideas and terms in cybersecurity strategies so that they are easier for employees to understand and follow. This includes cybersecurity training documents for workers, which often contain confusing or complex terms.
In addition, cybersecurity technical writers can benefit businesses in other ways. Firstly, they can provide a business with a means of ensuring that their employees understand the policies and strategies needed to keep the business safe, and by extension what they need to do to comply with those policies. Furthermore, the presence of cybersecurity strategies can help to assure potential clients that a business can effectively protect their data, which makes them more likely to invest in that business. Cybersecurity technical writers also create documents to fix or mitigate the damage caused by cyberattacks, including data recovery, firewall strengthening methods, and legal documents to protect against lawsuits.
To withstand cyber threats, companies need to figure out the best method to protect their business. To determine this, companies should develop a cybersecurity plan.
What is a Cybersecurity Plan?
A cybersecurity plan, or cyber response strategy, is a course of action that outlines the policies, procedures, and preventative measures to be followed in the event of a cyberattack. The ultimate goal is to prepare your business with instructions to follow before, during, and after an attack. Good cybersecurity plans develop strategies that minimize losses, quickly fix vulnerabilities, and restore normal business operations.
A cyber response strategy may include cybersecurity training to help all workers identify and handle online attacks. Some elements of this documentation are cybersecurity insurance, compliance laws and regulations, simulation testing, business objectives, and more.
Cybersecurity technical writers can identify the assets, risks, and solutions of an organization to individualize a security model that will prepare your business for a cyberattack. While you may not be able to avoid an attack completely, these protocols will safeguard your data, saving you time, money, and frustration.
How to Create a Cybersecurity Plan
To create a cybersecurity plan, a cybersecurity technical writer should start by considering what cyber threats the business in question could face in the course of its operations. They should then determine what sort of strategies would be able to counter those threats, and how to adapt them to the particular business. Afterwards, the cybersecurity technical writer needs to clearly and thoroughly lay out the instructions for the cybersecurity plan. This includes the duties each worker must fulfill in order to enact the plan, the objective, and each step of said plan, all of which should be described in detail.
After discussing the steps involved in the cybersecurity plan, the writer should list the resources required to put the plan into action. Specifically, this list includes the technology, financial costs, and time that the cybersecurity plan needs. Finally, the plan should include contingencies to ensure that the business’s data and assets can be recovered and the business can quickly return to normal operations in the event that a cyberattack does happen. Such a contingency should also provide general instructions for patching up whatever vulnerability led to the cyberattack in the first place, thus decreasing the likelihood of such an attack succeeding again.
What to Keep in Mind
When making a cybersecurity plan, there are certain factors that cybersecurity technical writers need to keep in mind. First, the writer should make sure to explain the steps involved in the plan as clearly as possible so the intended readers can easily understand it, while still including all the details needed to ensure that the steps are performed properly. In addition, they need to consider who their intended readers are and how to tailor the instructions to them. Finally, cybersecurity technical writers should keep in mind that cybersecurity plans should not be static documents, and should evolve to adapt to new circumstances and cyber threats.
Cybercrime will always be a threat, but being proactive and employing the best cybersecurity practices will prepare and protect your employees, customers, business reputation, and data from harm. Thus, whether you are working remotely as a B2B, B2G, or B2C company, you should make sure to invest in cybersecurity technical writers to develop an effective cybersecurity strategy for your company.
How Can EDC Help?
Whether you need a single technical writer for a brief project or a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation, the quality of our work is guaranteed for you. Our clients work closely with an Engagement Manager from one of our 30 local offices for the entire length of your project at no additional cost. Contact us at (800) 221-0093 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Written by Kimberly Jones