Businesses can reduce cyber threats and protect customers with help from Tulane SoPA -

Editor's Note

This article is brought to you by the Tulane School of Professional Advancement.

The Tulane School of Professional Advancement (Tulane SoPA) is committed to helping companies improve their cybersecurity by raising awareness, conducting free assessments and educating working professionals.

The first step for a company to enhance its security is to undergo a cyber-risk assessment, said Ralph Russo, director of the Tulane SoPA Information Technology Program. Such assessments allow a company to evaluate its current security methods, determine the risk of a damaging event occurring, and examine the potential impacts of a security breach.

“If you own a business and don’t know where you are from a security standpoint, the first step is to understand your current situation and compare it to best practice,” Russo said. “The delta between those will tell you what you need to do to raise your security to an acceptable level.”

Russo said such assessments include both technical and non-technical components such as firewall placement and protections, which employees have administrative privileges and how much knowledge employees have about the threat of phishing or other cyberattacks. Conducting or updating an assessment now is especially important as more workers conduct business from home or other remote locations.

Many owners of small or mid-sized businesses often believe they are not desirable to cyberattackers, Russo said. But in fact, such companies now face similar cyber risk as larger corporations in terms of impact.

“The number of bad actors is growing because anyone can download attack tools. You don’t have to have significant technical knowledge anymore to hack and steal from a business,” Russo said. “It can be somebody with malicious intent a ..

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