Has your business embraced the digital transformation? Ninety-one percent of SMB’s use connected technology, and analysts believe we’re only at the beginning of a steep increase of Internet of Things and smart devices being deployed. For 2020 the installed base of IoT devices is forecasted to grow to almost 31 billion.

Despite record adoption, 48 percent of those surveyed were “unconcerned” that devices – ranging from sensors to drones and used across any number of verticals – may boost their likelihood of cyberattacks. In another survey, conducted by PwC, 44 percent of executives said they don’t have an overall information security strategy and 48 percent don’t have an employee security awareness program.

You make think the worst is unlikely to happen to your business, but the reality is, your chances of experiencing a data breach are one in four. Breaches result in loss of consumer trust, loss of customers and can be expensive to recover from. Each year, IBM Security and the Ponemon Institute run a global study to determine what the average data breach costs an organization. For a breach of less than 10,000 records, their 2018 study found the average cost was $2.1 million.

We can’t think of a sweeter reason to make your business your valentine this year and begin deploying a cybersecurity strategy. Here are some tips to get started.

Cybersecurity is More than an IT Problem

Adopting a security-first mindset at your company takes buy-in from more than just the IT department. Leaders and employees need to be on board with this cultural shift to help acknowledge security access points and be mindful of protecting your data. In addition to the more obvious realms of data security and network security, your business needs a plan in place for things like user access control and device security– where and how your employees can access company information Is it only through a VPN? How often do they need to update their passwords? What are your new hire and termination policies?  What about a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or mobile policy? Asking these questions is a critical first step to assessing your security vulnerabilities and begin building an organization-wide plan to address them.

Partner with Vendors for Security Solutions

Deploying connected technology can be exciting. Oftentimes, decision makers become enamored by the efficiencies the technology offers their business and overlook the risks that may be involved. When evaluating new technology, it is critical for leaders to partner with their vendors to understand not only how the device itself is equipped with cybersecurity measures, but how it will work with your outstanding end and access points to protect your information. Are just the components of the device equipped with security measures or is their comprehensive protection in place? Be sure you have a clear understanding of who owns and has access to any information collected.

Cybersecurity Employee Training

The number of personal records leaked in 2018 increased 126%. You may think your number one priority should be shoring up your networks and data warehouses with the latest security measures, but your biggest threat might be sitting right next to you. It was found a staggering 84% of data security breaches and 92% of security incidents occur due to human error.

Consumers have proven themselves again and again to lack cybersecurity awareness. Sixty-nine percent of consumers have never even changed their default Wi-Fi password. Most people are under-educated in modern electronics and cybersecurity. Therefore, so are most employees. One of the best investments you can make today to protect your business is investing in cybersecurity training for your employees.

Following these tips can help prepare your business to be a security-first and future-proof organization. Adopting a cybersecurity strategy today can enable your business to continue keeping pace with the innovations of tomorrow.