Protect your company and your reputation with managed cybersecurity

Although many businesses understand the significance of their compliance obligations, data and privacy compliance laws evolve at such a rate that it’s hard to stay ahead. Below, we go over why compliance is so critical to your business and why a managed cybersecurity solution is the best way to support your compliance and cybersecurity needs.  

The importance of compliance

Compliance is critical for many reasons, but for businesses, there are two key considerations – reputation and financial loss. Typically, compliance breaches have serious financial implications. For example, in the healthcare sector, a breach usually costs an average of $150 per record. When we also consider the likely reputation damage caused by a data breach, the overall cost to the business can be far higher. 

In other words, compliance has never been more important. 

How cybersecurity helps you stay compliant

Cybersecurity boosts your compliance in three key ways. 

Data Encryption 

Encryption is a straightforward form of data security that turns a document into a scrambled, unreadable file. It’s only converted back to its original form when a user enters a password. Encryption helps you preserve data confidentiality when you store files or send emails. 

Network monitoring 

If you monitor your network, you can identify and isolate threats and vulnerabilities before they infiltrate your system. This allows you to protect sensitive data, including medical records, from external threats. 

Phishing and ransomware protection

Phishing emails often look just like authentic emails from trusted organizations. Unfortunately, this is how so many employees unwittingly share sensitive information with fraudsters. Up-to-date cybersecurity can help you identify malicious messages and isolate them, which assists with your compliance obligations. 

If like many companies, you’re worried that complying with your regulatory requirements is too much for you to handle in-house, that’s where managed cybersecurity comes in. 

Why managed cybersecurity is the best option for compliance needs

The truth is that managed cybersecurity saves you time, resources, and reputation damage. In fact, research shows that companies that deployed security automation technologies experienced around half the cost of a breach ($2.65 million average) compared to those without such technologies ($5.16 million average). Here’s why you should opt for managed cybersecurity services (or MSPs) over-relying on your in-house team. 

Expert knowledge 

MSPs are experienced industry specialists who stay ahead of the changes in compliance and privacy law. They understand your compliance obligations and are dedicated to helping you remain compliant at all times.

Dedicated compliance support

MSPs aren’t just industry experts. They’re available 24/7 to support your unique compliance needs. They can monitor your network security around the clock and remedy any system vulnerabilities before there’s a costly data breach.

Backup facilities 

With the support of an MSP, you can remotely store and password-protect sensitive data, and you can restrict employee access to confidential files. This minimizes the risk of an employee negligently – or maliciously – tampering with important records.

Operational efficiency

Essentially, MSPs take the stress out of compliance. They free up your other employees to focus on running the business while they take care of your legal data protection obligations. As a result, you can concentrate on growing your company.

With an MSP’s support, compliance is one less thing to worry about.  

Reach out today 

As cybersecurity becomes ever more challenging, you need IT, specialists, on your side. With managed cybersecurity services, you benefit from the constant support of a dedicated IT team that fully understands your unique cybersecurity needs, all while reducing downtime. For more information on managed cybersecurity, contact us. 

How to find the right cybersecurity provider for you

A cybersecurity provider can help reduce your downtime and minimize your exposure to the growing number of security threats out there. To help you find the right provider for your organization, we’ve broken down what you should look for in a provider – and why having that cybersecurity support is so important. 

Why cybersecurity is important

The importance of cybersecurity can’t be overstated, and every business needs a reliable cybersecurity solution. Why? Because cyber attacks are on the rise – over 61 percent of businesses experienced a cyber attack within the last year, and this statistic is only set to increase. 

Although you may think you can handle your own cybersecurity needs in-house, cyber threats are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, and you’ll need the help of a dedicated security partner to stay ahead of the challenges. 

What a good cybersecurity provider can do for you

The truth is that not all cybersecurity providers are created equal. However, all good providers demonstrate these four key characteristics.

Comprehensive protection  

A good cybersecurity provider actively protects your company against the ever-rising threat of complex phishing and ransomware scams. Phishing attacks account for over 90 percent of data breaches, and a cybersecurity provider should offer comprehensive protection against all such threats.

Service dedication  

Business doesn’t sleep, and neither should your network support. Your security provider should provide constant network monitoring services to detect vulnerabilities and prevent intrusions before they strike. 

Customized, proactive support 

Since cybersecurity threats evolve so frequently, it’s often impossible for in-house IT staff to keep up. Your cybersecurity provider should be dedicated to staying ahead of new and emerging security threats so you can focus on running your business.  

Flexible budget options 

No two businesses have identical cybersecurity needs, which means there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all security model. A good cybersecurity provider works with you to identify your core security needs and offers you a range of services within your budget. 

How to find a cybersecurity provider

Finding the right cybersecurity provider for your unique business needs doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some tips for finding the right provider today.

Consider your needs

Before looking for a cybersecurity provider, be clear on what you actually need from them. For example, your priorities may include:

  • Cloud and remote security 
  • Privacy law compliance 
  • Network monitoring 
  • Infrastructure upgrades 

When you understand your priorities, it’s easier to find the right cybersecurity provider.

Be honest about your budget

Set out your IT budget and be realistic about what you can afford to spend on cybersecurity services. Good providers offer flexible support plans to suit every budget. 

Ask questions

There’s no such thing as asking too many questions when you’re looking for a cybersecurity provider. Your provider should feel like an extension of your own team, so it’s important that you’re comfortable asking them for support and advice. 

Choose an expert 

For any business, it’s important that you choose a provider with the experience and expertise to handle your unique security needs. Whether you’re subject to complex privacy regulations or you’re looking for comprehensive, remote support, be sure that your provider understands your niche and how to protect your data and assets effectively. 

With a reliable cybersecurity provider, you can easily secure your business data and IT infrastructure in a cost-effective, legally compliant way. For more information on how to devise the right cybersecurity solution for you, contact us today.

Why you should outsource your cybersecurity to professional service providers

Cybercrime can cost the average US organization up to a staggering $13 million per year, according to recent reports. What’s more, even a single cybersecurity incident can cost an SMB over $54,000 in recovery costs. The good news is that there’s a way to protect your business from the financial costs, service disruption, and reputation damage associated with data breaches, and that’s by partnering with a managed services provider (MSP). Below, we break down how managed cybersecurity services work and why partnering with an IT professional is the best way to protect your organization from cyber vulnerabilities. 

How managed cybersecurity works 

Managed cybersecurity means outsourcing the management of your cybersecurity systems and devices to an external service provider. These providers are known as Managed cybersecurity Services Providers (MSSPs) or Managed Services Providers (MSPs). 

MSSPs and MSPs typically offer a wide range of cybersecurity services, including: 

  • Data backup and recovery
  • Intrusion detection and threat monitoring 
  • cybersecurity audits
  • Network monitoring
  • Disaster planning
  • cybersecurity intelligence
  • Incident response and investigations 

These IT professionals are especially helpful to organizations with limited or no in-house IT staff, but every company should consider partnering with them. Here’s why.

Why cybersecurity is so important 

Cybercrime and data breaches are more common now than ever before. One recent study showed that businesses face an average of 145 cybersecurity breaches per year, and this figure is only expected to grow. cybersecurity incidents don’t just cost your company money, either. Other consequences of cybersecurity failures include: 

  • Loss of company reputation
  • Damage to hardware 
  • Irretrievable data loss 
  • Hours, or even days, of downtime 

Can partnering with an IT professional really protect your business from these side effects? The answer is yes. MSPs protect your business from cybersecurity incidents in the following essential ways. 

24/7 support

Hackers work around the clock, and so should your support system. With an IT professional on your side, you’ll have access to round-the-clock IT support and intrusion detection, giving you the confidence you need to get on with running your business while your service provider handles your cybersecurity needs. 

Expertise 

It’s hard to find in-house IT professionals with the up-to-date skills and knowledge they need to protect your business from cybersecurity threats. MSPs and MSSPs have the training, expertise, and experience to protect your company from these evolving threats as and when they arise. 

Compliance management

Highly regulated industries such as finance and healthcare must adhere to strict data protection and cybersecurity regulations. An MSP can help you comply with these regulations, and they’ll alert you to any changes in the law that affect your business. In a constantly evolving regulatory landscape, this support is invaluable. 

Cost savings 

Recovering from downtime costs you time, money, and resources. IT professionals save you money by reducing your exposure to these costs – all for a predictable fee that fits in with your annual IT budget.  

Training 

There’s no substitute for well-trained staff, given that employee negligence is a leading cause of data breaches and cybersecurity incidents. A cybersecurity services provider can help to prevent employee error and negligence by making your personnel aware of the latest threats and how to avoid them. 

Choose a partner today

Partnering with an IT professional or MSP drastically reduces your exposure to hackers and minimizes the risk of data loss and corruption. For more information on what an MSP can do for you and your business and why it’s so important to protect your organization from cybercrime, contact us today.

Your guide to developing a risk management framework

From cybercrime to unscheduled downtime, risks and threats are just as much of a problem for small and medium-sized companies as they are for large corporations. Here’s why developing a risk management framework is so vital to staying in control of your business – and here are some tips for drafting your own strategy.

Why a risk management framework is important 

The reality is that downtime costs, on average, between $300,000 and $400,000 per hour. According to recent studies, however, at least 51 percent of costly downtime is avoidable with the right risk management strategy. Risk management is so important, then, because it allows you to plan for disasters and other downtimes. 

With careful planning, you can mitigate the financial and reputation costs associated with downtime, cybercrime, and system failures. It all comes down to your risk management framework.

Steps to creating your risk management framework 

Creating your risk management framework is simpler than it seems. To help you get started, here are some of the key steps you should be following.

Set goals

Establish clear objectives for your risk management framework. Understand what you’re trying to achieve and why it’s important. This helps to keep your framework relevant to your business and your specific needs. 

Identify your major threats

Consider the risks and threats that your company faces. These risks may vary by sector; for example, if you’re in healthcare, data breaches are a major possible risk. Once you’ve identified the risks facing your company, you can move on to the next stage. 

Rank the risks and prioritize them

Some disasters are more likely to affect your business than others. For example, if you operate in a region prone to earthquakes or natural disasters, safeguarding your data and your infrastructure is a major concern.

Establish processes 

Decide how you’ll tackle each threat and establish processes for dealing with them. For example, if cybersecurity is a major concern, set up regular network monitoring and ascertain how you’ll keep your security software up to date.

Undertake procedural testing

Risk management strategies are only effective if you know that they work. Test your threat response time if, for example, malware infiltrated your systems, or a fire broke out. 

Finally, make sure employees understand what to do if they discover a problem. Don’t leave anything to chance – there’s no such thing as overpreparing for risks. 

Review regularly 

The final step for creating a basic risk management framework is establishing an audit and review procedure. You must review the risks affecting your business at regular intervals, and particularly before and after periods of growth or transition. 

You should also establish a procedure for auditing your existing security and risk management protocols, and amend them if they’re no longer working. 

Finally, make sure you have a proper reporting procedure in place. Keep your managers and key personnel informed of any updates to your risk management protocols, and ensure they’re fully aware of any potential or emerging risks and how to deal with them. 

Take action 

Risk management is critical for any business. An effective risk management framework can help you streamline your operations, minimize downtime, and reduce wasted resources. For more information on risk management and developing a framework for your business, contact us today.

6 tips for setting cybersecurity goals for your business

Cybersecurity is a major issue for every business, whether you’re running a multinational organization or a local company. Here’s what you need to know about why prioritizing cybersecurity is so important – and some advice on developing a cybersecurity strategy that aligns with your company’s needs and your IT budget. 

Why cybersecurity is so important 

When it comes to cybersecurity, there’s no such thing as being too careful. Cybercrime is rapidly on the rise, and the average cost of a security breach has shot up to over $13 million in recent years. 

What’s more, antivirus and antimalware programs aren’t enough anymore to protect your company from increasingly sophisticated threats. Statistics show that 52% of breaches featured hacking, 28% involved malware and roughly 33% included phishing or social engineering, respectively.

If you plan on keeping your business secure, there are a few steps to follow. 

1) Know what you need from your cybersecurity 

Every viable cybersecurity strategy is designed to achieve two things. Firstly, it should protect your business from external threats. Secondly, it should minimize the risk of negligent employees exposing your sensitive data to hackers. 

To get started, it’s a good idea to download or create a planning tool. This will allow you to note down your cybersecurity goals and how you plan on achieving them. You can revise this plan if necessary and set new goals as you go along.  

2) Establish threats and risks

Make sure you understand the impact of any disaster, be it a security breach or a malware infection, on your operations. Prepare for as many eventualities as possible and review the threats to your business regularly. 

3) Set targets for maintenance 

Update your antivirus and antispyware software regularly, and set up your systems so they automatically download crucial patches when they become available. Maintain your hardware and replace or repair faulty equipment when necessary. 

Make it a goal to change passwords regularly and always monitor access to your wireless network for any suspicious activity.   

4) Schedule backups 

Make sure that you back up important data and system processes at regular intervals. Automate these backups where possible so you don’t forget about them.   

First, decide how frequently you’ll back up data and where you’ll store it, such as in the cloud or in hard copy. Make sure you comply with privacy laws and other sector-specific regulations. 

5) Don’t forget employee training

Your employees are key to ensuring that your cybersecurity strategy is a success. Set training goals and review employee understanding of cybersecurity issues on a semi-regular basis. 

When setting training goals, set out a manageable schedule for cybersecurity training and a plan for monitoring adherence to cybersecurity processes. 

6) Seek expert advice

IT managed services providers are best placed to help you devise effective cybersecurity goals that suit your business needs and your budget. If you’re unsure how to get started on a cybersecurity strategy, or if you’re worried that your current strategy isn’t working, it’s a good idea to seek professional help.  

Staying protected

Although every business is unique, there are some cybersecurity goals common to them all. Ultimately, keeping company data secure from evolving and existing threats should be a priority for every business going forward. For more information on developing a cybersecurity strategy that suits your business, contact us today.

The digital threats landscape and how quickly it can change

A report recently released by the Internet Society revealed the shocking growth of cybercrime and the rising cost associated with digital threats. According to the report, although the number of reported data breaches went down in 2018, the financial impact and severity of most types of cyber threats went up compared to the previous years.

The bottom line is, cybersecurity and data protection are still major priorities for businesses reliant on data-based systems and digital resources. Although it’s difficult to paint a full picture of the cyberthreat landscape, it’s at least possible to identify specific trends and new threats.

Emergent digital threats you need to know about

Unscrupulous attackers are always coming up with new ways of gaining unauthorized access to valuable business data and IT systems. Digital threats are continuously changing and evolving, which makes it incredibly difficult, not to mention expensive, for organizations to create effective cybersecurity strategies.

Over the recent years, we have seen attackers use intelligent malware, take advantage of human psychology, and exploit new vulnerabilities we never even thought to protect. It’s become a game of cat and mouse in trying to curb cyberattacks. This has even led to government interventions through the legislation of data protection and privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP) in the EU, and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the US.

Digital security risks come in various shapes and sizes; it helps to know the kind of threats your business is facing. Here is a look at five of the most common cyber threats.

Sophisticated phishing attacks

Attackers are continuously finding ingenious ways of phishing for information from unsuspecting internet users. A good example is the use of sophisticated AI algorithms and machine learning technology to craft highly convincing messages for use in email phishing attacks. Hackers are also using social engineering to supplement their attack tactics in buying users’ trust and tricking them into sharing confidential information.

Ransomware

In a ransomware attack, the attacker either acquires or restricts access to an organization’s database or critical IT resources and asks for a ransom. Ransom attacks are some of the costliest types of digital attacks. Many analysts blame cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin for helping ransomware attackers to get away with the crimes. Attackers usually ask to be paid in untraceable digital currency.

IoT attacks

Internet of Things (IoT) is a useful but surprisingly insecure technology for business automation. IoT devices can link up and communicate with each other via the internet. Sometimes this involves looping within a closed network that may be linked to a more extensive cooperate network. These devices have no standardized security measures, so one weak link can easily compromise the entire system. IoT security devices such as surveillance cameras can also be hacked and possibly disabled remotely.

Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking is a relatively new trend where attackers hijack corporate computers and servers for crypto mining. Mining for cryptocurrencies is highly resource-intensive, and it significantly slows down the IT infrastructure. This piggybacking attack is often mistaken for systems failure or DoS attacks.

Negative SEO attacks

Negative SEO refers to the use of unethical black hat SEO techniques to sabotage a website’s SERP ranking. This type of attack has become quite popular as the online space grows more and more competitive. Negative SEO is a combination of various attacks that may include DoS attacks, link spamming, bad reviews, content scraping, and the use of fake online social profiles. The attacker can use any tactic to ruin your online reputation and cripple your site’s UX and online performance.

Just how bad are digital threats?

Attackers don’t often target large firms because most of them have robust cybersecurity systems in place. Moreover, successful attacks on big organizations are usually resolved quickly and cannot be replicated. Although there has been a rise in the number of attacks on small businesses, most SMEs have little to lose and not worth the attacker’s effort and time. It’s the middle market businesses that mostly bear the brunt of relentless and severe cyber attacks.

The implications of successful attacks are dire. According to an annual Cost of Data Breach Report, the average cost of a single data breach in the U.S. is just over $8 million. The monetary losses are only the tip of the iceberg. Cyberattacks can also lead to a loss of brand credibility and trustworthiness, not to mention potential lawsuits. The saddening reality is that a majority of small and medium-sized businesses never recover from severe attacks.

Attackers are mostly motivated by three things – financial gains, sabotage and disruption, and espionage. When it comes to mitigating and preventing attacks, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. You need to examine your enterprise, find potential loopholes, and set up the appropriate security measures, but that’s often easier said than done.