You arm the alarm and lock the door when you leave your home. You always check who’s at the door before letting them in. You might even keep valuable items in a safe that’s stored away for no one to see. These are all things you do to protect your physical security and safeguard your valuables. Why should your business be any different? Technology is evolving and cyber actors are getting only more creative, giving businesses more of a reason to defend their assets. With managed cybersecurity, you can feel confident knowing that a managed service provider has you covered.
Your Business and Its Security Matters
Protecting your cybersecurity is essential. All you have to do is check the news to see what corporations and organizations have fallen victim to a data breach (or a similar technological tragedy) this week. The number of cyberattacks and threats is only increasing and unfortunately, no industry or business is 100% immune from these risks, especially if they don’t have the proper cybersecurity measures in place. Cybersecurity can seem like a hassle—if you think about it, anything that we don’t fully understand can seem like a hassle but that shouldn’t negate its importance. For instance, if you’re ill and don’t feel well, you would probably consider seeing a doctor if you’re not getting better, right? Because cybersecurity can be overwhelming for some at first, it’s precisely the reason why some small businesses might opt to only commit to the bare minimum, if anything at all. Many sometimes wonder, “Why would I be hacked? Why me? How would they even find my network?” But it’s wise to consider this: Just because we don’t know how an outsider would go about gaining access to your network, doesn’t make it impossible.
“It Would Never Happen to Me” Is Not a Good Mentality
Many assume that the odds of experiencing a cyberattack are low but it’s this false assumption that can easily turn someone and their organization into an easy target. Small business owners might be under the impression of, “Why me?,” assuming that hackers must have, “bigger fish to fry,” but targeting the largest corporations isn’t everyone’s cup of tea or within every hackers skillset. Some hackers instead set a wide net, hoping to infiltrate a number of small businesses, rather than just one big kahuna. But let’s say they do have the skillset. What then? Why would a hacker go for a smaller company when they can target a huge enterprise? Well, big companies have a lot of security since they often use and store a lot of data. Smaller businesses might opt for the easy way out and not invest the right amount of time and money into their cybersecurity strategy. That puts these SMBs at risk and hackers target them for exactly this reason. They will exploit any vulnerabilities they see in a system or network. Not running updates, forgetting to install antivirus software, using weak and repetitive passwords (just to name a few things) will all impact your business’ security. A simple misstep can easily morph into a vulnerability, which is why investing in managed cybersecurity is your best bet.
Yes, it’s true that hackers do, in some cases, go after big-name brands and corporations because the high-risk can often come with an even higher reward. However, attacking a large enterprise is far more challenging and more likely to put hackers on the radar. Many experienced hackers usually prefer to keep a low-profile, and targeting behemoths can land them in the spotlight if they’re not careful. Knowing that SMBs are targeted more than even the big name brands is worth keeping in mind.
What Is Managed Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting your systems, data and devices from unauthorized access or acquisition. Simply put, it’s how you can keep your digital network safe and secure. Managed cybersecurity takes the standard security practices to another level with the best resources and protection for your organization. It involves the use of a professional outsourced cybersecurity team to monitor and manage security devices and systems. A managed security provider will help SMBs, usually around the clock, to secure and observe tech systems in place. Keeping businesses cybersafe has become even more of a struggle as technology has evolved but it’s not impossible—with a managed service provider, they stay on top of the trends and research to know what the best course of action is, and if and when it’s time to pivot. With the emergence of AI, and a constantly shifting world economy still attempting to recover from the pandemic, the amount of hackers have grown and their approaches have changed, leaving them equipped with an ability to do a lot of damage. Your IT security should not be disregarded or left for the last minute. A managed cybersecurity team by your side can make all the difference for your SMB, ensuring not only your technological protection but also your sustainability.
What would happen to your SMB if it remains without cybersecurity?
Organizations face a lot of hazards when they don’t have the right digital safety measures. Bad security practices can put information at risk. Tremendous amounts of businesses operate online, even if you’ve got a physical location—chances are, your systems probably all run on the internet. Organizations in healthcare, finance, manufacturing, law, charity, transportation, engineering, practically every industry would benefit greatly from investing in cybersecurity. These industries all hold a great deal of sensitive information that’s worthy of protection. Hackers often try to exploit these types of organizations, knowing very well the value of the data they store.
A huge risk for many companies is malware, which is a software that is meant to disrupt or give a user unauthorized access to a system. Malware is short for “malicious software,” and it can have a monumental effect on the company’s functions, or even shut a business down entirely— sometimes for long enough periods that profit suffers profoundly, or even to a point that they cannot recover.
Malware has been nurtured and revised by hackers so diligently over the last few decades that it’s become more disastrous than ever before, and it can attack victims in ways you would least expect. Take the Rhadamanthys Stealer for example, which takes advantage of social engineering – specifically phishing – to “malvertise” to its victims. All a user has to do is click on a bad ad (this is known as “malicious advertising”) that is “malvertised” to them. Boom: malware. These users are being “phished” into clicking on ads that seem legit, but are actually malware.
Malware can also use artificial intelligence (AI) to its advantage. Luckily, it’s not common on the world wide web yet but ethical hackers have discovered that it’s possible. The powers of AI are almost endless, and there’s a high likelihood that AI-powered malware will continue to be explored and exploited by hackers. Social engineering alone should give us all much to fear but with AI in the mix, the dangers, and therefore the concerns, are multiplied.
Ransomware is a type of malware that hackers use to hijack business data. Cyber criminals will “encrypt” (lock) a device entirely, or lock the information on that device, and only return it (or unlock it) if the victim/target agrees to pay a “ransom fee.” Malware ransom fees can be exorbitant and hackers have learned to study their targets—meaning that they’ll review your records, assess the value of your company, as well as the value of your data, and tailor their asking price depending on what they feel matches it. The biggest problem with ransomware is that you can never be sure what ends up happening to the data—you just have to take their word for it, which isn’t in any way the best case scenario. (The best case scenario is preventing it from happening in the first base.) Even if you get your data back, they could still copy it, publish it publicly, sell it to the highest bidder or all of the above and then some. Some may, “so what?,” if a hacker gets their data but imagine if a competitor purchased that data. Then you’d probably have some more serious concerns, right? That’s the important thing to meditate on here—data is mobile and it can end up in anyone’s hands.
While attackers will attempt to strike any industry with ransomware, there are some that are more likely to be hit. As per the FBI’s IC3 2022 report, the US is the #1 most targeted country, followed by the UK. The numbers in terms of incidence are so extreme that the amount of complaints are literally off the charts, when compared to other countries. The FBI made two separate charts for the data but if we were to combine it, it would look something like this:
Money and Time Lost
All in all, when unprevented, these cyberthreats can consume extensive amounts of time, money, and effort to repair. Ransomware can especially be the most costly. Getting your network up and running after an attack may not be so simple, especially without backups in place.
Prevention, Detection, and Response
Three keys to a successful cybersecurity management plan include prevention, detection, and response. Managed cybersecurity solutions implement only the finest tactics to prevent an attack from occurring, and it usually involves a variety of defenses that operate in conjunction. If anything should occur, 24/7 monitoring will ensure that the event is detected. Then, quick-response is key to mitigate the impact and make sure everything is resolved before it’s too late.
When malware or a virus hits, it has the ability to affect and corrupt an entire network. Network monitoring will help your organization mitigate these risks before anything severe happens. Our IT team will be able to identify and resolve issues as soon as they’re detected, and work to minimize the impacts of cyber threats with good network monitoring. This can help to prevent data breaches, reduce downtime, and protect your entire network.
Your business’s server is essentially the heart of the entire network. Ensuring that your business server remains safeguarded is paramount to protecting your business. Our technicians utilize unrivaled software to watch and protect your server 24/7. If something goes wrong, as your managed cybersecurity partner, we’ll be able to act immediately and take the right steps to prevent any future issues.
We’ll also perform regular updates and maintenance of your server to reduce interruptions, shorten troubleshooting times, deploy software updates, track the health of your server, and more. With these measures in place, your server can last longer and be better prepared against any potential threats that your organization may face.
Cybersecurity Awareness Training
It’s easy to discount cybersecurity awareness training but if you consider that your organization can be hit through an unsuspecting employee, suddenly you can imagine its grave importance. Employees need to understand how damaging cyberthreats can be; it’s the only way they’ll know to be mindful when carrying out their duties. Phishing, for instance, is a very common way that threat actors try to infiltrate a network. It’s so common because it’s so simple, and for someone who isn’t paying attention, it can be far too easy for a phishing campaign to succeed. Attackers can easily trick an employee into clicking on a hyperlink that appears harmless but could actually end up doing a lot of damage to your network. With cybersecurity awareness training, employees will be substantially more prepared to deal with these sorts of situations. There’s even smishing, vishing and phishing simulator training that we can run, to put employees’ knowledge to the test; so, if someone hasn’t learned to be discerning enough, we can help them master identifying and avoiding these malicious attempts.
“A joint study by Stanford University Professor Jeff Hancock and security firm Tessian has found that a whopping 88 percent of data breach incidents are caused by employee mistakes. Similar research by IBM Security puts the number at 95 percent.”—Security Today
Having the Right Equipment: Proper Hardware and Software
One of the most important aspects of good cybersecurity is having the right equipment to protect your organization.
Installing a firewall, for example, for an extra layer of security will make your network less vulnerable to attacks. A managed firewall can be configured by an IT service provider or cybersecurity partner. This includes implementation, constant monitoring, reporting, and analysis.
Having a first-rate business grade antivirus program, like Trend Micro XDR, helps to prevent malicious threats. XDR is created with maximum protection in mind; it protects your business email, cloud, servers, workstations, and more. It offers security beyond just endpoints and its “extended detection” creates protection across multiple layers. When threats go undetected for too long, it poses a greater risk to the system. That’s why the speed and quick response time of XDR is critical to protect your network. Trend Micro XDR will detect and respond quickly to help decrease downtime, lower costs, and protect your business.
Patch Management and Updates
Having up-to-date systems is critical for cybersecurity. Hackers will exploit any vulnerabilities in your network – and they know that out-of-date software is a huge one. Updates often get rid of any bugs or issues missed the first time around but along with that, they include what’s known as security patches. Without those updates, your business remains at risk of these loopholes being exploited, which is why having managed cybersecurity can help you to prevent these sorts of risks that might otherwise be overlooked or ignored.
Budgeting for Managed Cybersecurity
Some organizations might neglect their cybersecurity, assuming that the price point outweighs the services rendered but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, having that buffer and protection with managed cybersecurity will prove to be more cost effective in the event that something does happen. The aftermath of a cyberattack can cost a lot of money, so having the budget for a proper, managed cybersecurity plan will make a lot more sense economically. A trusted and outsourced managed service provider like Computero will work with you to create a plan that aligns with your budget and company needs. At Computero, we understand how important protecting your network and data is, even when your small business might be on a tighter budget in comparison to a huge enterprise. We’ll work with your SMB to find the best solution for managing both your cybersecurity and IT needs.