Approaching Cyber Security Risks in Today’s Environment

The chances that your organization is vulnerable to cyber security risks are high. According to Business Insider, the rate of cybercrime increased by 600% during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the total cost of all cybercrime damages in 2021 is expected to amount to about $6 trillion worldwide.

Even with all the press and attention cyber security is receiving today, many organizations are unsure of what to do, or worse yet, think they are just fine and don’t need to do anything.

IT service companies are conducting and encouraging their customers to conduct yearly risk assessments. Because this approach to cyber security is standard practice, a risk assessment is an excellent tool for identifying where your business is vulnerable and deciphering how you will continuously handle future cyber security initiatives.

The Tool We Recommend for Mitigating Cyber Security Risks

Most business owners and managers are unsure of how to stay on top of the ever-changing IT environment. At Anderson ZurMuehlen Technology Services (AZTS), we advise our clients to make the switch from conducting an annual risk assessment to utilizing a managed security services platform. Firstly, these platforms leverage best-in-class tools to identify, address, and monitor their critical IT infrastructure. Secondly, this approach provides the best chance to limit the effects of a cyberattack. Finally, the solution is comprehensive, positioning the business to recover from an attack as quickly as possible.

Our recommendation for any business connected to the internet is to select a managed service that meets their needs. Additionally, businesses should weigh the cost vs. risk and decide what areas are a must for protection.

What to Consider for Your Managed Security Service:

Backups

Isolated backups are critical in recovering from a cyber security attack. For a growing number of businesses, an attack like a crypto locker can have a considerable revenue and reputational impact. As a result, secure and complete backups are one of the best protection for your business against these threats.

Virus and Malware Protection

Most businesses have some type of virus and malware protection in place. Therefore, managing and keeping this software up to date is critical in protecting against known threats.

Email Protection

One of the most effective pathways into your business is via email. As a result, unsuspecting users often invite access through cleverly created email campaigns designed to confuse you and your employees into opening the gate. Email protection systems are a great tool to help defend against these attacks.

User Education

A well-educated employee is the most important and effective defense against cyber security threats. Knowing when something doesn’t seem right and knowing what to do can stop a cyberattack before it starts. End-User awareness programs are a simple, quick, and effective tool.

Dark-Web Scans

The dark web is only accessible by means of special software, allowing users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable. Hackers will post account information obtained during successful cyber attacks for others to exploit. A dark web scan identifies compromised accounts in your organization and provides the opportunity for you to address those compromised accounts.

Vulnerability Identification & Mitigation

It’s critical to know what vulnerabilities exist on the systems within your organization and at its internet connection point. Therefore, performing regular scans and addressing any known vulnerabilities increases your protection.

Security Operations Center

A Security Operation Center actively monitors your network 24/7, 365 days a year for abnormal activity. Consequently, the ability to see suspicious traffic and isolate the activity gives business owners the quickest possible response to new threat attacks.

Firewall Management

Firewalls are a staple of the business network. Located between your internal network and the internet, a firewall protects your network against unauthorized access. However, a firewall is only effective based on the quality of its configuration and frequency of updates. Similar to a desktop or laptop computer, a firewall runs an operating system subject to vulnerabilities and attacks. Consequently, your firewall must be kept up to date and configured for your changing network needs.

How to Choose a Managed Security Service Provider

There is a great deal to keep track of when managing your cybersecurity risks. A managed services approach allows your business to tailor a protective approach to deploy, maintain, and monitor each of the above areas based on your risk.

Our cybersecurity experts recommend choosing a managed services solution. Ask your IT services provider to provide a comprehensive solution that begins with a scoping assessment. Above all, it is crucial to understand the risks you face. A managed security service provider should design a solution that meets your needs. To help you choose a provider that fits your needs, we’ve included a chart to help you see how potential providers stack up.

Unfortunately, it’s not a matter of if, but when you will experience the impacts of a cyber attack. Protecting your customers, employees, and business as best as possible will ensure the long-term success and viability of your business.

As an IT-managed security services provider, AZTS is pleased to be a resource to you. Please contact us with any cybersecurity, managed security service, or risk assessment questions.

This article was written by Robert Culpon, CIO and Shareholder in our Technology Services division.

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