There is a valid explanation for why your antivirus applications are updated often. Typically, it’s because cyber criminals are consistently increasing the intensity and sophistication of their breaches. Yet, the last thing you want to do is to wait for an attack. Setting up cyber security services should be priority number one.
Cyber thieves are motivated to monitor and exploit loopholes. Therefore, it is critical to stay ahead of them at all times. Why? Well, the average cost of cyber crime is around $600 billion annually. Yet, even with this persistent threat, many organizations lack the tools and don’t have managed cyber security services to protect their applications and systems. Further, there is a prominent lack of education around rising digital threats and their associated repercussions.
Cyber attacks are on the rise
If your company has ever had to deal with viruses, malware, ransomware, or cyber attacks, then you have probably already experienced first hand the damage it incurs. Perhaps your services failed or your staff could not complete their tasks as usual. Maybe your customers could not access your website for several hours. With the surging numbers of cyber incidents, undoubtedly, you have already been impacted by a cyber breach.
Cyber attacks can freeze your digital services and communications. Further, it can work to hack sensitive data and cause prolonged downtime. Not having an effective backup and recovery system will cost money, customers, investors, and perhaps expensive regulatory fines, if not permanent damage to your reputation. To prevent these types of damages, prevention and a proactive protocol is the answer for mitigating the consequences.
What is cyber security?
Cyber security is a strategy and set of protocols that protect your systems, networks, and applications from compromising events or unauthorized access. There are so many tactics and methods for securing your digital spaces. The act of cyber security encompasses many technologies that are always evolving to effectively address increasingly-sophisticated cyber attacks.
As organizations expand their digital footprints to compete in the digital age, they must also consider the fact that they are increasing their threat surface. For instance, if you were to build seven brick-and-mortar retail stores but only provide security for one store, what might happen to your other stores? Similarly, it’s important to expand your cyber security strategies as you expand your digital business.
It goes without saying that cyber threats are now a fact of doing business. Thus, it is crucial to incorporate cyber security in every aspect of your expanding network.
What are some typical cyber threats?
There are many different forms of cyber attacks, and they are designed to overcome cyber security technologies. It’s a perpetual race. Still, one of the most common types of cyber attacks is the Distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS).
DDoS can disrupt your web services, compromise data, and even request payment to stop the attack. On the other hand, if a cyber attack is both undetected and persistent, it is called an advanced persistent threat (APT). Unfortunately, many networks have undiscovered APTs that have been giving cyber thieves access to sensitive data without anyone’s knowledge.
Other common cyber threats, include:
Malware can include adware, ransomware, and even Trojan Horse viruses. Malware requires the target to cooperate. So, they may click on a malware-infected link or download, which then infects the entire system. Malware may also act as an APT or ransomware to extort money from the target.
When a cyber criminal bypasses authentication to access your network, this is called backdooring. Malware is frequently used to gain user privileges or to exploit loopholes. At times, programmers create backdoors in their applications to maintain access at any time.
Social engineering uses a manipulative strategy to access your networks. Cyber criminals often replicate emails or social media messages that appear authentic and mimic an organization. The socially engineered message may state a false emergency such as the end user’s account has been hacked and they need to visit a fake site to re-enter their information, login credentials, and even payment details. What the target doesn’t know is this is not an authentic message, and the sites are not trusted either. As a result, educating your staff is vital for preventing social engineering tactics from gaining a foothold on your user credentials.
Invariably, every organization has aspirations for growth. Over time, growth and expansion do happen. As your company grows, so should your cyber security strategies grow concurrently. In addition, increasing your cyber security tactics will build confidence among your customers, your investors, your followers, and your employees. Not to mention, you reduce the stress of constantly worrying about a cyber attack. Setting up an adequate cyber security plan and implementation reduces the anxiety associated with expecting an attack at any time. Instead, you’ll feel your business is more secure overall.
You’ll also save yourself the process of having to manage attacks after they happen. A responsive approach is never successful in the end. A good working environment is one where it has a culture of shared responsibility.
Overwhelming the IT staff
If a cyber breach does occur, then your in-house IT team will have to work overtime to get the services back online and running securely. Perhaps you’ve already experienced this type of wake-up call, underscoring the message that your networks are always at risk. Well, then it’s probably time to start asking how to better secure your organization against cyber security attacks.
One of the most effective methods is by partnering with a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) and implementing managed cyber security services. It’s also the most cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes. As a result, you are assured your organization is always updated with the latest and most relevant cyber security solutions.
An MSSP is an addition to your existing cyber security program, where you get protection at the hardware, software, and data level from cyber attacks. An MSSP will also monitor your systems 24/7 to ensure quick response and mitigation of any threat. Thus, your systems are monitored even when you’re asleep.
Since cyber threats are common, many businesses opt to partner with an MSSP to take some of the burden off their in-house IT teams and also to relieve stress. Most especially, it’s to save the costs of dealing with a damaging breach. Some of the services may include:
- Blocking viruses and spam
- Implementing system changes and upgrades
- Managing firewalls
- Detecting intrusion attempts
- Configuring and securing a virtual private network (VPN)
Other essential services, include:
- Log monitoring and management
- Vulnerability management
- Device management
- Cyber security consulting
What is convenient about partnering with an MSSP, is they offer their services as a SaaS model with a predictable monthly subscription rate. You only pay for what you use, and you don’t have to deal with hiring additional staff or buying more servers. Some of the advantages include:
- Lowering cyber security costs
- Access to cyber security expertise and tools
- More time to focus on what you do best
- Automated detection and repair of vulnerabilities
- Proactive insight and alerts
- Cyber attack prevention
- Faster response times
Cyber criminals don’t care about the size of your organization
It’s no longer safe to assume that if your company is small, that cyber criminals won’t attack. They will. Why? Because they know that smaller organizations have limited resources, and therefore, limited options for preventing an oncoming threat. It’s like low-hanging fruit and an easy target. Often, small businesses wait for their business to grow before investing in adequate cyber security. By then, it is often too late. The good news is you don’t have to hire an entire team when you can partner with an MSSP instead.
What types of businesses use managed cyber security services?
Businesses of all types and sizes use managed cyber security services. Why? Well, technology has proliferated every aspect of doing business in the modern world. As such, a company-wide cyber security system is crucial for protecting sensitive data and preventing long-term problems that may even cause a business closure. However, there are some sectors that do incur higher risks due to the nature of the type of data and records they manage.
The healthcare sector has always been a target for cyber criminals because they want to access patient records for various reasons. Sometimes they sell them on the dark web, or they may use them for more nefarious purposes such as blackmail. Over the past decade, over 189 million healthcare records have been stolen and exposed. In fact, more than one healthcare data breach happens everyday.
Manufacturing is another major target because this sector may manage pharmaceuticals, transportation, and electronics. Theft of these types of records can be quite lucrative for cyber criminals. Manufacturing firms hold significant amounts of plans, intellectual property, schematics, and plans. Even competitors may breach a system for financial gain. Cyber crime is a dirty business and some players are other businesses themselves. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), connected devices need a solid plan for securing their data.
Unquestionably, banks are always a target--whether in the digital or physical world. As such, many banks are increasing investments in cyber security. Since so many financial services’ customers use their mobile devices to move funds, add funds, and make trades, the threat surface is even higher.
The education industry is also a treasure chest filled with financial data such as credit card numbers, government-issued ID cards, social security numbers, private consumer information, educational records, and more. Some cyber criminals only want to change grades for personal gain. On the other hand, other threat actors may seek educational records to land a better job or to sell.
As you can see, all types of businesses use and should use managed cyber security services. If you aren’t sure where to start, contact SSI today. We can help protect your network and data 24/7 so you don’t become another cyber crime statistic.