What Is Cyber Security?
Cyber security is the practice of protecting systems, networks and programs from digital attacks by hackers. The goal of all cyber security is to prevent malicious actors from gaining unauthorized access to your hardware, software and data.
When it comes to protecting your business against hackers, the statistics are sobering.
- 63% of companies say their data was potentially compromised within the last 12 months.
- Data breaches cost enterprises an average of $3.92 million.
- $17,700 is lost every minute due to phishing attacks.
- 60% of breaches involve vulnerabilities for which a patch is available but not applied.
Unfortunately, the average business does not have the resources to effectively combat today’s sophisticated cyber threats and attacks. That’s where Ntiva comes in.
Ntiva provides a wide range of advanced security solutions that can protect your business from unrelenting attacks, providing proactive protection around the clock.
Reach out to us and set up an exploratory call to see how we can protect your business!
Learn How Ntiva Delivers Managed Security Services
Should You Be Concerned About Cyber Security?
To answer that question, it’s helpful to first understand why cyberattacks happen. Most hackers and cyber criminals are motivated by the potential for monetary gain. But some are in it for the thrill alone, while others focus on political reasons. Here are the top reasons behind most cyberattacks:
1. Steal sensitive information that can be used or sold for profit.
2. Extort the business (e.g., ransomware attacks).
3. Disrupt services.
4. Make a statement (often political).
One thing is certain: Hackers are becoming more innovative, more professional, and more ruthless.
Emerging Cyber Security Risks
In 2019, ransomware caused a breathtaking $11.5 billion in damage. The average cost of a ransomware attack was estimated at $141,000—up more than 200% from 2018.
Cyberattacks powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are also increasing. Hackers armed with these disruptive technologies are able to develop smart malware that can pinpoint vulnerable targets with lightning-fast speed and startling accuracy. AI and machine learning can enable hackers to bypass spam filters and get around anomaly detection engines.
And this is where things get tough. Most businesses don't have the resources to effectively combat cyberattacks, especially as these attacks constantly change and evolve. And hiring an in-house cyber security team is out of reach for the average company, especially in light of the current cybersecurity skills shortage.
If all of this concerns you, it should. And while you might initially focus on protecting your hardware and software, there are many ways hackers can break into your systems, including:
Clearly, a comprehensive approach to cyber security is warranted. That said, many businesses still fall short of building the security strategies needed to fully protect their systems and sensitive information.
Common Cyber Security Mistakes
Many small and medium-size businesses lack the resources or time to be more proactive about security. Or they may believe (mistakenly) they don’t have enough valuable information to steal. This leads them to make some classic blunders.
Here are the top five most common cyber security mistakes we see companies make:
- Inadequate security training. Did you know the #1 tactic hackers use to gain access to small business is malicious email? Employees are typically the weakest link in the security chain. It’s therefore essential to educate staff on cyber security best practices.
- No acceptable-use policy. Do your employees know what they can and cannot do on company devices and networks? Many businesses don’t bother to develop clear policies around internet usage, email usage, software installation policies, password policies and downloading attachments—which leaves employee devices vulnerable.
- Not keeping software and systems up to date. It sounds so simple, but many companies neglect to keep operating systems updated. (Including the IRS, believe it or not. Read up on the risks of outdated technology.) Cyber criminals are famous for exploiting old software vulnerabilities. Businesses must be diligent about software updates and patch management.
- Not managing access and admin privileges. All users should have the privileges necessary for doing their jobs—and no more. Viruses spread readily in an environment in which users have more access than is necessary. It may seem convenient to give some staff local administrative rights on their computers, but those rights can put the entire organization at risk.
- Not having a backup and disaster recovery plan. If you experience a data breach, do you know what to do? How will you secure your network to protect data from further damage? How will you inform partners and customers? Every business needs a business continuity plan that includes an on-site solution for rapid recovery of data and an off-site (cloud) solution for a catastrophic situation.
How Can You Improve Your Cyber Security?
Understanding you have risks and vulnerabilities is one thing—but knowing how to build a comprehensive security strategy is quite another. IT security threats are only getting worse, year over year.
If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend every company prioritize these six cyber security tactics:
1. Upgrade your network security infrastructure, starting with your firewall.
2. Perform regular software updates and patches.
3. Secure the network edge.
4. Improve physical security.
5. Implement cyber security awareness training.
6. Conduct cyber security risk assessments.
Let’s dive into each of these in more detail.
1. Upgrade Your Network Security Infrastructure, Starting with Your Firewall
Most legacy networks are not equipped to deal with the sophistication and frequency of today’s cyberattacks. Assess your infrastructure thoroughly to determine network security viability, then create a prioritized plan to address any deficiencies.
First and foremost, start with your network firewall. While legacy firewalls do provide basic packet filtering, inspection and VPN capabilities, they typically are unable to protect against current threats.Most legacy networks are not equipped to deal with the sophistication and frequency of today’s cyberattacks. Assess your infrastructure thoroughly to determine network security viability, then create a prioritized plan to address any deficiencies.
Next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) provide more comprehensive threat protection, including application control, intrusion protection, antivirus, and deep packet inspection. A best-of-breed NGFW will perform all these functions simultaneously with no performance degradation, while also offering integrated security management and scalability to meet future requirements.
2. Perform Regular Software Updates and Patches
Aging software is especially susceptible to cyberattacks. If you’re not convinced, consider the Equifax breach, which exposed the personal data of more than 140 million Americans. According to security solutions provider McAfee, “The hackers were able to access the credit reporting agency’s data through a known vulnerability in a web application. A fix for this security hole was actually available two months before the breach, but the company failed to update its software.”
All applications, operating systems, and security software should be reviewed regularly, and software updates and security patches subsequently applied. Identify any software that is no longer supported by the manufacturer or provider, so it can be upgraded or replaced.
3. Secure the Network Edge
Many businesses make certain their data center standing at the core of their network architecture is secure. But what about branch offices, retail locations, and even the many connected IoT and mobile endpoint devices? In today’s digital business environment, applications, workflows and information need to move seamlessly across environments—and your cyber security strategies must follow.
As the “network edge” becomes more fluid and harder to clearly define, focus on closing vulnerabilities wherever they may be. This means quickly detecting compromises and responding to those compromises in a rapid, comprehensive and appropriate way. To do so, you must have in place the right intrusion detection system and security incident response plan.
4. Improve Physical Security
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) provides an excellent reference resource for securing data and physical assets. ISO 27001 is the corporate security standard outlining best practices for information security management, including the protection of secure areas. Although it’s natural to focus on the “cyber” aspect of cyber security, physical security is still critical. Restricting or denying access to computers, servers, and data centers is an integral part of protecting digital assets, as is educating users on effective physical security protocols.
These physical security measures should include:
- Employing barriers to protect restricted or secure areas
- Limiting entry information to authorized staff
- Safeguarding sensitive equipment for hazards and natural disasters
- Monitoring and controlling delivery and loading zones
- Securing power
5. Implement Cyber Security Awareness Training
From phishing to pharming to inadvertent acts of negligence, employees are often your biggest risk vector. Therefore, one of the most effective ways to protect your organization is to create a culture of cyber security, where training is an ongoing process and your staff understand exactly which behaviors to avoid or embrace.
Simply telling employees how to create strong passwords and hoping for the best is not enough. Traditional classroom and computer-based training should be supplemented with less conventional approaches—multimedia, newsletters, daily email tips, and executive engagement.
6. Conduct Cyber Security Risk Assessments
A structured risk assessment can help identify and address significant security gaps that may be putting your company’s data, digital assets, and network at risk. A typical assessment involves defining the system, identifying threats, determining the potential impact, analyzing the environment, and finally calculating the associated security risk.
While an assessment can be performed on any application, asset, or process within the organization, multiple assessments may be too expensive and time-consuming to be practical. Instead, prioritize those systems or applications that are most critical to the business and represent the highest risk—then target those for review first.
Alternatively, some businesses choose to engage a specialized security partner. The right partner should bring extensive experience to the table and should be capable of providing an objective view of your organization, as well as clear steps to remediate and issues they identify.
What Cyber Security Solutions Does Ntiva Offer?
At Ntiva, we build affordable, comprehensive cyber security solutions for businesses of all sizes, in any environment. Our in-house team of cyber security experts protect your data, make sure you meet compliance requirements, and give you confidence your business is safeguarded.
Cyber Security Risk Assessment
A cyber security risk assessment provides your business with an in-depth look at your current security posture. We identify all of your assets that could be affected by an attack, understand the risks associated with each element, help you define what needs the most protection, and then provide a customized road map with short- and long-term milestones.
Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO)
A Virtual CISO is a service designed to make top-tier security experts available to you on an as-needed basis. Our vCISO talent can bring both strategic and operational leadership to those who can’t afford (or do not need) a full-time resource but do need someone to provide consistent security expertise.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Passwords alone are no longer enough to protect your company against cyberattacks and data breaches. MFA protects your online data by ensuring that only verified users can access your business applications and services.
Intrusion Detection and Response (IDR)
Ntiva’s IDR solution (also known as SIEM) actively monitors your network 24x7 for signs of attack before they happen. It consists of three important layers, including an automated threat detection system, skilled security experts who review these alarms, and remediation that happens in near real-time, without interrupting your business. Intrusion detection systems are considered a must have!
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
Anti-virus software may protect you from the simplest attacks, but it’s unlikely to be capable of protecting against sophisticated modern hacking techniques. Ntiva’s Endpoint Detection and Response uses powerful AI to stop attackers in their tracks—even when your devices are outside the office firewall—backed by a 24x7 Security Operations Center (SOC) that further analyzes any additional undetected threats.
Phishing Prevention Training
Most security incidents start with a phishing attack aimed at employees. Managed anti-phishing training from Ntiva provides you with an automated, 12-month campaign that steadily increases your employee’s abilities to recognize, report, and block attempted phishing attacks.
Vulnerability Scanning and Remediation
Ntiva’s Vulnerability Scanning and Remediation solution scans your network for the kinds of vulnerabilities attackers target most, including missing security patches, insecure settings, and unneeded services. The findings are analyzed, prioritized, and addressed, closing loopholes before attackers can exploit them.
IT Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC)GRC refers to a strategy for managing an organization’s overall governance, enterprise risk management, and compliance with regulations. Ntiva can help you create a well-planned GRC strategy, which includes creating, auditing and managing a clear framework that aligns your IT and business strategies.
How Does Ntiva Deliver Cyber Security Solutions?
Managed Security Services: Our Stand-Alone Package
As a small or medium-sized business, you might not have the resources you need to protect yourself from today’s cyber threats. Ntiva understands SMB environments, risks, and budgets. That’s why we offer an affordable, turnkey cyber security service to organizations that cannot afford to launch and operate a cyber security team in-house.
Our stand-alone managed security package delivers enhanced security protection, managed for you by a specialized team and backed by a Security Operations Center (SOC) around the clock. This plan includes:
New Client Onboarding
At Ntiva, we pride ourselves on delivering an excellent customer experience from day one. To achieve this across a broad spectrum of industry verticals, our robust onboarding process includes four phases:
Phase 1: Service Definition
The definition of services is a crucial part of the onboarding process. We discuss every service outlined in the signed Service Agreement to ensure our team has an in-depth understanding of your business prior to on-site data gathering, process documentation, and ongoing support.
Phase 2: Data Collection
Our technicians visit your site to gather information about your IT environment and to begin the documentation process. Their extensive engineering checklist covers such things as network investigation, security assessment, backup verification, server room inspections, and policy documentation.
Phase 3: Internal Information Review
The primary goal of this phase is to ensure your IT environment will meet your needs now and as your business grows. We review the information collected in Phase 2 with your dedicated team alongside our specialized senior technicians if needed.
Phase 4: Orientation Meeting and Service Handoff
Your Ntiva team meets with you to review your new client manual. This review includes a discussion of all findings, including recommendations for additional changes. It also includes the final tailoring of support procedures if needed. We schedule any recurring on-site visits and set up the cadence for recurring meetings between you and your Account Manager.