Failing to focus on cybersecurity issues today will bring far worse consequences to your business than yesterday’s failure to lock your premises or fix your computer to your desk. Cybersecurity attacks now come on all fronts and in many disguises.
Moreover, sitting at your virtual gate, waiting for their chance, are daily threats from every malicious entity you can name. And others are incubating on the dark web. Cybercrime is now big business, and bolstering cyber defenses with security services is critical, as the White House recently acknowledged in the wake of Russian aggression.
For this reason, cybersecurity must become central to your agenda.
If, however, your security services took a back seat previously for economic reasons, the time for false economy has passed. In an interconnected world, security services are indispensable.
And if you doubt this assessment, consider these three very different questions:
- Would you hand over a ransomware fee hoping to stop the malefactor releasing your sensitive data to the world?
- Do you believe your data are safer because they’re in the cloud?
- Can all users access your systems at every level with no network access control?
They’re just fragments of your risk landscape!
In this article, we’ll share multiple aspects of cybersecurity and show you how installing a strong cybersecurity strategy will protect your sensitive data from cyber attacks. And if it all seems too complex to manage, we’ll also suggest why a cybersecurity service provider may be the way to relieve your concerns!
- What is Cybersecurity?
- What Cyber Attacks Does Your Business Face
- Dealing With Cybersecurity Threats to Your Business
- What is a Cybersecurity Service Provider?
- What Do Cybersecurity Service Providers Offer?
- Vulnerability Analysis and Assessment
- Network Security Monitoring
- Incident Response and Remediation
- System Auditing
- Security Posture
- Other Questions We Get Asked About Cybersecurity
- How to Find a Reliable Cybersecurity Service Provider
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting your internet-connected systems and sensitive information from cyber attacks that disrupt your network, systems, and data. In turn, that damages your business operations, financial position, and – ultimately – your reputation.
The best solution is therefore to maintain a robust, modern cybersecurity approach that’s effective and efficient and kept up to date. This is where security services and strategies enter the equation.
The reason is that a strong cybersecurity strategy elevates your security posture (see below) to current standards and therefore keeps you protected 24/7/365 in an era when malicious attacks evolve by the month and target your
- customer data,
- sensitive business information, and
- employees’ personal data.
A sound cybersecurity system will therefore be your best way to counteract the growing volume and sophistication of 21st-century cyber attackers and attack techniques.
Let’s check out what we’re talking about here.
What Cyber Attacks Does Your Business Face?
- Malware is a form of malicious software specifically designed to gain unauthorized access and harm your computer’s ability to operate safely and effectively. Examples of malware software include spyware, viruses, and worms.
- Ransomware is another malicious software. It involves an attacker blocking your access to computer system files until you pay a ransom to regain control.
- Phishing attacks from cyberspace take the form of fraudulent email or text messages. They resemble those from reputable known sources, often using their logos to seem convincing. They aim to steal sensitive data, such as your login information or personal details.
- Insider threats are security breaches or losses that come from the people inside your organization. These might be current or former employees, or contractors and business associates.
- Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks disrupt your clients, denying them access to your system. For example, the attacker floods your server or website with internet traffic to slow the system or crash it so your business can’t operate.
- Advanced persistent threats are planned attacks that focus on a network. Your attacker remains undetected for a long period of time in order to steal your organization’s data. They therefore don’t attack your system or network. The aim is to remain inside for as long as possible stealing any data that’s sensitive.
- Man-in-the-middle attacks are eavesdropping attacks that involve an attacker positioning themselves between you and someone else and intercepting the supposedly private conversation.
Dealing With Cybersecurity Threats to Your Business
To defeat attacks coming from cyberspace, you need the right combination of
- staff expertise,
- information security processes, and
- IT solutions.
These become the foundation for strong cybersecurity in your business. However, not all small businesses can afford this combination. And even if they can, it’s challenging to maintain and scale the cybersecurity measures as you grow.
On the other hand, managed security services, which we’ll look at now, not only fill your security gaps, but also defend your critical infrastructure and improve your incident response.
What is a Cybersecurity Service Provider?
Cybersecurity service providers are third-party companies who manage and offer network security monitoring for other businesses. This means you can contract out your cybersecurity services if they’re too expensive or time-consuming for you to maintain and upgrade in-house.
What do Cybersecurity Service Providers Offer?
This is the key question you need to consider! Cybersecurity service providers partner with you to offer customized security solutions to protect your business from the various cyber threats we’ve outlined.
They align security programs to your unique business needs and create processes that safeguard your company’s digital assets. Cybersecurity service providers always aim to protect your biggest asset, which in today’s information age is your data. Your service provider offers protection against vulnerabilities and potential threats that can steal these data. So let’s look at how they do it.
To protect your data that’s sensitive from malicious actors, cybersecurity service providers offer the following security services:
1 Vulnerability Analysis and Assessment
A vulnerability analysis and assessment is the comprehensive process of determining and prioritizing vulnerabilities in your computer systems, applications, and critical infrastructure. It’s the first part of the security program.
Understanding your vulnerabilities beforehand is crucial. It means a cybersecurity provider can keep your infrastructure secure by remedying the situation before these weaknesses become actual cyber threats.
Steps involved in the process include:
- Defining and classifying network or system resources
- Assigning levels of importance to these resources
- Identifying potential threats to your organization’s resources
- Creating a cybersecurity strategy to deal with potential problems with the highest priority
- When and if an attack occurs, implementing ways to minimize the consequences of an attack.
2 Network Security Monitoring
Network security monitoring is one of the security services your provider will offer as an automated process. It monitors network devices and traffic to detect cybersecurity vulnerabilities and potential threats before they happen and respond to cybersecurity breaches quickly. In this way, they secure your sensitive information.
To put in place the monitoring, cybersecurity services providers come into your business and install a network monitoring application that examines and tracks your network for any suspicious activities, potential vulnerabilities, and threats, etc.
Once the system detects a vulnerability or threat, the application is able to create alerts and reports. This, in turn, quickly initiates an incident response that takes appropriate actions to fix the security issues. The primary factors reviewed in a network monitoring security system include:
- Network payload
- Network protocols
- Client-server communications
- Traffic patterns
- Encrypted traffic sessions
- Traffic flow
3 Incident Response and Remediation
When you find you can’t avoid a cybersecurity incident, it’s essential you have an incident response and remediation plan in place!
With your cybersecurity provider at the helm, the security program or plan they work out with you creates a foundation for
- dealing with incidents in the early stages,
- solving the root cause of the incident, and
- setting up solutions that will help you recover your daily operations.
You’ll find many benefits to your business when this security program is in place:
Firstly, the incident response team will be able to help you reduce any impact on your business. Executing the plan quickly limits possibly exponential damage and also protects your sensitive information, which attackers could use to bring your business down.
Secondly, updates and repairs to your security controls ensure your network environment and cybersecurity strategies always perform as expected.
And thirdly, you gain clarity on your own security responsibilities and on the roles the cybersecurity services are providing for your organization.
With all this in place, you can rest assured your network is safe.
4 System Auditing
The system audit is a comprehensive review and evaluation of your business’s information system and controls, as well as their use, efficiency, and security.
Why? Your computer network system is a major focus for attackers as it stores your business’s sensitive data!
To ensure the security of any data that’s sensitive, then, your cybersecurity services provider will audit and point out weak links and risky practices. They’ll also advise on best practices and any security controls you need to put in place. These might relate to industry and geographic standards such as data protection rules. Or to installing network access control to limit who can access which level of information.
In addition, auditing allows you to provide reassurance to your clients and contractors.
However, whether you have one audit or a regular audit process, it must be impartial, critical, objective, and systematic. The bonus is, this makes the incident response process much easier because a proper review of your systems by the cybersecurity services has been done in advance!
5 Security Posture
To be able to invest in the right cybersecurity strategy and security solutions, you need accurate knowledge about the state of your cybersecurity – what’s working, and what’s not.
Security posture therefore refers to your business’s overall cybersecurity strength, the security status of your information, network, and systems, and your ability to prevent and respond to cyber attacks.
Your security providers, if you contract with them, will determine this “cybersecurity readiness” by how you deal with vulnerabilities, threat detection, incident response, sensitive information handling, reporting, recovery, and much more. They can then help you improve it.
Your security posture is of course key to how ready you are to fight off a cyber attack. Ask yourself these questions:
- What is the level of visibility of your IT assets to any possible attack surface?
- What ability do you have to detect, contain, and recover from attacks?
- What controls and security solutions do you have that will protect your enterprise from a cyber attack if it were to happen at this moment?
The answers will help you decide if partnering with a provider is the right way forward for your business.
Other Questions We Get Asked About Cybersecurity
What is a security operations center (SOC)?
This is a third-party unit that’s responsible for monitoring and analyzing an organization’s security posture on an ongoing basis. The major responsibility of a SOC is to prevent potential cyberspace threats and security breaches from materializing. They protect your business via network monitoring and analyzing all activities in your hardware and software IT assets. They use automated tools and processes to track your security status in real-time.
What is penetration testing and why is it important?
This is a security solution put in place to prevent advanced persistent threat attacks. Penetration testing is important because it identifies security vulnerabilities before an intruder has a chance to infiltrate your network system. You’ll have heard of “benign” hackers reporting vulnerabilities to big firms. They’d carried out penetration testing!
What is remote security monitoring?
Remote security monitoring is the monitoring of an entire security system from afar. Cybersecurity providers offer 24/7/365 remote monitoring to prevent malicious attacks on your network. They insert triggers that will notify the authorities if an alarm is raised. You may work an eight-hour day, but your systems are vulnerable round the clock, so remote monitoring can be essential these days.
What is a security standards assessment?
A security standards assessment is a cybersecurity strategy that tests your existing security solutions, security programs, tools, and processes in order to look for vulnerabilities that may attract hackers.
How to Find a Reliable Cybersecurity Service Provider
When you’re looking to partner with a managed cybersecurity service provider, it’s crucial to find the right fit. You also want the highest quality security services at affordable pricing. Sound challenging? It could be for some smaller businesses. So, we’ll give you some pointers.
1 Check out their operational standards
When evaluating a possible cybersecurity service provider, you can trust those who follow information security (infosec) standards. If they offer up-to-date security and compliance processes, this is a reliable metric for getting the cybersecurity strategies your business and data need. Firewalls, antivirus software, and encryption tools are no longer sufficient in an age of cloud computing! You need layers of security tools, not reputational damage and hefty fines!
2 Prioritize performance
Apart from being verified and certified, having both cybersecurity skills and experience matters in a security services provider. So, ask about how many clients they have, their approach to fast incident response, their past and current security reputation, and their relationship with clients who have similar needs to yours.
3 Align your security focus
What are your company goals – both in the near future and longer term? What level of security posture do you need to achieve those goals? You should choose a cybersecurity service provider who can adapt to your security needs and focus as you continue to grow and scale your business.
Uprite Can Help You Guard Against Cybercrime
All businesses are at risk of hackers infiltrating networks, stealing data and identity for terrorists to use, or simply bringing your business to a standstill. If security is vital for Homeland Security, it’s vital for you!
Here at Uprite Services in Houston and San Antonio, as a cybersecurity service provider we take pride in having a team of cybersecurity experts you can depend on 100% for a secure solution and protection from cybersecurity risks. And we have the experience and skills to provide you with the highest-quality cybersecurity to meet your unique needs. One of our experts will be happy to discuss how our cybersecurity services can give you peace of mind in the face of cybercrime. Why not book a call today?