Keeping your data secure is first and foremost on the minds of most organizations in 2017. Being able to secure your internal network and all the data that it holds is a major concern, and for good reason. The expense of recovering from a data breach, the potential for lawsuits, not to mention the loss of trust you will experience from your clients can be devastating. If you have been holding off on revamping your firm’s IT security for financial reasons, consider that the cost of preventing disaster is nothing compared to what it will take to clean it up.
Cybersecurity: What You Need to Know
Cybersecurity these days is a moving target. It is constantly evolving to meet the needs of increasingly insidious and clever threats. By gaining a clear understanding of the various elements involved, you will be better able to determine and deploy the best solutions for your firm. The types of security systems you should have in place include:
- Infrastructure: your IT infrastructure includes your network and all the devices it connects to, like routers, modems, switches, and firewalls.
- Endpoint: endpoint security has to do with the endpoints of your data, which include your servers, computer workstations, mobile devices, and laptops.
- Data: securing your data involved protecting your stored data, including files, documents, messaging, and storage drives.
- Physical: a more tangible aspect of security, involving access to your physical location, offices, and any IT rooms that house your infrastructure.
- User: this refers to your workforce, as well as anybody who has access to your network, the security of their email, their passwords, and all their activity within the network.
A well-designed security protocol will require adopting best practice protocols to each of these separate areas. By overlooking any small detail, your firm could be left open to attack.
A Word about Social Engineering
One of the most common threats nowadays is called social engineering, which is defined as the act of coercing an individual into divulging personal information such as passwords. This gives cyber-thieves easy and instant access to your system. No matter how secure you think your systems are, if the threat originates from within, it is difficult to detect. Establish a clear security protocol and train everybody in your firm to recognize an attempt at social engineering – from the partners right on down to reception. Nobody should be exempt, as it can happen to anybody.
Embracing Change is Necessary
When you are first setting up a new security protocol, you may experience some resistance. Each of these necessary changes will require an altered approach to the way things are done, and you might hear protests like “this isn’t good for my workflow,” or “it’s going to slow me down.” These are all common responses, and in reality, they may be within their rights to express their concerns. However, the benefit of an enhanced security protocol far outweighs the alternative. Additionally, newer security products are much more nimble, and provide better integration with a range of platforms, making them much less cumbersome in terms of system performance. Hopefully, their protests will be short-lived.
Some of the changes you might implement include two-factor authentication, which requires users to sign in with a password, and then enter a code that is sent to their email or mobile device to confirm their identity. This may initially slow down the access, but it provides a robust layer of security that is very difficult to breach.
The transition might not be easy, and you won’t get everybody on board immediately. Remaining firm in your resolve, and educating your workforce as to the advantages while helping them through the change may take a little patience. The IT consultancy or firm that you hire to implement the new security protocols may be able to help you through this, providing training, and support along with a little enlightening technical insight.
The Value of Using a Managed Services Provider
Helping you to understand what changes need to be made, and providing support during the implementation phase is a valuable resource that a managed services provider (MSP) provides. An MSP provides all the support you need, whether it be full-service, occasional consulting, or security services support. However, with a widespread and major focus on security issues, many MSPs have rushed to offer security services they may not be fully invested in. Choose your provider carefully, and make sure that all of your security needs are being met.
How to Select a Managed Services Provider
Choose an MSP that specializes in security with ties to the cloud. It should be one that offers a range of security solutions to suit your very specific needs. Ensure that they have the appropriate recognized security credentials, and check past client references to establish that their claims are real. Seek out an MSP that is experienced in your industry, and is familiar with compliance standards. They should be able to help you design an end-to-end security policy for your firm, and go on to train your employees in its operation and ongoing deployment. If necessary, check out several firms before you decide. Look for recommendations from colleagues, and do your research. It is really important for your MSP to be a good fit. Once you have established who you want to work with – get to work right away! There is no time like the present, and that holds true for most things, including IT security and finding the right managed services provider.