You’re looking for something to watch on TV. As you scroll through the options, you see a nature documentary that looks *sort of* interesting.
You watch as a herd of wildebeests drink from a river. But a crocodile is lurking — just waiting for an opportunity.
Some of the wildebeests are alert to potential dangers. But others are just not paying attention. You’d think they’d be more careful — don’t they KNOW there are crocodiles around? Don’t they remember their herd buddy that got munched last month?
One carefree, oblivious wildebeest walks away from the herd, puts its shaggy head to the water, and…
Oh no! You change the channel before you find out the fate of that unfortunate wildebeest.
(Cyber) danger is lurking — what’s your risk?
We’ve talked before about the reasons to implement cybersecurity controls. We aren’t into scare tactics, but the truth is ALL businesses (even — or especially — small/mid-sized ones!) need to be protected against cyberattacks.
It is a fact that there are crocodiles cyber risks lurking in wait for the unsuspecting. And we know that many businesses have fallen victim to phishing, data breaches, and ransomware (you probably even know someone who had their credentials compromised within the past year!).
It’s clear that the danger is out there. But how can you assess the risk level (and level of preparedness) of your business?
A governmental agency called the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed a very useful framework for that purpose.
Assessing your risk with NIST
Definitions and implementation of cybersecurity controls can vary greatly from business to business.
The NIST Cybersecurity Framework provides a user-friendly way to understand cybersecurity challenges and implement best practices to address them.
At the core of the NIST framework are five principles:
At Varay Managed IT, we cover each of these principles to keep our clients’ data protected. Our V-Secure services address the security issues businesses commonly face.
This first principle is all about evaluation: how well you know yourself as an organization and where you are at risk. To protect vulnerable data, it’s necessary to identify any gaps that leave you susceptible!
A managed IT services provider (MSP) — like Varay — can assess your data security, evaluate your cyber hygiene, and bring your infrastructure up to speed so that it is best equipped to fend off threats. The right cybersecurity controls provide protection and a plan to face threats confidently.
Like the crocodiles from our nature documentary, hackers are generally opportunistic and look for easy targets.
Do you have strong (difficult to guess) passwords?
Can your employees (and you!) identify phishing emails?
Is your software up to date?
Does your business have an effective firewall?
Skimping on these things can make your business’s valuable information easy pickings!
Identifying such gaps is the first step towards data security. An MSP (like Varay) can conduct a (free!) assessment of your business’ cyber strengths and weaknesses.
Once we’ve identified areas at risk, it’s time to implement tools to protect your information.
- identity protection with multi-factor identification
- Protecting your perimeter with a firewall to block malicious content and unauthorized IP addresses trying to access your information
- Security awareness training to keep you and your employees from falling for common scams and phishing attempts.
Even after protection tools are in place, a business needs ongoing monitoring to stay secure. Depending on your level of compliance and security needs, Varay can implement cybersecurity controls like:
- DNS filtering programs to identify and block the types of sites where threats often lurk
- Dark web monitoring
- Mobile device management (MDM) to make sure mobile devices adhere to security policies
- Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) to monitor the traffic on your network for suspicious activity
- MDR (mManaged dDetection and rResponse): Advanced, 24/7 monitoring by a human to catch threats that an antivirus tool can’t detect
- SIEM (security information event management): a tool to collect and analyze huge amounts of your system’s data — looking for patterns and alerting you to unusual activity
And if your business has industry or governmental compliance requirements, Varay offers compliance as a service to collect, report, and fill out the necessary documents to maintain compliance.
In the world of security threats that we live in, we can just expect that attacks will happen. But when there is an attack — and cybersecurity controls are deployed — how does your business effectively respond and continue operating (preferably without downtime)?
Depending on the threat, responses could include shutting down access of a suspicious user, or containing the damage during a ransomware attack.
Varay’s 24/7 monitoring makes it possible to catch issues and respond accordingly with a quick solution.
In the event that a breach occurs, what is the plan for your business to recover and move on?
We believe that having a business continuity plan and disaster recovery plan is vital to getting your business back on line and on track after a cyberattack.
And whether it’s a natural disaster, human error, or ransomware — effective data backup ensures that your information can be recovered.
Threats abound — but (with the right tools) your business can face them with confidence!
Wherever you are in your cybersecurity journey, Varay has the tools to address the areas of risk in your business.
Contact Varay Managed IT today for a free risk assessment. We would love to help your business have the tools to fend off any threat.