Cybersecurity for Small Businesses
Businesses around the world are dealing with an increasing number of complex and often devastating security threats, such as DDoS attacks, phishing scams, advanced malware, and ransomware. The evolution of cyber-crime means that organizations need to protect their environments from the ever-increasing array of damaging threats. Forrester, IDC and other IT Security Analyst Firms are seeing an increasing number of organizations partner with Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs) to bring in the people, processes and technology necessary to enhance their security programs. MSSPs offer constant monitoring, risk management, and control implementation for the protection of the critical assets and data of the company. In addition, MSSPs have the potential to protect virtually every critical device an organization may use in its day-to-day operations.
Research in the Verizon Breach Report shows that 60% of cyber-attacks on businesses are motivated by financial reasons. However, the number of incidents related to espionage and compromising intellectual property are on the rise as well. Even if the breach is not focused on finance, the cost of these breaches runs into millions of dollars on average, money a typical small business simply cannot afford to lose.
According to a report published in 2016 by the Online Trust Alliance, 91% of security breaches were preventable. Deploying the right cybersecurity solution would have eliminated the critical vulnerabilities that ultimately were targeted by attackers. That said, blaming the businesses for the breach is not reasonable in the vast majority of cases. Managers and owners of small businesses rarely have IT security expertise, have a lot on their plates already, or simply don’t have the bandwidth to prioritize cybersecurity risks and implement the necessary protocols.
Benefits of Managed Security Services for Small Companies
This is why it is necessary for small businesses to consider investing in inexpensive cybersecurity solutions. Here are 5 benefits your business can gain by bringing an MSSP on board:
- Reduce Risk - All it takes for your corporate security to be breached is an employee or related party clicking on a malicious link in an email, also referred to as phishing. Simply clicking a link could lead to a malware infection among other security threats. Once your system is penetrated, handling the issue becomes more difficult than preventing it in the first of place. An MSSP will handle security-related tasks, ensuring your business is not compromised by cybersecurity threats.
- Focus on Your Core Competency - You can focus on the core areas of your business by outsourcing security to an MSSP. The threats aren’t going to stop, even when you have vigilant measures in place. The best option for you is to hire professionals who have the tools and expertise to monitor your environment on a 24/7 basis and ensure that your security posture is optimized.
- Leverage Experienced Experts - MSSPs offer a comprehensive range of cybersecurity services and solutions. They consistently enhance and update their tools and techniques to identify and minimize evolving threats over time. As cyber-crime continues to evolve, it is difficult for businesses to keep up with the cybersecurity threats they are facing. Managed services offer you a range of solutions to protect your network.
- Ensure Protection as Technology Evolves - As businesses grow, they require additional cybersecurity solutions to protect their networks, employees and clients. This means that more devices will be added to your existing infrastructure. Opting for cost-effective cybersecurity solutions for small companies ensures you are equipped to deal with the threats as you keep growing. Otherwise, handling the security issues can be a major hassle and also prove expensive.
- Adopt Proven Strategies - Even if you decide to deal with cybersecurity threats in house, it will take you some time to come up with a comprehensive strategy. During that time, your network will become more vulnerable. An MSSP can come in with a customized security plan that they can implement quickly and effectively. The plan will provide complete coverage for your infrastructure and help defend your business against the threats you are facing now and the threats you will inevitably have to defend against in the future.
Reasons Why You Need Managed Security Services
Given that hiring an MSSP offers a range of benefits, you might wonder why many small businesses still choose to operate without adequate security measures. However, as the wake of destruction grows from these threats, the benefits outweigh the concerns including:
- Keep Control of Your IT Environment - There is a common misconception that you have to cede control of your entire IT security strategy to the MSSP you hire. In fact, the opposite is true. You will have complete control and will make all the decisions pertaining to your cybersecurity. You can protect your environment, which can otherwise be seized by any cyber criminal who manages to penetrate your defenses. Even having the right tools doesn’t help if they aren’t implemented and maintained correctly - something seasoned security experts within a quality MSSP can help you with.
- MSSP’s Deliver a Positive ROI - You can be proactive rather than reactive by investing in inexpensive cybersecurity solutions for small companies. As mentioned above, security breaches can lead to losses worth millions of dollars. By preventing the breaches, you can protect yourself from loss. Organizations have learned the hard way that upfront security investments can prevent breach-related losses.
- Prioritize Your IT Security Investments - 100% security is a myth. There are vulnerabilities in every network. MSSPs conduct a deep, extensive audit of your systems and environment to provide a priority list of risks and controls which will serve as the foundational elements for the security plan for your business. Even if you are familiar with the common cybersecurity issues, an outside expert hand can provide a different and objective perspective.
As you can see, there are multiple ways in which cost-effective cybersecurity solutions for small companies can not only safeguard your business, but also reduce expenses and provide protection for the company’s profits.
Selecting the Right Inexpensive Cybersecurity Solutions for Small Companies
That being said, you still need to choose the right services provider so you can get the solution that make sense for your organization. Here are several fundamental tips:
- Seek referrals and recommendations. You can ask your colleagues in your industry about the MSSPs they have worked with and discuss their experience.
- Assess the type of businesses the MSSP understands and with whom they work well. The best option is to select an MSSP that has worked in similar industries with similar-sized organizations.
- Select an MSSP that is flexible and can customize their services according to your specific needs. MSSPs that offer cookie cutter solutions may not be able to address the issues facing your organization.
- Discuss your budget. Consult the MSSP about the cybersecurity problems you face and get a recommended solution with pricing. Be flexible with your budget; cheap is not the same as inexpensive and MSSP’s that cut corners often leave systems exposed to advanced threats.
- Evaluate the MSSP’s level of customer service and ask for their standard service level agreement (SLA). The MSSP should be willing to address your concerns and queries at all times as cybersecurity threats can emerge unannounced at any time.
“I am convinced that there are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked and those that will be. And even they are converging into one category: companies that have been hacked and will be hacked again.” – Robert S. Mueller, III, Director of the FBI (2012)
In the five years since that statement, we have seen the number of breaches, hacks and strains of advanced malware increase exponentially and hundreds of high-profile organizations, both public and private, have suffered from these consequences.
Of course, not every company has the necessary funding or resources to face an environment where cyber-criminals only have to be right once to perform a breach, and organizations have to be right every time to protect their data. Empowering your IT security team with the right people, processes, and technology by partnering with trusted experts will help your organization better serve your customers, protect your brand, and deliver profits and productivity to your shareholders. By following the above steps and information, you are well on the way to finding a Managed Security Service Provider that cares as much about keeping your critical data safe as you do.