The main thing to understand about cybersecurity is that it isn’t just one thing, but a whole spectrum of interrelated legal, technical, and personnel challenges. Fail at one, and your entire operation could be at risk. YourITgroup has built its reputation around developing for our clients a set of solid, integrated, and time-tested cybersecurity programs that work.
Benefits of YourITgroup Cybersecurity
Integrated defense strategy
Why Do You Need Cybersecurity?
Because without it, quite simply, your enterprise will be unable to protect itself from network and data breach attacks. The more vulnerable you are, the more likely it is that cybercriminals will make your organization a target.
In the beginning of the computer age—and a long time after that—business owners relied almost exclusively on default firewalls, commercial anti-virus software, and other off-the-shelf solutions to combat the unwelcome intrusions of computer hackers. But those hackers have honed their skills over the years and now engage in sophisticated, highly profitable cybercrime that easily thwarts standard, out-of-the-box defenses.
But what exactly are these criminals after? Well, that depends on the victim. Direct access to company funds would be an obvious target. But the confidential data you’ve accumulated over the years is highly valuable too. This includes usernames and passwords, intellectual property, PII (“personally identifiable information”), PHI (“protected health information”), and much more.
And it’s not just your organization’s operations and data that are at risk. Like contagious diseases that infect the body and then spread to other people, the software and other trickery used by cybercriminals can spread from your network into that of your customers. Such a blemish on your company’s reputation could prove fatal to your business.
How Cybersecurity Works
While general “best practices” exist when it comes to cybersecurity, there is no single one-size-fits-all approach to establishing an effective cybersecurity program for every client. Therefore, we begin with an audit to identify each individual client’s specific vulnerabilities, based on their size, industry, level of staff knowledge, existing production protocols, hardware and software in use, and other relevant factors. From there we can make recommendations as to any changes and improvements that can be made to protect the organization within a set budget range.
Remember, knowledge is power. Whether the cause is carelessness on the part of a computer operator in the typing pool or the opening of a harmless-looking email by the CEO, the threat of cybercrime can occur at any level of the organization. Half the battle to prevent it boils down to educating all staff members on proactive self-defense. They need to recognize the risks posted by all malware, from phishing scams to ransomware attacks, and how to avoid them.
But we go a step beyond that. One frequently overlooked aspect of cybersecurity is the compliance aspect. Local, state, federal, and international regulations place an added burden on businesses to attend to the legal requirements and ramifications of privacy legislation such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and, in Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The Key Costs of Cybercrime
The impact of lax security on your bottom line can be significant.
This is the most obvious one. Your company has valuable assets of monetary value, and cybercriminals want to get their hands on them. According to computer security company McAfee/Intel Security, cybercrime costs the world economy upward of $1 trillion—or roughly one percent of global GDP—in stolen money, theft of intellectual property, and damaged or destroyed data.
The financial losses incurred by companies that suffer data breaches come in the form of the cost to remediate those losses as well as associated liability expenses and regulatory fines. A secondary loss—often more impactful—is the damage to consumer trust and the harm to brand reputation, which can result in lower stock value and the permanent exodus of customers.
While the costs associated with legal judgments, regulatory fines, fees, and assessments, and customer remediation can be steep, rarely do they take into consideration the “below the horizon” costs of cybercrime. These include the theft of intellectual property, the irremediable destruction of valuable data, and the disabling of core operations and critical infrastructure.
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The Business Advantages
No longer should cybersecurity be considered a luxury add-on for small and medium-sized businesses, but a fundamental core component and key business driver.
Better Website Functionality
A data breach or virus infection can easily slow down your website server, or even crash it completely, resulting in the loss of visitors and potential revenue. If the private personal information of customers is compromised in any way, brand reputation can be ruined.
Improved IT Efficiency
An integrated cybersecurity strategy means that all networks, devices, and systems can be monitored all at once, allowing for a quick and consistent response to any potential cyber-threat. Streamlining and automating this process saves time and money.
Protection of Business Reputation
Given the choice between doing business with an organization with a reputation for lax security and a competing company with a spotless record, smart customers will flock to the latter. You can’t put a price tag on trust—which is why a secure IT environment is crucial.
Cybersecurity and the Future of IT
As the world has become ever more reliant on computers and other advanced technologies to conduct its business and day-to-day life, criminals have come up with ever more insidious ways to penetrate firewalls and other cyber-defenses. As a result, private companies and government organizations have had to devote increasing amounts of money and resources to keep them at bay. The most important job of IT professionals today is to secure all systems in order to avoid catastrophic breaches of security.
Let Us Help Protect Your Business with Professional Cybersecurity Services
Defending your organization against attacks and incursions against your computer systems and networks should be your number one priority. Rest assured it will be ours as well.
Our crack team of cybersecurity experts will put together a custom program tailored to your organizations exact needs.
- q What is cybersecurity?
Broadly speaking, cybersecurity comprises practices and protocols for securing digital information, as well as the technology and systems designed to move, store, authenticate, and protect computer data. For businesses and other organizations, cybersecurity includes both the software and hardware installed to keep their operations safe from intruders and to educate employees on how to strengthen those defenses.
- q What are the biggest cybersecurity threats facing businesses today?
Counterintuitively, one of the biggest threats comes from within the organization and not from outside: namely, poorly trained staff members who are not cognizant of their own risky online behavior. The main vulnerability hackers look for is the too-trusting employee who is unaware of evolving cyberthreats and mistakenly opens the door to unauthorized intruders by giving away passwords, innocently installing malicious software, and falling into risky behavior on social media. With proper education, employees can participate in protecting the businesses from the most common types of cyberattacks.
- q What kinds of organizations are most susceptible to cyberattack?
While large organizations holding significant amounts of valuable data and assets might seem like the most attractive targets, the reality is that hackers find that small and medium-sized businesses without dedicated IT expertise make for the easiest targets.
- q What cyberthreats are of most concern today?
If you guessed “ransomware” based on the frequency of such attacks as reported in the business news, you’d be right. It is easy to deploy this type of malicious software; and the offshore locations of such hackers makes them difficult to prosecute. But old school phishing attacks should not be ignored either. With AI and other advanced technologies, hackers can make phishing emails look like the real thing, giving them access to confidential data and other valuable information.
- q What is malware?
Short for “malicious software,” this term encompasses any program or file that a hacker has designed to be intentionally harmful to websites, networks, and computers. Once it infects your system, such malware, can spy on the user’s digital activity, disrupt operations, or steal sensitive information. Common types of malware are computer viruses, ransomware, spyware, worms, Trojans, and keyloggers.
The good news is that ransomware attacks on small and midsize business are on the decline (in part because the hackers have turned their attention to “cryptojacking,” or the hijacking of computers to mine cryptocurrency). The bad news is that ransomware attacks remain a significant threat to SMBs.learn more