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Your business may be asking why is cybersecurity such a big deal? This is an important question that gets asked frequently and sometimes it may be hard for a business to formulate an answer around it. There may be a general lack of understanding the importance of cybersecutiry within your IT infrastructure. Think about all of the connected devices that your business uses and the potential vulnerabilities. The question is when you will be breached not if you will be. It is a misconception to think that your business is safe from a breach. These vulnerability's stem from companies in transition from old technology that companies are having a hard time getting rid of, while at the same time introducing new technology.

It is always the weakest link that breaks the chain, so if you have one old technology sitting in your environment that is not secure, it doesn’t matter how good the rest of your secure technology is. So who’s really out there taking advantage of these cybersecurity problems?

- Cyber criminals – Attack and steal information for profit (example: Equifax breach)

- Hackers – Some are pros that do it for research, others are malicious

- Hacktivists – Politically or socially motivated

- Cyber terrorists – Not common today but could become soon

- Nation States – Launching cyberattacks against other countries

A lot of the things we see today in the current environment can be boiled down into a few major problems. Distributed denial of service attacks is one of the major issues. They are continuing to grow in sophistication and the solution to this is a managed DDoS platform. We’ve all heard about Ransomware as well. It is now becoming harder to catch and more prevalent and causing more financial harm. There are actually several solutions to this:

- Endpoint protection

- Email security

- Patch management.

There are some questions you should be asking when you’re assessing opportunities. Security audits help identify vulnerabilities in the system, so asking a client when the last security security audit or assessment was done is pertinent. If the client has gone through an audit you will want to find out if they’ve developed a plan to treat the security risks. A cybersecurity report needs to be understood by the client in order for them to begin mitigating the risks. Knowing the difference between a threat, vulnerability and a risk is very important. A threat is from an attacker that will use a vulnerability that’s not mitigated because someone forgot to identify it as a risk. As you look at limits of perimeter oriented security posture, you may tell your client you have a multi-layered security approach. We don’t live in a world where perimeter-based security is effective, anymore although it is one part of an effective security strategy. Firewalls are definitely important, but today you have to have a multi-layered approach. Let’s discuss some common misconceptions:

Compliance equals security – Many executives believe that a compliant organization equals a secure organization. They may think, “If I’m aligned with the ISO framework and compliant with regulations like PCI, SOX and GLBA, I must be secure, right?” Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Companies that have been breached are often seen as negligent, and the government steps in with more calls to regulate. The pressure to comply with policy-based frameworks increases, and companies use those frameworks to help fund and drive improvements in security. While this is good, it teaches executives to aspire to a low bar. Just as passing a health inspection doesn’t guarantee that a restaurant will serve good food, compliance doesn’t guarantee security. It is a minimum requirement, and is not enough to protect an organization from the strategies and tactics being used by hackers today.

Only a sophisticated hacker can breach your IT – High-profile cyber attacks are often thought to be sophisticated, but many are caused by attackers taking advantage of basic, often unnoticed security vulnerabilities or failures in IT operations. Additionally, the “bad guys,” whether they are nation states, cybercrime rings, or malicious insiders, are professionalizing and building success in attacking companies. They have developed an entire ecosystem, organizing around the steps they go through to break in and steal data, and buying and selling services to one another. If the malicious actor that has targeted your organization doesn’t have the skills they need to breach your network, they can easily go out and buy them.

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