Whitepaper / by GDR Group
Cybersecurity is one of the most urgent issues facing businesses today. By 2021, the global cost of cybercrime is expected to top $6 trillion, and it can take well over six months to recover from an attack. Given that around 43% of attacks are directed at smaller businesses, it makes sense to be prepared – but did you realize that simply installing antivirus software isn’t enough to keep your business safe anymore? Here’s why.
Why cybersecurity matters
Cybersecurity matters because hacking attempts are rapidly on the rise. There have already been almost 4,000 data breaches in 2019, according to recent reports, which is a 50% increase in data breach attempts over the last four years. This trend is only set to continue, meaning businesses of every size are at greater risk than ever before.
“While an average of 67% of data breach costs were realized within the first year after a breach, 22% accrued in the second year and another 11% accumulated more than two years after a breach.”
A data breach or cyber-attack can cause untold damage throughout your organization. On average, they cost US organizations $8.19m, and the effects can be felt for over two years. What this means is that, if a small or medium-sized business faces a serious cyber-attack, they may not survive the recovery process.
Put simply then; no organization can afford to overlook their cybersecurity planning. It should be part of every business continuity plan. What should companies be on the lookout for in the future?
Cybersecurity: The recent trends
If there’s one word to describe cyber threats, it’s varied. Here are the key facts you should be aware of.
- Phishing scams are everywhere: hackers can craft very convincing messages, emails, and even text messages to convince employees to click on malicious links or divulge sensitive information.
- The Internet of Things (IoT) poses real risks for every business. The more devices a business has connected to the internet, the more vulnerable they are to hacking attempts that can spread through multiple devices at a time.
- Not all vendors or third parties take cybersecurity seriously, and this is a real issue for businesses who exchange personal information and confidential data with them.
- There’s a shortage of cybersecurity professionals to meet the sharply rising demand. Globally, there are almost 1 million unfilled cybersecurity positions.
- The most sophisticated data breaches and hacking attempts are so insidious and hard to detect that they can go unnoticed for up to six months.
If you’ve installed up-to-date antivirus across your infrastructure then you’re protected, right? Not necessarily. Here’s why.
Why antivirus isn’t enough to protect your data anymore
There’s no doubt that antivirus programs have their place. They still offer some protection against malware and viruses, particularly those used by less experienced or sophisticated hackers. The problem is that, on its own, antivirus protection is no longer enough to keep your data secure. Why? Because the threat landscape is changing, and it’s evolving faster than antivirus programs can keep pace with.
“We encourage customers to be very aggressive in deploying solutions that offer a combined approach to security. Antivirus software alone is not enough.”
While we recommend that every organization uses antivirus tools and software as part of their overall cybersecurity strategy, these tools can’t protect you against emerging threats such as identity theft, sophisticated phishing scams, and coordinated cyber-attacks across multiple devices on the same network.
Why you should consider a managed services provider (MSP)
In this ever-evolving cyber landscape, looking after your own cybersecurity needs can feel like an overwhelming and insurmountable task. That’s where managed service providers come in. When it comes to preventing cyber-attacks and managing your security risks, a managed service provider can help you:
- Reduce your exposure to viruses, malware, and other malicious programs
- Educate both management and employees on how to spot potential cyber threats before they happen
- Devise comprehensive security solutions for cloud-based and remote threats
- Incorporate scalable security measures into your business plan that’s flexible enough to grow as your business infrastructure expands
Although antivirus protection is a great start, and it’s a good idea to have points of contact to direct IT questions to in-house, a managed services provider can help protect your business from the very latest and most sophisticated security threats.
Remember, it doesn’t matter whether you run a small, medium, or large organization – every company is a target, and there’s no such thing as being too careful where cybersecurity is concerned.
Choosing the right MSP
When you’re looking for an MSP, here are some points to consider.
- Do your research. Never be afraid to ask questions of your potential provider, and ensure they have experience with the services you require.
- Ensure that the provider can offer you bespoke security solutions that are tailored to your unique business needs. Every business has different challenges, threats, and priorities, and your provider should understand this.
- Make sure that your provider is informed on the latest cybersecurity threats and that they take steps to keep their knowledge up-to-date. The best providers can help you anticipate threats before they arise.
The reality is that cyber-criminals will continue to evolve and find new ways to target vulnerable data. There will be a continuing shift towards proactive rather than simply responsive approaches to cybersecurity planning.
“A lack of experienced staff to monitor and help protect networks from cybercrime is the top risk organizations face…”
MSPs and other security services providers will, for many years to come, play an increasingly significant role in keeping businesses of every size safe and their data protected. While it’s impossible to prevent and anticipate every possible cyber-attack, specialist consultants are best placed to help businesses devise and implement the most robust possible defenses against cyber-criminals.
For more information on cybersecurity trends, hints and tips about emerging threats, and advice on protecting your data from cyber-criminals, contact us today.
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