When you sign a contract with an IT provider, you assume your data is safe because someone is looking after your networks. However, just because you have an IT provider, you shouldn’t assume your business is always secure.
The reality is that simply investing in cybersecurity and data protection isn’t going to solve the problem of data security. The most recent report by Cybersecurity Ventures predicted global spending for cybersecurity products and services to total over $1 trillion from 2017 to 2021, with a year-on-year growth rate of 12 to 15 percent. This massive worldwide investment in cybersecurity isn’t making cyberattacks, and the risk of data loss disappears. In fact, security and data protection measures appear to be merely keeping up with the growing number of threats.
In order to keep your business data safe, one of the most important steps you can take is to ensure your IT provider is doing everything possible to protect your data.
Why is data security so challenging?
Keeping your data safe is more challenging today than ever. There are a few reasons for this.
If you’re like most businesses, you’re housing some or all of your data and systems in the cloud. Experts predicted that by 2020, over one-third of all data would either live in or pass through the cloud.
While the cloud provides incredible benefits from the potential for more efficient workflows and boosted productivity to the ability to create an off-site backup for your data, it also can also present risks. Problems such as a lack of common standards in data integrity, a lack of protection for mobile devices employees use to access data, and a lack of security training for users can make data security difficult.
The solution – make sure your files are stored on secure cloud servers and you’re partnering with an IT provider that knows how to keep your data safe, wherever it is. At the minimum, your cloud security should include internal firewalls, encryption, advanced firewalls, intrusion detection, and event logging to help your provider’s security analysts understand potential threats. It’s also essential that your employees understand what they need to do to keep business data safe.
Another reason data protection continues to grow in importance is simply the huge amount of data being generated. According to the World Economic Forum, right now, in 2020, we’re sitting in a digital universe with 44 zettabytes of data. To put that in perspective, that’s 40 times more bytes than there are stars in the observable universe.
“ ACCORDING TO THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORM, RIGHT NOW, IN 2020, WE’RE SITTING IN A DIGITAL UNIVERSE WITH 44 ZETTABYTES OF DATA.”
Because data growth is exponential, our data universe is going to keep expanding far beyond human comprehension. With the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and more connected devices, there are simply more ways data is being generated, transferred, stored, and shared.
In order to ensure the security of your business’s data, you may need specialized help. Standard IT services aren’t necessarily going to be enough to protect your data. Instead of assuming any managed services provider will work, partner with an IT provider that focuses on security. Your provider should take the time to understand the unique business security requirements and concerns you have. Real protection goes beyond 24/7 monitoring and network system maintenance. It includes on-site security assessments and customized security solutions.
The biggest threat to your data’s security isn’t actually a malicious hacker. It’s your employees. Cybercriminals and hackers count on human errors to infiltrate systems and steal data – as expert cryptographer Bruce Schneier famously said in 2000, “Only amateurs attack machines, professionals target people.”
If your employees don’t have the knowledge and training necessary to help them make sound decisions when it comes to accessing business data, it doesn’t matter how many resources you pour into your business’s cybersecurity efforts. Your data isn’t safe.
Here are the facts:
Up to 90 percent of successful corporate cyber-attacks in 2017 could have been attributed to employee error.
Approximately 95 percent of businesses have employees who will at some point try to override the company’s security measures.
An IBM report discovered that 60 percent of the major attacks on corporations in 2016 were done by insiders – 25 percent were the result of employee error, 75 percent were the result of malicious intent.
If your IT provider is really protecting your data, they should be regularly educating your employees on data protection and the latest threats. Employees should know what to do if they suspect a phishing email or any type of security breach so the issue can be fixed quickly.
With today’s technology, your IT services provider can also use analytics to detect anomalies in employee behavior. Machine learning can be used to alert security staff to a potential threat before it happens.
How can you ensure your data is secure?
Data security is a priority today for business. A recent survey of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the United States and Europe found that 90 percent would switch to a different managed services provider if they could offer the right cybersecurity solution. Eighty-nine percent of SMBs view cybersecurity as one of their top five business priorities.
“ A recent survey of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the United States and Europe found that 90 percent would switch to a different managed services provider if they could offer the right cybersecurity solution.”
If you want to make sure your data is protected, work with a provider that has the tools, experience, and practices in place to offer robust security. With managed security services, you can keep your infrastructure, devices, and platforms safe from risks while also being able to achieve industry security compliance within your sector. This level of security can help to increase productivity and boost innovation, driving long-term business success while also giving you peace of mind.
The reality is, data breaches in the government sector are all too common, which is why safeguarding sensitive information and CUI data is a major priority and why standards such as NIST 800-171 were created in the first place. CMMC is taking the suggestion from NIST 800-171 and adding to them as well as requiring a third-party assessment.
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With business continuity, you have a set of procedures to fall back on to recover data, prevent catastrophic losses, and to keep your clinic or hospital running. In healthcare, where your patients count on your organization to protect their health, and their data, nothing could be more important.
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Government contractors are prime targets for cybercriminals. Make sure you understand your cybersecurity responsibilities and requirements before signing up to work with the government. GSA keenly prioritizes cybersecurity readiness as a vetting criterion for eligible contractors.
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