Securing Your Business Under Increasing Cyber Threats

The most important thing we offer our clients is trust. They trust us with their mission-critical IT and communications services. And if we don’t do our jobs well, the ramifications can be significant for them.

That is why I work every day to ensure our team focuses on delivering the best support and service we possibly can.

This is especially relevant today. As you have seen in the news lately, there have been several cybersecurity incidents. Most notable is the security incident that shut down the Colonial Pipeline. 

While they are still determining the extent of the breach, we can all see the significant ramifications such an event can have on an organization or, in this case, the conveniences we all enjoy.

And after these major breaches, we see an uptick in alarm amongst our clients. That’s why we make it our mission to help them understand their vulnerabilities and what exactly they should be worried about. 

Understanding the Event Is Critical

Typically, our cybersecurity experts work on two to three “cyber incidents” per month — and sometimes they even go a month without working one. Yet in the last few weeks, they have worked on more than a dozen incidents.

In many of these cases, when our team arrives it is common to hear, “We’ve been hacked,” or “We’ve been breached.” Often, as you can imagine, there is a level of panic in the uncertainty of the event. In all of these cases, though, there was no breach.

That’s why it’s critical to use correct terminology and clarify the interpretation around the event, things our security team is both prepared for and trained to handle. 

Cyber Incidents

Per definition, a cyber incident is an event that could jeopardize the confidentiality, integrity or availability of digital information or information systems. 

Furthermore, a cyber incident leads to a violation of an organization’s security policies and puts sensitive data at risk to exposure. It can compromise the functionality of network resources and availability. 

Data Breaches

A data breach is a type of security incident. All data breaches are security incidents, but not all security incidents are data breaches. 

A data breach exposes confidential, sensitive or protected information to an unauthorized person. The breach needs to be confirmed through some level of forensic analysis; this inspection will show what data was compromised and how the bad actor was able to gain access.  

Who You Call Can Be Costly

No organization is immune from the risk of a cyber incident or data breach, and both can be very costly. One of the most essential steps you can take is to be prepared! 

A couple years ago, a large organization was under a sustained cybersecurity attack that overwhelmed its network. They called their service provider, plus a few other security firms who recommended solutions from tens of thousands of dollars per month to more than $200,000 per year. 

When they called us, we could get them relief within an hour and fully remediated with improved operational efficiency for around $500 per month.

I tell this story because that organization was not prepared. When they called their carrier and other service providers for help, they were in a panic. And that panic became a financial opportunity for other service providers to quote rates that were exorbitant! 

Too often, organizations that call for help in a time of need find later that they were overcharged and underserved. 

The Time to Act Is Now

We expect the trend of increased cyber incidents to continue. 

You can do some simple things to protect your organization and your clients, some of which we have covered in other articles. Having and implementing a sound cybersecurity plan can save you tens of thousands of dollars by being prepared and knowing who and when to call.

The best time to call is before a cybersecurity event happens. Working with security experts to gain a high-level understanding of your potential risks — before an event actually happens — allows you to prepare a tailored strategy that provides true peace of mind. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Bryan Dancer is the president of Allegiant Technology, an integrated IT, communications, cloud and cabling company. Bryan and his team of support staff help business owners simplify, plan and operate technology in integrated and economical fashion, tailored to their unique requirements.