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How a Security-Focused Provider Can Augment Your Defenses.

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Posted by Arthur Corallo - 02 January, 2020

By most accounts, 2020 is shaping up as potentially grim year for cybersecurity due to the convergence of two trends — the rise of advanced threats powered by artificial intelligence and an alarming scarcity of IT security professionals.

Security analysts say criminals are leveraging AI and machine learning technologies to create new threats such as shape-shifting polymorphic malware and enhanced phishing attacks. Meanwhile, a new global study finds most organizations are woefully unprepared to deal with these threats.

Nearly 65 percent of all organizations worldwide report a shortage of skilled cybersecurity staff, according to the new report from the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)². Based on interviews with more than 3,200 IT security pros, (ISC)² estimates there are more than 4 million unfilled cybersecurity positions around the world — up from just under 3 million last year. This includes more than a half-million positions in North America.

While (ISC)² suggests organizations boost their investments in training, certification and recruiting, the group notes that it may make more sense for companies to augment their staff with security services from a managed services provider (MSP). Outsourcing some security tasks to a qualified provider can improve your security posture and boost regulatory compliance while reducing the burden on in-house IT teams.

Beyond the Basics

However, you must do your due diligence when evaluating providers. While most offer some security services, few have the focus and expertise to handle the most advanced threats.

MSPs commonly offer basic security services such as antivirus and spam blocking, and the application of patches and security updates to servers and desktop systems. Remote monitoring and management allows MSPs to detect security breaches and take action to mitigate the threat.

However, you may want to find a provider that offers a broader suite of services. Here are 10 of the more valuable services a security-focused provider can deliver:

  • Managed firewall
  • Intrusion detection and prevention
  • Content filtering
  • Email security
  • Encryption and data loss prevention
  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • Secure remote access
  • Mobile device management
  • Next-generation endpoint security
  • Vulnerability and penetration testing

A security-focused provider will perform a thorough review of the IT environment and run security scans to gain a baseline of your company’s security posture. They will also sit down with stakeholders throughout the organization to understand the threats that pose the greatest risk to the business. Only then can they develop a cybersecurity strategy that precisely meets the organization’s needs.

An Ongoing Effort

MSPs commonly establish a network operations center (NOC) from which they can remotely monitor and manage network operations for their customers. Providers with a stronger security focus may also have a security operations center (SOC), a central command post where experts collect and analyze data from networks, servers, endpoints, applications and websites to identify suspicious activity.

Because security is not a “set and forget” proposition, a provider should perform regular security reviews and be able to handle any necessary modifications or upgrades of critical applications and network devices. The review process can also help organizations improve compliance with regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

Cyber threats are increasing in scale, frequency and sophistication at a time when most organizations are struggling to mount an effective defense with budget and staff limitations. That has all the makings of a perfect storm of security vulnerabilities. RMM Solutions has invested in the staff, certifications, technologies and facilities to help customers ride out the storm. Give us a call to learn more about how we can help you protect your business.

Topics: Security, Disaster Recovery, cybersecurity


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