Cybersecurity In Maryland: Moving Beyond Perimeter Defense
Our latest webinar with the Bethesda Chamber Of Commerce shows businesses how to take their cybersecurity to the next level.
You can’t afford to underinvest in your cybersecurity. Basic defenses will only do so much to defend your organization against the ever-evolving range of tactics employed by modern cybercriminals.
Do you know how to integrate advanced cybersecurity solutions and practices into your business’ cybersecurity posture? In a previous webinar with the Bethesda Chamber Of Commerce, we detailed five simple ways that businesses can enhance their cybersecurity — but that was only the beginning.
Discover how to take your cybersecurity to the next level in this Bethesda Chamber Of Commerce webinar featuring Advantage Industries’ Mike Shelah and Russell Smith, Director, Client Account Management & Principle Design Engineer:
The Problem With Basic Cybersecurity
“You should assume that you will be hacked, and plan and act accordingly because no system is 100% effective,” says Russell.
The absolute biggest mistake companies make about cybersecurity insurance and cybersecurity, in general, is to assume that they don’t need it and that they are not a target. Or even worse, they think they are already protected, without taking any steps to ensure they are.
In 2020, the rate of cyberattacks grew 400% compared to the previous year — the fact is that a rising tide lifts all ships. As cybercrime becomes more prevalent, your organization becomes a more likely target, no matter its size.
The bottom line is that basic cybersecurity is not foolproof. Furthermore, no cybersecurity is foolproof. You need to act as though you will be breached at some point, and plan accordingly to limit the damage it can cause.
Think Of Network Security Like Home Security
Talking about network security with users that aren’t familiar with conventional network infrastructure can be a little complicated. In order to simplify it, Mike and Russell proposed a metaphor — what if you thought about your network like your house?
You employ a range of security measures for your home, which lines up directly with recommended network security measures:
- Front Door
- Glass Break Sensors
- CCTV Cameras
- Alarm System
- Humans keeping watch
Despite how obvious these measures are when it comes to home security, we often meet business owners and managers who essentially have left their doors unlocked, turned off their alarm system, and gone to sleep for the night.
Are you sure your network is secure?
The Limitations Of Perimeter Security
When we talk about perimeter security, we’re referring to that “Prevent” level from above. In network security, this means a simple firewall and antivirus. This is where many small businesses stop with their cybersecurity initiatives.
Unfortunately, this is simply not enough to defend against modern threats. Case in point: the zero-day attack. Some of the worst data breaches are based on “zero-day exploits”, which are based on exploits found by hackers but not by the developers, leading to severe security risks and an immediate need for patching.
A recent example of this type of attack is the Kaseya Ransomware attack. On July 2, 2021, a number of Kaseya VSA servers were used to deploy ransomware. Kaseya VSA software is a remote monitoring and management tool used by IT managed service providers to provide services to their clients. By design, these tools have administrative access to all systems they manage, making this breach particularly dangerous and damaging.
The Dutch Institute for Vulnerability Disclosure (DIVD) revealed it had alerted Kaseya to a number of zero-day vulnerabilities in its VSA software (CVE-2021-30116) that it said were being exploited as a conduit to deploy ransomware. The nonprofit entity said the company was in the process of resolving the issues as part of a coordinated vulnerability disclosure when the July 2 attacks took place.
Long-term consequences for affected businesses will likely include extensive data loss, long-lasting downtime, and high costs for recovery. For example, a grocery store chain affected by the attack had to close down 800 stores while they dealt with the infection.
Your Users Will Nullify Your Perimeter Defenses
In addition to zero-day exploits, users can also render perimeter defenses meaningless. Did you know that more than 90% of cybersecurity incidents can be traced back to human error?
The fact is that what you (and your staff) don’t know could hurt you. If your staff isn’t up to date on the latest cybercrime scams, then they’re putting your data at risk, simple as that.
Due to their level of access, an unaware or malicious employee can do a lot of damage:
- Users can be tricked or phished into handing over credentials and access
- Users with local admin rights can inadvertently install malicious software
- Internal bad actors can work to sabotage or bypass systems
This is yet another reason why you need to go beyond perimeter cybersecurity measures. If you try to save money by cutting corners on cybersecurity, it’ll eventually cost you…
What Will Limited Cybersecurity Cost You?
Consider the most recent stats:
- 60% of small businesses that are hit with a cyber attack will go out of business within six months.
- The average cost of a data breach across all business sizes is $200,000.
- Small businesses pay $42,000 in an average ransomware attack.
All of this goes to show why you need to invest more in your cybersecurity. Doing so will undoubtedly cost you less money in the long run.
Taking Your Cybersecurity To The Next Level
The best way to enhance your cybersecurity and defend against zero-day exploits and user error is to invest in a managed solution that keeps an eye on your systems. There are a few options available to you:
Managed Detection & Response (MDR)
MDR is an outsourced service that provides organizations with threat hunting services and responds to threats once they are discovered.
MDR fully manages your cybersecurity defense, both keeping an eye out for threats, as well as providing the expert team to address them when they occur. Here’s how they work:
- Environmental Threat Detection: MDR performs a series of vital functions including analyzing the types of risks that your organization may be exposed to. This can help you determine precisely what the most critical threats are.
- Faster Response: MDR helps you fully understand exactly which cybersecurity threats you face, allowing you to act before a breach occurs. You can take action today and avoid a nightmare tomorrow. With MDR, you can quickly assess your company’s level of security and take action right away.
- Threat Prevention: Proactive monitoring applies proven rules to your security system, delivering a higher level of breach management.
- Confident Data Security: MDR allows you to take back control of your data security. It’s a reliable system that focuses on one thing — preventing cyber breaches from occurring.
Security Information And Event Management (SIEM)
SIEM monitors system activity and gives you notifications and continuous insights into threats for immediate action.
Imagine being able to view activity in a concise and organized console, seeing security threats as they occur giving you the ability to react and remedy the situation in real-time. Maintain activity logs, manage vulnerabilities, and view reports for alerts, including:
- Password guessing attempts, like 3 or more failed login attempts from a single host.
- Alerts from 15 or more firewall events from a single IP address in one minute.
- When malware is detected on a host.
Each of these security information events warrants immediate action to prevent further risk or vulnerability, and ongoing security information and event management is the modern response. SIEM technology provides a secure cloud service that provides 24/7 security and operation monitoring to oversee a given business’ security needs.
A SIEM solution offers a monitoring service, with adaptive threat protection that identifies active cyberattacks and takes action in real-time to protect your business. By integrating intelligence from global threat monitoring feeds, this solution responds to network-based zero-day exploit attempts, drive-by downloads, and advanced malware that routinely bypass conventional firewall and antivirus technologies.
Security Operations Center (SOC)
A SOC is a team of people, employing a range of proven processes and using carefully implemented technologies that are often centralized, and that, at the very least, gather and analyze user reports and a range of data sources (such as logs) from information systems and cybersecurity controls.
Typically, the main point of a SOC in the business setting is to identify, address and eliminate cybersecurity events that could negatively impact an organization’s information systems or data. Depending on a number of factors — size, budget, industry, location, etc. — SOCs can vary from organization to organization and are implemented per structural cybersecurity priorities and risk tolerance.
Whereas one business’ SOC will oversee a cybersecurity event from detection to remediation, another may instead focus on supporting and coordinating incident responders and handling incident response communication, which could mean status updates and third-party communication.
The point of outsourced SOC services is that users don’t have to develop and manage a SOC of their own – they can instead get it from an IT company as an outsourced service. When you don’t have SOC services, you don’t have any visibility into your systems, unless you happen to be looking at that server at the same time.
Need Expert Cybersecurity Guidance?
Don’t let basic cybersecurity put you at risk, and don’t assume you have to handle advanced cybersecurity all on your own— Advantage Industries can help you assess your cybersecurity and develop a plan to enhance it.
You can start improving your cybersecurity in three simple steps:
- Book a meeting with the Advantage Industries team at a time that works for you.
- Let us assess your cybersecurity and address any vulnerabilities.
- Get back to focusing on your work, instead of worrying about your cybersecurity.
Advantage Industries is a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) providing practical networking and software solutions, as well as web site and application creation services. For nearly two decades, Advantage has worked collaboratively with hundreds of clients in understanding complex business processes, identifying needs, and providing recommendations tied with sound technology solutions custom-tailored to their business.