Data has become one of the most valuable assets in the world of modern business. Still, high-profile data breaches occur all the time, and the statistics alone should be enough to force any business owner into making cybersecurity a top priority. According to research conducted by the Ponemon Institute and IBM last year, the average total cost of a data breach reached $4 million, or $158 per stolen record. These statistics represent a 29% increase from the previous three years, and threats continue to rise.
Equipped with the latest antivirus software and firewalls, companies often believe that their computer systems are impenetrable. However, one of the only ways to determine whether this is true is by performing a comprehensive audit of your network, backups, and services provider.
Is your services provider capable?
Although the whole concept of cloud computing is hardly new, managed security providers have popped up everywhere in recent years. These companies typically present a more affordable and robust alternative to keeping your cybersecurity solutions in-house, particularly in the case of cash-strapped SMBs. Residents of Athens have witnessed data breaches firsthand in their community, and despite the fault lies squarely with in-house IT management, many still feel that outsourcing cybersecurity will never be as safe as keeping everything in-house.
However, there are a few quick and easy questions for determining whether a managed IT services provider (MSP) has a proven track record of hosting data, systems, and networks in accordance with the security regulations of your industry. A good audit will make sure your services provider is offering top-quality products and services, such as 24/7 network monitoring, up-to-date anti-malware systems, high-availability and geo-redundant cloud servers, data encryption, regular security updates and firewalls.
Are backups backing up all of your important data?
You need to ask yourself whether your existing backup routine is backing up all your important data as well as any apps, operating systems, or virtual desktop infrastructures that your company relies on. Using cloud-based and automated backup tools will ensure you have up-to-date backups, but that’s only the beginning.
Once you’ve settled on a suitable backup strategy, you must conduct regular disaster recovery tests to make sure that all critical files are indeed backed up and recoverable should the worst happen. In this situation, audits are required to not only test the proficiency of backups, but to also ensure that files stored in the cloud are secure and reliable.
Are network security system working?
Given the enormous ramifications of data loss, it is imperative that your cybersecurity solutions are working to mitigate these events. This means starting with a thorough audit of your network that not only finds potential vulnerabilities, but can also find a way to resolve these issues before it’s too late. Your network audit should include the following elements:
- Asset inventory - to identify critical data and network equipment that need to be protected
- Network vulnerability scanning - to look for any security flaws in your system before hackers find and exploit them
- Usage policy assessment - to ensure that company policies, user permissions, and file authorizations are in order, and to pinpoint potential data management problems
- Remote access evaluation - to check whether your network can be accessed by unauthorized users within and outside your company
The importance of cybersecurity cannot be stressed enough, but equally important is to make sure it works when things do go wrong. A routine audit may sound like a lot of work, but it’s necessary if you want a fully functional system that can prevent disasters from occurring in the first place, a disaster response plan to fall back on, and complete visibility into your organizational network to ensure that your team is always kept in the loop.
Athens Micro meets their customers in person to perform a thorough audit of their IT infrastructure and provide a detailed report of their findings. Afterwards, we will provide the solutions necessary to ensure your company is safeguarding its data against virtually any eventuality. Call us today or visit our office here in Watkinsville to learn how we can help safeguard your business and prepare it for future growth.