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Proactivity needs to replace procrastination as the foundation of IT security

Wed 26 Jun 2019 | Jon Lucas

It’s easier than you think to operate a proactive security strategy, writes Jon Lucas

For every business in today’s digital landscape, IT plays a vital role. Ensuring that systems and applications are working across all aspects of the company is not just an IT team’s problem, but something that the board should be involved in to ensure that they are making the right decisions.

Despite the amount of talent, money and time that companies are investing in solid cyber-security strategies, the frequency and sophistication of cyber threats grows year on year. The scale of the problem is now so extreme that damage from cybercrime expected to cost businesses a whopping $6 trillion (£4.7tn) annually by 2021.

Whether it’s a result of complacency or procrastination, security strategies are often seen as a big investment with little measurable return. The lack of security proactivity which exists by default in many organisations only gets addressed when they become the victim of a breach. By then, the cost of downtime, repairs and reputation can be devastating to any business.

Integrating intelligent solutions

For those businesses looking to strengthen cyber defences in an increasingly vulnerable digital landscape, there are practical ways in which they can ensure they are properly protected. The fact is that there are more and better technologies available for the effective prevention of cyber-threats than ever before, with tools and applications designed to track, monitor, react and intelligently integrate with your IT infrastructure.

One increasingly popular option is to work with service providers that can offer optimum security functionalities, such as the ability to deploy an Intrusion Detection System (IDS). This is hardware or a virtual appliance that monitors a network for any malicious activity or violations of agreed policies. Any such activity is immediately reported to the service provider where a dedicated security team can take the appropriate and pre-agreed actions.

The potential benefits are broad. IDS solutions provide integrated attack detection and vulnerability assessment, intelligently adapting to each network to identify real incidents with fewer false alarms. By automating the intrusion detection analysis process through correlation and heuristic processes, an IDS can dynamically score threats and help determine the level of threat. When this is combined with 24/7 monitoring from trained IDS experts, organisations can operate a proactive strategy of prevention rather than cure.

Technologies like IDS are more readily and easily available than many business leaders realise – and it is simpler than ever to implement these to build up a resilient security strategy that is fully integrated with your whole IT infrastructure.

Solidify your strategy

Working with an MSP can often be the answer to solidifying security strategy, as the service-led approach provides ease of management, scalability and complete integration. By utilising a reliable MSP, companies can put cloud technologies to good use, and deploy excellent cyber-defences through a security as a service model.

But there is lots of choice, with many MSPs making confident claims about their security capabilities. When selecting an MSP, organisations should always focus on their technical expertise, their accreditation levels and their experience. If possible, talk to existing customers to fully understand the track record of a prospective security partner, how they respond to security incidents and their levels of customer service. This can provide the reassurance and confidence needed to pick one supplier over another.

A growing number of IT managers are realising that choosing the right MSP can mean much more than just flexible and scalable IT infrastructure, but can be the difference between being vulnerable to an attack, and having a completely secure, managed and monitored environment for critical data.

Experts featured:

Jon Lucas

Co-director
Hyve Managed Hosting

Tags:

cyber security IDS
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