3 Essential Ways to Combat Cyber Security Threats
Security threats have never been greater and the recent global cyber attack is an unfortunate reminder of just that. According to the New York Times, the WannaCry ransomware attack reportedly affected 200,000 computers in 150 countries. By all accounts, the real ransom payments and the soft costs of being down will surely tally into the billions.
This is a harsh reminder for every business owner and IT manager of what is really at stake. Besides your critical data now being susceptible to hefty ransoms, a recent study reported that the average cost to companies for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information is $158. This type of loss, in conjunction with the risk to your customers and your brand are immeasurable.
Fortunately, many of these types of attacks can be avoided with properly maintained systems and the use of cloud technology. The U.S. government agrees, as an executive order was signed last week which includes a major initiative to move as much of the government's cyberdefense system to the cloud as possible. “We've got to move to the cloud and try to protect ourselves instead of fracturing our security posture," stated Tom Bossert, President Trump's homeland security adviser.
This holds true for every business, no matter the size.
So, the question is, how do you ensure your business is prepared to combat the latest security threats?
For starters, if you haven’t already, move your services to the cloud! This includes your business’ communications, collaboration, data, file sharing and other mission-critical applications.
Beyond just moving to the cloud, there are specific standards and services that can really impact the level of security that your business receives.
Here are 3 essential ways to protect your business from cyber security threats.
1. Adopt a Secure UCaaS Solution
Cloud UCaaS systems are becoming one of the most highly adopted business technologies for their ability to unify critical business communications: phone calls, email, chat and video meetings across all devices and locations. This capability to provide more secure, efficient, cost-effective and mobile ways to communicate and collaborate are hard to pass up. However, the approach to security among different UCaaS providers and systems can vary greatly. There are several important aspects of these systems that can directly affect the level of security they are able to deliver.
It is 100% cloud-based?
Many hosted unified communications and cloud-based phone systems today have some portion of their system’s functionality hosted in the cloud; however, the degree to which they are hosted in the cloud can have a direct effect on how secure they actually are. Cloud-based unified communications (UC) systems which utilize the cloud for 100 percent of its storage and processing are hosted on a provider’s server and are only accessible through an encrypted web browser, ensuring that critical data is never left on-site where it could be vulnerable to hacking, theft or damage. This also expands the security of critical information to devices outside of one’s place of business. When the data is stored exclusively in the cloud, it is more readily accessible from any device needed, enabling more secure ways to communicate on the go.
Proprietary Technology & On-going Monitoring
It’s not enough today to just move your services to the cloud. The cloud is constantly evolving and needs to be up to date and continuously monitored. Cloud communications providers that own the code to their own platforms, can continuously monitor and test their deployments. Through this type of hands-on development, they are able to make ongoing and automatic updates that ensure your systems are always up to date to protect against new threats. Owning the code and having a proprietary system, enables not only ongoing and automatic improvements, but the latest and greatest security features.
Encryption is vital to the security of a business’ communications infrastructure, as private and confidential conversations, messages and information is regularly exchanged. Reliable cloud UcaaS providers guarantee calls using the public internet are encrypted from the handset into a secure network, ensuring call data remains both protected and confidential. The most secure UCaaS providers like Broadview Networks, even take it a step further and encrypt calls, messages, meetings and recordings with Transport Layer Security (TLS), cryptographic protocols which provide communications security over a provider’s network, and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), a symmetric encryption algorithm. In order to break this AES encryption using a brute force attack, it would take more than 1 billion years. And, this is the type of security every business should be seeking.
2. Data Backup
Beyond protecting your business’ communications, backing up mission-critical and important data from your desktops, laptops and servers is also a must for security. With services like Broadview’s OfficeSuite Data Backup and Recovery, data is compressed, encrypted in transit and sent to a vault at one of our top-tier data centers where agents look for changed parts of files at the disk level to economize processing, network usage and retention. This type of service provides an easy, automatic and compliant way to backup, protect and recover important data.
3. Elite Server
Luckily, businesses can enlist the expertise of managed IT services that can work around the clock to keep a full spectrum of their important technology solutions secure. Products like, Elite Server include 24/7 remote monitoring and management of a business’ server environment, back-office services, desk support and business continuity solutions. This helps to ensure systems are safe, backed up properly and optimized,
The frequent headlines of high profile companies being susceptible to cyber attacks are a good reminder of the overall lack of readiness even the largest of organizations are exhibiting. No one is exempt to these threats and they are not going anywhere soon. Identifying where your vulnerabilities lie, protecting your systems and data, and enlisting the technology and expertise you need, are key to keeping your business and customer’s information secure.