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As cyber threats have grown and evolved, so have the strategies used to defend against them. It’s no longer enough to have a firewall, update your computer, and install antivirus.

Next-level cybersecurity protection involves both proactive and reactive measures that work together to keep your business safe.

If you’re really serious about cybersecurity, consider working with an expert managed IT services provider who can make sure you have the most current solutions available. You have to get it right every time, but the bad guys only have to get it right once. The best IT providers use a highly operationalized approach and sophisticated software, so you do get it right every time.

Here are some next-level cybersecurity measures the right partner can help you put in place.

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Consistent employee training

Your employees can be your greatest asset or your biggest liability when it comes to keeping your network safe. First, cybersecurity policies must be disseminated, read, and enforced to set a corporate stance on cyber defense and risk mitigation.

The key to then turn employees into an asset is consistent employee training. One-and-done training is not good enough. Cyberthreats are constantly changing and you need to make sure your employees stay current on identifying the latest threats.

Data backup, disaster recovery, and network redundancy

The ability to access your data can make or break your business. That’s why you need to do everything you can to keep it available and safe. Unfortunately, accidents happen, hardware fails, and data can be stolen or maliciously encrypted and held ransom. An expert managed security partner will protect you from all of this by implementing a custom, multi-layered defense plan that ensures your business remains operational in any situation. It will include:

  • Redundancy for critical components so that a single failure won’t put you out of business.
  • Enhanced threat detection and analysis to intercept and neutralize attacks before they do damage.
  • Consistent data backup practices, data redundancy policies, and planning for how to recover from lost data, failed systems, or a natural disaster.
  • An incident response team of trained security professionals who stand ready to jump into action to do remediation and guide you through regulatory, legal, and insurance engagements as needed.

Continuous network monitoring

Proactive network monitoring is a surefire way to know immediately when any part of your network is performing abnormally. You may even catch attempted cyberattacks before they penetrate your network. This is a major advantage when you consider that the average data breach takes 196 days to be detected. The sooner you identify a problem, the sooner you can take proactive measures to fix it.

Proactive network monitoring will also give you an overall understanding of the health of your network. It can help identify failing hardware before it crashes and spotlight traffic bottlenecks that may be slowing down your network.

Endpoint Detection and Response

An evolutionary leap from traditional antivirus, endpoint detection and response (EDR) strays from the normal signature-based recognition algorithms of traditional antivirus and adds an AI-driven behavioral detection engine. Coupled with expansive threat detection databases, it discovers and responds to threats pre and post-execution. EDR provides an integrated hub for the collection, correlation, and analysis of endpoint data, as well as for coordinating alerts and responses to immediate threats.

Network security scans, assessments & penetration testing

Network assessments are a critical tool to identify vulnerabilities in your network before they can be exploited. They can also help identify breaches that may have already occurred but you don’t know about.

Whereas a network assessment is checking for the overall state of your network’s function and performance, penetration testing seeks to find and exploit weaknesses. For example, a penetration test could include sending a controlled, fake phishing email to all of your employees. If any of your employees fall for it, you are now able to proactively train them how to spot phishing emails, so the next time a real attack comes they’ll know what to do.

Cyber liability insurance

Did you know 60% of small to midsize businesses shut down after a cyberattack that results in lost data?  There are many factors that contribute to this statistic, but a major one is that cyberattacks are expensive. But most general business insurance plans do not provide coverage for a cyberattack. And if your clients and business partners are not already asking you if you have coverage, they will be soon.

The regulatory requirements for notifying those affected by a data breach and purchasing identity theft protection for all affected can bankrupt a company, not to mention potential downtime and lost revenue. In addition, there are legal and liability implications that require a knowledgeable advisor to navigate.

Cyber liability insurance is typically very affordable if your current IT vendor is doing a good job – but it does require technical knowledge to complete the application. A good IT partner should be able to help you with the application process.

Finding a cybersecurity partner

The key to having next-level cybersecurity is to find the right IT partner to work with. Look for a company that employs security professionals, focuses on operational excellence in every step of their process, and has staff dedicated to proactive monitoring and response. You want to find a partner who values quality, efficiency, and consistency – one who will take the time to know your business and build a custom solution designed just for you.

There's a difference between a managed service provider and the right MSP