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IT security services - What you need and why you need it

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IT security services - What you need and why you need it

Cybersecurity is too often like a high-stakes game of poker: Even though its participants have prepared for many possible situations, there's still a lot of chance and risk involved, including the possibility of losing everything. In fact, more than half of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) suffering a major cyber attack never recover from the ensuing damage. Security breaches routinely cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to remediate.

Ideally, cybersecurity would be more like chess than poker, with complete visibility allowing for informed decision-making. But it's often a struggle for SMBs and even large enterprises to procure the best technologies and find the right personnel to monitor and contain a growing ecosystem of threats while also meeting regulatory requirements. Full protection necessitates regular security assessments and audits, continuous vulnerability scanning and adept risk management – a tall order, considering the associated costs and required technical expertise.

Enter IT security services. By entrusting security operations to proven experts such as managed security service providers (MSSPs), organizations can ensure their defenses are both comprehensive and up-to-date without stretching their budgets too thin. Outsourced security services combine quality and economy to simplify every workflow from intrusion detection to compliance with the Security Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

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The pillars of IT security services

Working with an MSSP like Telesystem provides access to multiple security solutions as well as value-added services including management and consulting. While IT security services packages vary considerably between providers, some of the most common functions include:

Vulnerability scanning

As more companies branch out into cloud computing services while also maintaining on-premises environments, they must be vigilant of the multiple threats to their increasingly complex IT infrastructure. Vulnerability scanning and management provides that comprehensive, chess-like visibility we mentioned earlier – customers get to see where they're most exposed to harm and work with the MSSP to identify and close the loopholes in question. Examples include software exploits that can be patched, expired website certificates, unclear cloud service-level agreements and overly loose access controls for critical systems.

Security assessments

More holistic than vulnerability scanning, a security assessment includes some of the same activities but also incorporates a thorough review of existing policies and controls as well as extensive testing of whether they still provide their intended benefits. During a security audit, teams might analyze scenarios such as what would happen in the wake of a customer data breach or someone exfiltrating sensitive information to a consumer cloud service, and then categorize the impact of these various incidents to create corresponding risk management strategies. Penetration testing, which simulates realistic cyberattacks, is another important step during security reviews, as is documentation of current procedures and necessary changes, such as planning additional trainings and procuring new IT services.

Security operation centers

A security operations center (SOC) is a centralized site responsible for all core security functions in an organization. Traditionally, SOCs have been limited to large enterprises due to their high expense and complexity, but in recent years they've become much more accessible to SMBs thanks to IT security services that assist with their day-to-day operation or deliver them entirely from the cloud. A classic SOC features a security incident and event management solution and a team of security experts who continuously analyze its findings in making decisions. An MSSP can provide the crucial infrastructure and personnel to make around-the-cock SOC monitoring feasible for companies of all sizes.

Continuous compliance

Regulations like HIPAA and PCI-DSS are continually evolving with new provisions. Maintaining compliance is an ongoing task and one that's much easier with the help of an IT security services provider. For example, enterprise managed Wi-Fi in a health care setting might be optimized with a management console and network architecture that ensure certain items never leave the LAN. Similarly, data centers like Telesystem DC-1 may be certified for HIPAA compliance, indicating they have all of the required controls for the safe processing of electronic privileged health information. PCI scanning and compliance reporting are also staples of IT security service offerings.

The stakes for getting cybersecurity right

IT security services confer crucial advantages in staying ahead of cybersecurity threats and mitigating risk. More specifically, they help:

  • Reduce human error and manual workflows – Everyday mistakes by employees are among the top risks to organizational cybersecurity, since they precipitate phishing attacks and inadvertent downloads of untrusted applications and attachments. Through IT security services, everyone is better equipped to avoid these behaviors, thanks to improved policies, controls and trainings. Outsourced security services also lighten the load on employees who had previously performed many pivotal tasks by hand.
  • Overcome internal resource limitations – Alongside human error, shortage of qualified personnel was the biggest cybersecurity challenge identified by respondents to the 2018 Cyberthreat Defense Report. ESG has documented a sharp increase from 2014 to 2018 in the share of organizations saying they lacked sufficient security staff. Managed and hosted IT security services address this problem head-on by giving you access to expert management, instead of having to hire more employees and contractors.
  • Keep everything up-to-date: Cybersecurity has never been a set-it-and-forget-it activity, but especially not in an era of ubiquitous high-speed connectivity, where new threats can rapidly spread across the world. An MSSP partnership is the most practical way to make sure that IT assets, from productivity suites to firewalls, are current, with access to the latest important features and no known critical exploits. To this end, IT security services may include assistance with patch management, testing and system upgrades.

IT security services ultimately offer the peace of mind that you are doing everything possible to reduce exposure to risk. An experienced business partner such as Telesystem can help, with a suite of managed security solutions and the underlying infrastructure – like our DC-1 – to support them. To learn more, visit our main security page or contact us directly.

 

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