Tools Are Not Enough: Why Your Company Needs a Cyber Security Process

Nashville-TN-Managed-Services-Affinity-Technology-Partners-Cybersecurity-Process.jpeg

Every week, new cyber security tools come on the market for small and mid-sized businesses. Tools that previously were only imaginable for government entities and the largest enterprises are now priced at a level at which most businesses can use them to keep their data—and their customers’ data—safe.

Should your business take advantage of these tools? Absolutely. From advanced threat detection to penetration testing and patch automation, these tools can make a huge impact on your business’s security—and your ability to sleep at night.

It’s critical, though, to note that cyber security is not a problem that can be solved by tools alone, or even by the right set of tools, in one fell swoop. True cyber security—security that grows and adapts with your business—can only be achieved with an ongoing process of constantly evaluating the risks your business faces and the measures you are taking to mitigate those risks. 

Here are just a few reasons why safeguards without a recurring process of evaluation and maintenance will fall short of protecting your business. 

Your IT Environment Is Constantly Changing

As a general rule, technology tends to work well when it is first installed. This includes cyber security tools and other safeguards. The problem, of course, is that your environment is constantly changing. New employees come on board, and with them new hardware and software. Old employees leave. New hardware and software solutions are implemented to solve new business problems. And employees interact with technology on a daily basis, sometimes making small changes that could affect your cyber security. 

The question, then, is how do you make sure that the cyber security tools and best practices that were put in place initially keep up with all the change in your environment? The first step is to have clear processes around change management that help make sure that cyber security tools and practices apply to new hardware and software as they are implemented.

Beyond that, though, it’s critical that trained technology professionals consistently review the state of your cyber security tools and practices at regular intervals. True cyber security is about having redundant, systematic, and proactive checks and balances that consistently ensure that all available vulnerabilities are addressed appropriately.

The Threat Landscape Is Constantly Changing

Cyber criminals are relentless in their efforts to find new vulnerabilities in the systems we all rely on to store, analyze, access, and share our data. They are constantly finding new ways to hack into systems, new ways to deliver malicious software, new ways to leverage software to steal or hold data for ransom, and new ways to trick users into giving up payment or account information.

The best cyber security tools will be flexible enough to adapt to the threat landscape as it changes. Advanced spam filters and antivirus software, for instance, are constantly being updated based on the most recent threats detected. 

Still, even these adaptable tools are not silver bullets, and they’re no replacement for a trained technology professional consistently reviewing the state of your systems over time against the possibilities of new threats as they emerge. This process empowers you, as a business owner or manager, with the latest information on what threats might be present, so that you can make key decisions with security in mind.

Safeguards and Best Practices Are Constantly Changing

As noted above, new technical safeguards that could make an impact for your business are constantly hitting the market. And beyond that, because the threat landscape is constantly changing, so are the best practices that security experts, such as those at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), recommend.

A process of constantly reviewing your systems against the latest available safeguards and best practices, then, brings to light the ways in which your current approach to cyber security may have become outdated. Again, you can implement all the best safeguards today and be relatively certain that your systems are secure—for now. But in three months, six months, or a year, these safeguards may be outdated and hopelessly outmatched by the latest threats. Or, there may be new safeguards and best practices that help you achieve the same level of cyber security more efficiently, or at a lower cost.

Affinity’s Approach to Cyber Security Process

Affinity’s approach to cyber security involves strategically leveraging the right safeguards along with the right policies and, of course, the right processes.

Our cyber security processes include regular onsite reviews of your systems against an ever-evolving set of proprietary standards for optimizing both systems performance and security. Our security standards range from basic account authorization hygiene (password complexity, two-factor authentication, etc.) to making sure that only authorized applications are transmitting data, and that those transmissions are occurring over secure protocols. They also involve putting trained human eyes on your systems activity to ensure that any suspicious activity that has not been caught by automated safeguards comes to light.

Furthermore, our standards are constantly updated with cyber security trends, so that your systems are evaluated based on the latest information on new threats or new safeguards, so that our vCIOs can have meaningful business conversations with decision-makers about what changes need to be made to your cyber security strategy.

In short, our process unearths and addresses new vulnerabilities, and consistently maintains your systems with cyber security in mind.

Want to hear more about how our process creates highly adaptive cyber security to safeguard your data and help you sleep better at night? Schedule a conversation with us today.