Invest In Cybersecurity Or Invest In A Ransom? 3 Tips for Taking the Defensive Position

In 2021, a four-digit number of cybercrimes carried 9 digit consequences. Though the attacks were only in the thousands, the payout for hackers reached over half a billion dollars. If that makes you nervous, first of all, it should, and second of all, you’re not alone. Fortunately, you’re not alone in protecting your data, either.

5,258 confirmed data breaches were reported in the Verizon 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR). The Hill reports that, according to the US Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, victims paid $590 million to cybercriminals. These figures have sharply increased from 2020 figures, and as we’ve previously discussed, the severity and sophistication of attacks are on the rise right alongside the numbers.

To put it plainly, the more that criminals get away with this crap, the more their confidence begins to reflect in the sums demanded ransom. It’s time to set the standard and let them know– we’re not playing their games.

I encourage you to step up and help make 2022 stats look different– not just on principle, but in practicality. You may have avoided breaches and ransoms up until now, but the more commonplace they become and the easier they are to pull off, the less likely you are to make it out of 2022 without issue.

Unless you’re willing to go and throw your mortgage down on a blackjack table in Atlantic City, you’re probably not relying on luck to carry you through. That said, unless you’re willing to forfeit a six-digit sum to a dude whose Twitter icon is a picture of the V for Vendetta guy or a 13-year-old Minecraft player hacking on his snack break, I recommend investing in tried and true cybersecurity practices. Here are a few tips for how to do just that.

Outsource Your Security

A jack of all trades is a master of none, and when it comes to security, you need a master. Outsourcing your security solutions allows you to bring in highly specialized teams without tacking on full salaries with benefits to next year’s budget. Consider a fractional resource like a VCISO, often a former CIO, CISO, or another high-ranking security official, who works on retainer – a foundational service through an MSSP. 

For less dollars than an in-house team, you leverage the years of expertise and highly attuned work of a security consultant with real-world experience to back it up. Hiring someone with this level of domain expertise and a granular, tactical approach can be cost-effective for your needs, and highly effective for your security. And, as a bonus, you can repurpose that extra desk. After-hours beer pong? Get better at blackjack?

Invest In Managed Services

Managed service providers can help perform functions for you that you’re not staffed to handle – whether you don’t have the skillset on staff or not enough resources, or you want to (read: you should) direct their focus on other priorities and core competencies. A managed security service provider (MSSP) spends their time helping you create a robust and complete security posture where you otherwise would have gaps, so you can spend your time doing… you know, everything else. Seriously– let your team focus on what they do best, and leave cybersecurity to a specialist. 

Leverage a Trusted Advisor

A trusted advisor can help you with the process of identifying your security needs and requirements, researching and choosing a solution, finding the best provider, and managing implementation. I’ll be honest– finding the solutions to your unique problems, without outside assistance, is tedious. It’s even more annoying if you require solutions that are out of your personal specialty. Couple that with getting screwed on rates and contract terms, and possibly winding up with unfulfilled promises, and you’ll be dealing with a long, arduous, hair-pulling-out type of a process. And, you may still be under threat– there’s no guarantee that, without outside vetting, the vendor you choose on your own will really do the job, only that you’ll pay them to. 

Whether you need to bring in new vendors or new technology (or potentially both), a trusted advisor can help you keep your hairline where it belongs and your blood pressure down while ensuring quality. Should you run into problems later (and let’s be honest, the hiring crisis we’re dealing with would be way worse if technology had a 100% success rate), you won’t have to sweat it. A trusted advisor works as your point of escalation and advocates for your best interest. 

Our tagline states our two greatest aims as a solutions provider: empowering IT leaders, and driving results. What better time than now to place your company’s safety and wellbeing back into your hands? Certainly not after a breach– that’s a drain on time, money, brand equity, and personal reputation that you can’t reverse. 

We help to prepare our clients for the looming possibilities, offering strategic response planning and threat mitigation to help you stand tall and defend your data. We bring with us an impressive portfolio of industry-leading Cybersecurity firms that can help keep your critical data out of the hands of cybercriminals. 

It’s a simple equation. By implementing the best possible solutions, you position yourself for the best possible outcomes. 1+1=2. You + a trusted advisor = higher success rate. 

Though the 2021 statistics loom large, the 2022 statistics don’t have to include your company’s data among the casualties. Contact us to learn more, and get ahead of the curve this year. Your data depends on it.

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