Cyberthreats, compliance expected to challenge businesses

The cyberthreat environment heated up this past year. That should encourage companies to be more aware of their exposures and more prepared to mitigate their risks.
“It’s affecting a lot of businesses and every incident can have major impact,” says Majdi Ayoub, director of technical services at Blue Technologies, Inc.
Unfortunately, even though the threat is growing, many companies are not taking all the necessary precautions to avoid these growing cyberattacks.
“If an attack were to land successfully, it’s going to cost an organization a lot of time and resources to try to recover their very valuable data,” Ayoub says.
Smart Business spoke with Ayoub about cyberattacks, compliance updates that will affect many businesses, and how managed services professionals can prepare organizations to handle both.
How can managed services help mitigate cyberthreats?
Some companies build their own dedicated IT team to insulate them from security threats. That can be an ideal solution, but it’s very costly to bring experts on staff to keep systems protected. Companies that don’t have enough work to justify a full-time IT staff instead outsource the service and minimize their costs.
With managed IT services, companies get access to specialized personnel who have broad experience dealing with cyberthreats in many organizational environments. Managed services professionals can assess a company’s vulnerabilities, explain the potential threats and pinpoint where they’re most likely to be compromised. They’re able to bring this experience to bear to protect an organization in a cost-effective way.
What compliance standard changes are coming and how can managed services companies help?
The Department of Defense has pushed to finalize the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement rule this summer. This rule will require contractors to have third-party inspections prior to being allowed to work with the DoD. The push has come in the wake of increasing data breaches that have happened because contractors incorrectly handled Confidential Unclassified Information.
Additional changes are also in consideration to address concerns that arose from the 60-day comment period. These changes are intended to address interaction and align with other federal information technology compliance programs.
Managed services professionals often specialize in specific areas, which means they’re familiar with any compliance requirements for companies operating in certain industries. These experts stay up to date on the latest compliance requirements, which can help companies identify areas in need of security upgrades in order to meet those regulatory standards. These service providers also stay up to date on both the cyberthreat environment, as well as ways to best to protect companies against those threats. That knowledge can help ensure companies remain protected and in compliance with any new regulatory requirements.
How can managed services providers save companies money?
Managed services companies can fill the role that full-time IT professionals typically serve in an organization, offering the same support without an investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Additionally, working with an experienced managed services company enables business leaders to focus on their core business rather than worry about IT issues. Managed services companies can also work with a company’s current IT staff, enhancing the overall skillset and specialties of the IT team.

Cyberthreats will continue to be an issue for every company, regardless of how much or how little exposure they believe they have to the digital world. And with compliance requirements taking shape for companies outside of the more heavily regulated industries such as banking and health care, every organization should work to ensure they’re protected and that their systems can meet these new standards. Managed services providers offer a cost-effective way to do just that. There are a lot of companies that offer these services, so it’s incumbent upon companies to do their diligence and ensure they’re working with a provider that has the certifications and experience to be effective.

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