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September 07, 2017

Free Lunch for NYC Public Schools but Not for your Company's Cybersecurity

By offering free lunch to all 1.1 million students, New York joins other major cities including Boston, Chicago, Detroit and Dallas, according to Liz Accles, the executive director of Community Food Advocates, which had organized a campaign in support of the policy.

The program starts this year.

We often hear the expression that there isn’t any such thing as a free lunch and the reality is in this case, It’s still true… Someone ultimately picks up the tab.

That is the point of the expression.

When it comes to cybersecurity in your business, the exact same concept applies. If you are a business leader and you go home at night thinking your company is secure without taking the proper steps to secure it, you would unfortunately be mistaken.

Some recent headlines remind us of the risks.

  • 77% of schools face major cybersecurity risks – based on their own knowledge of their systems and lack of preparedness. Even worse, 79% do not use any software for information security governance or risk management.
  • One school was duped into wiring 8 million dollars to hackers at the end of last month in fact.
  • IoT devices are proliferating throughout companies – whether business owners are aware or not and often they are unprotected.
  • 711 million email addresses were just stolen which equates to more than 10% of active emails. These addresses will be used to target businesses and individuals for many years to come.

The bottom line is there is no passive security. If a company wants to be secure it needs to devote the resources needed to stay that way.

It can’t just be wishful thinking.

There is a near infinite knowledge a business owner needs to be aware of to stay safe. For example, there are at least eight areas to focus on for proper email security. There are three other important areas of focus you need to be concerned with to ensure your systems (the actual equipment used by workers) are secure.

More areas to be aware of:

  1. Cybersecurity training is crucial.
  2. Auditing and documentation must be performed to ensure systems are secure.
  3. Anomaly detection should be running constantly to detect threats as they emerge.
  4. Penetration testing shows if systems can easily be reached from the outside. Here is a case where this test might have saved two company’s’ reputations from being destroyed.
  5. Finally network forensics for when a breach eventually occurs. The bad guys always seem to get in eventually.

You need an expert – an internal one who should be audited by an external organization at least annually or a top MSP or MSSP with enough depth on their team to ensure systems are securely operating.

Make sure you find a firm with solid online reviews and excellent customer references.

There is no such as a free lunch. The saying is still accurate. Someone always ends up paying. Let’s just hope yours is one of the companies that takes the necessary steps now and doesn’t end up paying later.

Apex Technology Services
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