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February 21, 2018

Cybersecurity: A Top Theme at ITEXPO 2018

If there was one thing that just about everyone was talking about at ITEXPO in Ft. Lauderdale last week, it was cybersecurity. This topic came up repeatedly throughout the week in different spaces, from SD-WAN to Blockchain to the conference keynotes. You couldn’t escape the topic.

It’s been interesting over the years to watch cybersecurity evolve at ITEXPO. What started as a small discussion point has quickly grown into a fundamental business requirement and a top interest for attendees. The majority of business owners now respect cybersecurity enough to give the topic the attention it deserves. And they want to know more about what they can do to protect their digital assets.

Cybersecurity, for instance, was addressed during the panel “How to Beat Evolving Security Threats,” moderated by industry insider Doug Mahoney and featuring neXt Curve Principal Analyst and Consultant Akshay Sharma, Area 1 Security Ops and Development Director John Morgan and Ingate Systems President Steven Johnson. The panel offered practical tips that businesses can use to keep hackers out of their networks.

The key takeaway from this panel is that businesses cannot take a “one size fits all” approach to cybersecurity. Cybersecurity today requires using a combination of real-time network monitoring, strong authentication hygiene, behavioral analytics and AI-based solutions.

The panel also brought up the need for employee education. Businesses are only as strong as their weakest cybersecurity link, and so all employees need to be aware of the threat landscape and actively watching for things like phishing attacks, infected advertisements and wire transfer scams. Hackers are looking to prey on unsuspecting end users who can grant them easy access to large databases of sensitive information. Attacks can take years to plan, and just minutes to execute.

As the panel showed, it’s not large brand name cyberattacks that businesses really need to worry about, but rather targeted attacks where hackers are conducting thorough research and executing in stages. These attacks are highly-lucrative, and unfortunately they are usually successful.

During the panel, it was said that 90 percent of attacks that are sent to 10 or more users are successful.

With this in mind, it’s time to think about whether your business is doing enough to build a strong cybersecurity culture. If your business needs help, consider working with third party experts offering cybersecurity education and awareness programs.

To get started, click here.

Here are some of the areas all organizations looking to promote a cybersecurity culture need to focus on.

1.    Cybersecurity training must be done regularly.

2.    Auditing and documentation must be performed regularly 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.    Network forensics for when a breach eventually occurs. The bad guys always seem to get in eventually.

6.    An action plan to follow when a breach does occur. Once it happens, few will have the clear heads needed to “wing it” correctly. Equifax botched it’s response in what is being called a PR catastrophe.

To ensure your organization is safe – even if you have internal IT, hire an experienced MSP or MSSP like Apex Technology Services.

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