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(Yes, your cyber security!)

We see daily announcements of cyber breaches. So, it’s not like we’re unaware of cyber risk(s). And yet, still, they come.

Maybe, a bit like climate change, wealth inequality, costs of living crises, and general societal breakdown, we’ve rapidly become inured to it all. 

And like scientists, economists, social services organisations, and even philosophers keep repeating, if we do nothing, nothing changes. Cyber-attacks keep coming; customer data continues to be stolen – and released, sold or traded. People’s lives are drastically impacted, and life goes on. But will your business?

That’s probably a little bit fatalistic, isn’t it? Or… is it?

The moral of the hacked

I’m sure there are plenty of organisations and internal cyber guardians who think they’ve got it all under control. That’s a dangerous mindset. The reality is that cyber security isn’t a one-time fix. It’s an ongoing process of vigilance and adaptation. 

I’m sure there are innumerable small business owners who might feel a bit overwhelmed by the whole topic. They’re so busy running their operations that for them, the best cyber defence is the ‘small target strategy’. It’s no secret that small businesses have a more relaxed (or naive) attitude to cyber hygiene. ‘We’re too small. Who’s going to care about us?’

Cyber security, like the car, health or life insurance it emulates, has a reputation for being expensive with little return. The cost of a data breach or ransomware attack, however, can cripple your business both financially and reputationally. As the cliché states: You never need insurance until you need it, right? 

Mitigation, measurement, and monitoring

The truth is that most breaches exploit basic vulnerabilities. Unpatched software, weak passwords, and a lack of staff awareness are all common incursions. These are things that can be easily addressed and cost almost nothing, bar a little diligence. 

Think of cyber as your personal hygiene. How often do you brush your teeth? Every day, right? Daily cyber activities involve inspecting, categorising, and cleaning. Run regular check-ups to identify and patch weaknesses. Monitor your systems for seemingly small anomalies, like that rogue user ID trying to sneak a peek at your customer database. These things cost nothing more than a bit of time and effort. That’s a bit of a blithe statement, isn’t it? The devil’s always in the details. 

The hygiene factor

If you don’t have the time to clean, what do you do? 

Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) are the dental hygienists of your digital world. They offer a range of services, from threat detection and monitoring to incident response and security awareness training. By engaging an MSSP, you gain access to skills, resources, and time you might lack internally. A good MSSP helps you develop a layered security strategy that deters attackers, detects breaches early, and minimises any impact. 

Cyber-attacks don’t happen 9-5 …necessarily. MSSPs provide around-the-clock monitoring to identify and respond to threats as they emerge. By proactively identifying and addressing vulnerabilities, a good MSSP helps you significantly reduce the risk of a successful attack. But silver bullets were created for werewolves, not regular wolves, and cybercriminals can breach even the most robust defences. A game plan minimises damage when a breach does occur. A good MSSP works with you to develop a tailored Incident Response Plan that meets your operational needs. 

Time is money

Like everything in life, time and effort cost. Everything’s a trade-off. What’s more important? I suspect most would answer ‘sales’ or ‘income’; otherwise, what is there to protect?

Building your own in-house security team is expensive and time-consuming. MSSPs offer a cost-effective way to access ongoing and usually up-to-date security expertise. An MSSP won’t eliminate all your risk, but it will significantly reduce it – likely reducing your cyber insurance policy costs along the way as well. 

The cost of a breach can be devastating. The cost of a breach can be terminal.  But just because breaches are commonplace doesn’t mean they’re inevitable. A little effort, a small amount of investment, and a bit of tooth brushing go a long way.

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What MSSPs do that MSPs don’t: A guide for business leaders
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