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Are You Running Enough Security Assessments? You Will Be After This

Whether you think so or not, all the data your company possesses is sensitive information that needs to be protected. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business or a multi-billion dollar company. A data breach of any kind can cause seriously problems.

Fortunately, there are ways to make your company’s data more secure by taking preventative measures. One of these measures involves running security assessments every quarter. If you’re not doing this already, then you’re making a mistake. Here’s why.

 There Are Too Many Ways for a Network to Be Compromised

There isn’t just one way for a security breach to happen in your company’s network. Nowadays, companies are way more at risk than ever before. Viruses can come from all kinds of places and people, and they often go unnoticed or are untraceable. They can come in the form of emails, trojans, worms, malware, “command and control” and others. It’s really not possible for one company to try and stay on top of every potential risk. That’s why you need to run security assessments often.

Constant Security Protects Your Business

If your company’s network and data gets damaged, that’s one thing. But, these are not the only reasons why a company should be frequently running security checks. There are also business reasons. It’s important to monitor employee activity, to make sure no one is exposing the company to risks. It’s also important to make sure your system isn’t being slowed down by bandwidth abuse, or that pirated software isn’t being downloaded.

Firewalls and Other Tools Alone Simply Aren’t Enough

Yes, most computers come with tools that help block off these risks, but it’s just not enough. Why? Because every tool you use, even if it’s extremely reliable, needs to be constantly monitored. Once one problem is attacked, it’s likely another will appear very soon. A security check up every quarter helps to make sure everything is working properly, regardless of the specific tools you’re using. 

The Assessments We Do Are Always Detailed

We get it. Even if you run security assessments as often as you’re supposed to, all that mumbo jumbo can be rather confusing for companies who don’t have the resources to understand it. Luckily, the assessments we provide are extremely detailed. They provide reports on security risk, security policy, share permission, outbound security, and external vulnerabilities. If that’s overwhelming for you, don’t be alarmed. We’re here to help you analyze all of this.

Running Security Assessments Helps Your Business Run Smoothly

Dealing with a security breach after it’s already happened can cause major losses for your company. By preparing your company to take on risks before they come, you’ll be helping yourself out tremendously. Running security assessments frequently, prevents any surprises from happening. You’ll be able to catch things as they come, and significantly minimize the chances of those losses from happening.

The Risk of Not Doing It Costs More Than Doing It

One of the biggest reasons companies don’t invest more in cybersecurity is because they just don’t think it’s necessary. This may because they don’t feel like they have much at stake to lose, or they feel their money should go elsewhere. Other companies see it as something they’ll deal if and when it happens.

But, we say, why take the risk? Running security assessments every so often will save you a lot of money in the long run. Here at Smeester & Associates, we offer recommendations and services to make your data more secure, at a price that’s affordable. The rate we offer is not even comparable to what you’d pay if you had a breach that could have otherwise been caught beforehand.

Don’t take any risks. Your company’s data needs to be protected. Run a security specific assessment every quarter, and take on those red flags before they hit you.

How low is your fruit hanging? Is that bear about to eat you or the other guy?

Discover how much risk you’re exposed to and get a complimentary RiskAware™ Cyber Security Scan & Report today!

Why You Should Ditch Using the Break/Fix Model Immediately

Ah..the old “break/fix” model. The one where customers call up a service when they have a problem, so they can be helped  over the phone or eventually have the service visit their office. This is the model that is completely counterproductive. The model that no longer makes any sense to keep using. The one that should never be used again if you’re an IT decision maker at your company.

If you’re still relying on the break/fix model at your business, it’s time to dismiss it and swap it for something way more useful. Here’s why.

It’s Reactionary and That’s Not Good

The break/fix model wastes time, and as most businesses are fully aware, time is money. Every time you have an IT issue and you have to call someone up to help you troubleshoot a problem, your business is at a standstill. Nothing can be done until the problem is fixed. Whether it’s because you can’t access a file in your system or your whole network is down, it’s affecting your business minute by minute.

Ultimately, the break/fix model is outdated. It’s reactionary. It once worked well, but now with more advanced technologies, more complex problems can arise. That being said, there are many IT services companies now have the ability to fix these kinds of problems before they even occur. They work on a preventable basis, making repairs before “the lights go out,” usually without anybody knowing a problem occurred.

After all, why would you take the car when a train is way faster and less expensive? Catch our drift?

It Doesn’t Look Good for Your Customers

Companies who are still using the break/fix model can be causing a lot of tension between themselves and their customers.  Let’s say you’re a doctor, and all of a sudden, your system is down. You can’t access your patients’ files. You can’t send over a prescription for a patient who is calling in with extreme pain. While not every business is a doctor’s office, you can see how a small IT problem can quickly cause your customers to suffer. Now, you need to wait on the phone for someone to help you. All this time wasted can really make your customers think less of you, despite it not being your fault.

Or, is it? By relying on the break/fix model, you’re automatically doing your customers a disservice, even if everything is working at the present moment.

The Break/Fix Model Isn’t Helping You, Either

If your customers have to be on hold while you’re waiting for your system to be back up and running again, you are losing money and you’ve shot a good reputation. Sometimes, this “hold” can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Every second the clock ticks, money is being lost. In addition to that, you’re also going to have to pay money to the company that’s doing the repairs and who knows how much that’s going to cost? Nobody in business has said they prefer unpredictability!

Yes, problems happen. People aren’t perfect, and businesses are certainly not, either. Not everything is preventable. But, is the break/fix model something you think you want to keep using, or that you even have the option of using? You can help yourself by ditching the break/fix model immediately.

The Bottom Line

Because of these reasons, a majority of IT companies have switched over from the break/fix method to something much more reliable. If you’re an IT decision maker for your business, we’re here to tell you it’s time to do the same. Smeester & Associates will help manage your technology and fix problems BEFORE it happens. We do this all at an affordable rate, so you can go about your business worry-free.

How low is your fruit hanging? Is that bear about to eat you or the other guy?

Discover how much risk you’re exposed to and get a complimentary RiskAware™ Cyber Security Scan & Report today!

Everyone Should Know These Important Cybersecurity Basics

Cybersecurity is very complex and safeguarding data may mean different things from one company to another. In some cases, it involves hiring an entire team to take on potential attacks at every possible moment. In other cases, it involves implementing the basic necessities in order to protect your information. Security breaches happen so often that it’s imperative that companies do whatever it takes to defend their data. Unfortunately, not all companies have the budget nor the resources to do so.

If your company falls into one of those categories, then it’s important to at the very least, learn these basic steps to cybersecurity.

Educate Your Staff

Even if only some members of your staff are absolutely proficient in security language, it’s a good idea to have even the non-security folk have a general idea of what’s going on. Everyone should be on the same page when it comes to sharing files, using passwords, or exchanging information. It should be clear who the administrators are, who has access to which files, and what the procedure is when red flags show up in the system.

Be Aware of Your Data

How can you protect your data if you don’t know what it is you’re protecting? Does your company have sensitive information from your customers? A “secret” algorithm that’s your company’s money maker? Private information that’s stored on mobile devices? Whatever it is, those handling it (and even those not handling it) should know exactly what they have that’s so crucial to protect.

Take Passwords Seriously

Hackers are able to guess passwords very easily. If you don’t take password creation seriously, it could be one of the biggest mistakes your company makes. When a new software or program asks you to create a strong password, they mean it. And, don’t just choose numbers 1-9, either. Be creative and diverse with your passwords and also use different passwords for different things. Keep them written somewhere safe.

Constantly Update Your Antivirus

Most small businesses use an antivirus software when they start out. While antiviruses are good to use, they constantly need to be updated in order to keep up with the amount of potential attacks that are out there. One of the most basic pieces of advice is to not settle for the basic plan. Get your company what it needs to protect itself, even if it seems a little outrageous at the time.

Always Have a Backup Plan

It’s really great that you have a CISO to take care of everything, but what if he or she is out sick or needs to move to another state? What if a breach happens while your chief security officer is on vacation? Your company should have a backup plan or at least a certain protocol in place to deal with things if and when they happen. That being said, all companies should take the necessary measures to deal with things before they happen; something you’ll have to discuss with your CFO.

Ask Questions

Everything that there is to do with cybersecurity is pretty overwhelming for the average individual. If this topic isn’t your forte, then don’t be too shy to ask questions so that you can understand what you need to for your company. At the same time, don’t try to take complete initiative over your entire business’ security program if you’re not sure what to do. Get help from those who are professionals.

Consider Your Budget

One of the biggest problems companies face today with cybersecurity is whether or not to spend money on it. If you’re here now, then you’ve thankfully already understood the importance of allocating money towards protecting your data. However, we understand that budgeting is a huge concern for any company. But, there’s always a plan out there that’s suitable for everyone. If you need help finding yours, just ask us!

Are you familiar with the basics of cybersecurity but still need help? Then contact Smeester & Associates and sign up for a face to face meeting. 

How low is your fruit hanging? Is that bear about to eat you or the other guy?

Discover how much risk you’re exposed to and get a complimentary RiskAware™ Cyber Security Scan & Report today!


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