It’s an old battle; one that many have almost forgotten as the enemy lies in wait, counting on inattentiveness to bolster their evil plans.

Sounds like an intergalactic war from Star Wars, huh? With the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker this December, our ongoing fight against cybercrime comes to mind. Many businesses seem to have become complacent in the fight against cybercrime as 48% of SMBs have budgeted $5,000 or less on security for the upcoming year. This is 54% less than what was spent by small- and medium-sized businesses on cybersecurity last year.

You might think this trend indicates a decrease in hacking, phishing and ransomware attacks on SMBs. Nothing is farther from the truth. Symantec reports employees of small organizations receive spam in 55% of their emails, considerably fewer than emails received by employees of larger organizations.

The reduction in cybersecurity spending is more likely an indicator of business leaders believing they’ve been oversold on cyber investments vs. the threat of actually being hacked.

Unfortunately, this may prove to be a foolish assumption as the average cost of a data breach globally topped $3.9 million over the past year and 43% of cyberattacks targeted small businesses.

In 95% of the companies DiamondIT has assessed, businesses have already been compromised or are currently compromised – and the business didn’t even know it.

Old Battle; New Weapons

The first cybercrime was recorded in 1820 when a French textile manufacturer produced the loom. The new technology allowed the repetition of a series of steps in the weaving of special fabrics. This breakthrough device was coveted by textile competitors who sabotaged the new technology to discourage its use. Thus, cybercrime was born.

You can imagine that managed IT solutions and cybersecurity best practices have evolved since 1820, but the fight is the same: protecting your business from criminals. Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) has introduced a whole new challenge.

“Alexa,” smart refrigerators and TVs as well as driverless cars all connect us to the internet. This makes our personal preferences, purchases and privacy a commodity to cybercriminals and the Dark Web.

In business, we use the IoT to manage farming irrigation systems, public utilities and other services remotely which equates to being competitive. Oil companies use IoT to track production; irrigation pumps are managed from the office. One trucking company we work with monitors water silos with automated technology that removed the necessity of physically having to drive out to the silos to check water levels. The elimination of ONE trip to the silos paid for the cost of the technology.

The Rise of Modern Security

Cybersecurity best practices dictate that complacency toward dark cyber forces is a mistake, especially during the holiday season when you and your staff may be less attentive than usual.

Emails from FedEx and the postal service notifying you of a package delivery are expected and common during the holiday gift-giving season. When these emails are actually sent by clever cybercriminals, even the most aware employees can be fooled.

Modern security is an ongoing saga of finding the best protections while staving off the ever-evolving onslaught of new attacks. DiamondIT is always researching and testing new managed IT solutions to protect our customers in Bakersfield and Los Angeles.

Emerging security solutions

Current beta testing includes Security Operation Centers (SOC) and Security Information & Event Management (SIEM) software. SOC and SIEM are well-established by enterprise-level businesses, the military and governments to monitor networks 24/7 against intrusions. The solutions provide managed IT providers with the tools necessary to identify and close gaps in cybersecurity more quickly and accurately.

SOC monitors system activity for anomalous incidents and events that could indicate a compromise. The SOC team adds a human component to detecting, analyzing and responding to cybersecurity incidents. Activity is analyzed across networks, endpoints, servers and databases to ensure swift detection and response to security incidents.

More protection for SMBs

SOC and SIEM solutions are now affordable for SMBs, and DiamondIT soon will be adding them to our SecureCentric solution to help stop breaches and protect sensitive information. Through these tools, we can monitor your network in real time to find security threats and mitigate risk.

Fight Against Evil

You don’t need to get burned to learn. In 95% of the companies DiamondIT has assessed, businesses have already been compromised or are currently compromised – and the business doesn’t even know it.

Cybersecurity best practices recommend that you have a neutral party conduct a network assessment to find out where your systems are vulnerable. Security pitfalls like password policies and breach detection are evaluated as well as backup and storage solutions and incident response planning.

Hackers don’t arrive with fanfare

Although you may not know it, you are probably already being attacked. Hackers lie in wait so they can get all the data they can before being discovered. Employee cyber awareness training provides your company with a “Human Firewall” of people who won’t be fooled by suspicious emails and their dangerous attachments.

Invest in cybersecurity now

A common reason criminals target smaller businesses is your connection to larger companies. When Target was breached, for instance, the hackers came through one of their smaller vendors – an HVAC provider that didn’t have the cybersecurity solutions in place that Target does. Make sure your vendors and partners employ cybersecurity best practices.

Don’t put off securing your IT network. The first step is getting an assessment from a trustworthy third party. DiamondIT performs network assessments for small- and medium-sized businesses as well as municipalities and enterprise-level organizations.

DiamondIT is a leader in IT managed security solutions in Bakersfield and Los Angeles. From beta testing advanced security solutions to initiating a special interest group of managed service providers taking steps to ensure MSPs aren’t a gateway for hackers, DiamondIT is your security leader.

Come to our complimentary, early showing of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on Dec. 19 where we will be available to answer any questions you have about cybersecurity before dinner and a movie. Sign up here!