Posted by: on October 30, 2020 at 8:00 am

Photo of Tavis Patterson

Tavis Patterson, President, TAZ Networks

It’s World Series Time for Cybersecurity; What’s Your Batting Order?

— The President’s Corner with Tavis Patterson

I gotta say that I love this time of year, except for one obvious thing: Fall leads into Winter, which I’m not a fan of. But October has two things that I particularly love. One is that baseball, my favorite sport, has the World Series. The other is that October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. What do these two have to do with each other?

I love sitting down and watching a great baseball game. The thrill of the October playoff run is tremendous. Even if my beloved Cubs went down pretty bad this year, I’ll still watch baseball and marvel at how anyone can hit a 98 mile-per-hour fastball. Cybersecurity sometimes has the same affect on business owners who marvel at what can be done by hackers very quickly.

So I make this challenge to you: think of cybersecurity as a World Series game. A proper cybersecurity plan involves multiple layers of technology, so, to make it simple, think of it as your batting order. Who will you have to step up to the plate to defend your business?

baseball team celebrates winning the world series

The right cybersecurity lineup can help your business win the fight against hackers.

1. Batting Leadoff — Firewall

All of us probably know about firewalls, but are you familiar with the new, next-generation firewalls? These new firewalls get automatic downloads that help detect intrusion detections, help limit spyware and adware, and provide secure VPN services. We use the SonicWall system with built-in “Security-As-A-Service” for all of our clients.

2. Anti-Virus

Today’s anti-virus is more advanced than what you may be used to. The days of updating your anti-virus manually and making sure it gets done every 2 or 4 hours automatically is no longer enough. We use Webroot as our standard anti-virus. Why? Because with its cloud engine you get immediate scanning from its always-updated AI virus engine. In today’s landscape you have to have things immediately. You can’t afford to do otherwise.

3. Microsoft 365 Email with Advanced Threat Protection

Are you tired of getting the emails from your boss saying to forward a cash advance or gift cards to him although you just saw him 2 seconds ago and he didn’t say anything? Yeah, so are we!

Gone are the days of hosting your own email. We’ve come full circle with this. Hosting email was cool for a while (remember I loved Small Business Server — and started this business around it) but now it’s simply not needed. Microsoft is spending billions(!) of dollars on security, and specifically on securing email. We recommend their email service that includes a layer of cloud spam filtering that only gets better because of the large AI database it scans to keep you safe. The spam filtering and spyware protection is called Advanced Threat Protection or ATP for short. It makes sure that links in emails are safe, that attachments are safe, and that just plain every email you get is either safe or marked as suspicious for you. Scammy emails are the most common way we see small business get compromised. (The other biggie is unsecure remote desktop connections.)

4. Cleanup — Sentinel One

When runners are on base, the fourth batter in the lineup is the “cleanup.” The cleanup batter is expected to get the job done and bring those runners home!

In terms of cybersecurity, you need something to stop an attack in its tracks if all else fails. One thing we have seen repeatedly is that it probably isn’t if you’ll get hit but when. That goes up exponentially the more employees you have.

Sentinel One is like an antivirus on steroids. It checks your machine constantly and doesn’t allow changes to happen if it sees them in rapid order. It will shut them down instantly — and comes with a million dollar guarantee which is a nice policy to have if needed. It can revert a workstation to a previous state if needed. If you see documents starting to get encrypted, Sentinel One is vital to have to shut that down.

5. Offsite Cloud Backups

After the cleanup is usually another heavy hitter. He’s ready to step in and knock one out if the cleanup hitter can’t. With security, if everything else fails you have to go to the backup, probably praying that 1.) it’s been working and, 2.) you can restore from it.

We use Veeam for our backups because of its first-class backup status and its ability to quickly and efficiently backup our clients’ data. More important than that, however, is the ability to shoot the backups to offsite cloud storage. Some hackers are now targeting onsite backups first so that restore attempts fail. With this in mind, having offsite backup is paramount to your cyber security batting order. Cloud storage is even more effective because it eliminates human error and automates the process. It’s our last-ditch effort to save the client and hit a home run!

So, what’s your network security batting order? We strongly recommend a layered approach to cybersecurity… your security batting order! Yes, this may mean paying more for technology but, folks, in today’s world it’s a necessity not a luxury! If you want to win the World Series of business make sure your security batting order is in shape, and you’ll knock it out of the park!

— Tavis

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