SKOUT Education Series: Cybersecurity Should Be Like The Electric Company | A Cyber 101 Resource

Cybersecurity

Blog Post Received from our Partner SKOUT

 

A reader recently asked:

“There’s so much Cybersecurity information available out there and so many things we seem to have to do on every device every day. Is there any way to reduce the amount of stuff my business has to know, or am I stuck hiring security professionals and stretching the HR budget beyond its limits?” At SKOUT, we hear this quite a lot. The good news is that you don’t have to learn everything or hire a team of people; just cover the basics and let a solid cybersecurity partner handle the rest.

Cybersecurity for the majority of businesses is something that can be outsourced easily and effectively; without needing to increase headcount or break the bank to pay for it. In fact for small, mid-sized, and even many enterprise organizations, security should work a lot like your local electric company. You need a limited amount of knowledge, but you rely on them to handle the rest. Let’s look further into that analogy.

Your electric company expects that you know some basic things. You need to know the voltage of your house  are you running on 110 (US) or 220 (EU) voltage at the power outlet? You’ll need to know what kind of plugs you require to fit in the outlets in your house or when you have visitors from outside your area. Of course, it’s good to know that your appliances are safe and manufactured well so that they don’t damage your house or your family; and you need to know when they should be replaced. You may need to know what kind of fuses or circuit breakers you have, and where in your home they are located so you can address blown fuses and tripped circuits. Beyond that, however, you really don’t need to know about the overall system of municipal power generation or distribution.

The electric company is responsible for generating the actual power, and maintaining the systems and physical lines that deliver it from wherever it’s generated into your home. They monitor the entire system to make sure that sufficient power is generated to meet customer needs, and also to detect if anything within the system is starting to go wrong. They also know how to correct things that do go wrong, and to advise you on how to correct issues within your house if you call them and ask. They can even recommend the right professionals to assist you with in-home rewiring and other tasks that they don’t do themselves and you may need help with.

Cybersecurity should work the same way. You and your company should have staff that understands how your own technology works, how to keep it updated, and how to manage the basics; like setting up two-factor logins through the service providers (Microsoft Office 365, G-Suite, SalesForce, etc.) that you use. You should know what WiFi networks you have set up, and who is allowed to access them. You also need policies for Bring Your Own Device and other company-specific issues. Beyond that, you can offload security to a 3rd-party to handle the rest.

Your cybersecurity partner should be monitoring your systems and networks continuously (and, of course, their own) to look for any signs of abnormal or anomalous activities. They should be monitoring your anti-malware systems and making sure company equipment has this protection set up and is updated regularly. For cloud-based systems like Office 365 they should be looking for strange login patterns or anyone attempting to overcome security controls put in place, and they should be monitoring the overall pattern of spam, phishing, and fraud emails your employees are receiving. Of course, if you need direct assistance with security concerns they should be ready to assist directly; and also to recommend the right professionals to assist with anything they don’t offer in-house.

It’s not required, or even necessary, that you have a full cybersecurity team on staff and on the payroll. First, finding the right people is a difficult process in the current security job market; and secondly you may not have the budget to handle that much additional headcount at premium salary rates. Your team should be able to handle the basics, and your cybersecurity partner should be managing everything else for you, just like your electric company manages everything from their generators to the power drop in your home. Well, actually, your cybersecurity partner should be a bit more reliable than most utility companies.

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WRITTEN BY:

Erick Bacallao joined Champion Solutions Group in 2015 after a career of Software Development in Cuba at the National Cancer Care Institute of Cuba, followed by moving to the States with allAware.

 

Champion acquired allAware and its properties and Erick has utilized his extensive background and expertise in IT and Software Development to rise to VP of Product Development in less than 5 years. During this time, Erick has been involved with key projects that led to the launch of numerous products including CSP Boss, Inscape platform and 365 Productivity Insights.

 

Erick has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Havana. He won Gold Medals for Programming from the Ministry of Education in Cuba, and he is certainly still a Gold Medalist for Champion!

 

As President and CEO, Chris is responsible for the development of key strategic alliances and solution portfolio. He leads Champion’s go-to market and execution strategies for integrated offerings in the cloud, in security, and in digital infrastructure, always focusing on improving the customer experience and driving transformative business outcomes.

 

He also aligns key partner initiatives with company strategy and oversees corporate marketing and messaging to gain mindshare with customers and partners. It’s his vision and innovativeness that have catapulted Champion up the ranks to become a $100M+ organization—and one of the most respected solution providers in the industry.

 

Over the past two decades, Chris has also focused on mergers and acquisitions, as well as innovative product development. He is the original founder and an active member on the Board of Managed Maintenance, Inc., a SAAS provider and consulting firm that utilizes their award-winning One-View Portal to help the IT Channel and its customers manage their IT Maintenance.

 

Chris is also the original founder and chief strategist behind one of the original storage cloud providers, Storage Access / BluePoint. During the course of a few short years, he had raised $20M and took that company public on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It has since been acquired by Pomeroy.

 

In 2012, Chris led the acquisition of MessageOps and continued the product development and worldwide launch of its premier SAAS, 365 Command. Built on Microsoft Azure, 365 Command is currently managing over 1 million seats of Microsoft’s Office 365. After achieving this phenomenal milestone, 365 Command and other MessageOps O365 utilities were sold to Kaseya.

 

Over the past 35 years, Chris as worked tirelessly to not only advance his own career, but those of his employees. In addition to leading a $100M organization, Chris can also be found sitting with sales teams, cold calling and coaching, and validating why Champion has been listed on Best Places to Work by both South Florida Business Journal and Computerworld.

Ultimately, the success garnered by Champion Solutions Group, its associated companies, and their employees is due in large part to the leadership of its President and CEO. Perhaps the most fitting award Chris has earned is South Florida Business Journal’s 2013 Ultimate CEO Award.