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Managed IT Services

vCIO

Improve IT Security with a vCIO

By | Managed IT Services, Managed Security, vCIO | No Comments

Unless you are a major corporation, hiring a full-time CTO or CIO is often beyond your means, as the average salary of a CIO in the U.S. is over $200,000 per year. But going without an IT security expert at your disposal can potentially cost you even more, depending on the severity of the inevitable breach that will occur if your IT security is not up to speed.

A vCIO can Offer You the Best of Both Worlds

A virtual CIO – or vCIO – on the other hand, gives you the C-level expertise you need to operate your business with the best risk management tools available without spending $200,000 or more plus benefits for another C-level executive. Our vCIO service is an integral piece of the managed services we provide our clients, and it comes at a fraction of the cost of hiring your own Chief Information Officer.

vCIO ROI

Having hands-on access to CIO-level expertise, without the cost, means you not only have top-notch cybersecurity protection for your business, but you also have the funds necessary to invest in comprehensive cybersecurity for your organization.  From investments in infrastructure to better employee training, you can more effectively manage risk.

What Does a vCIO Do?

We remove the stress from your risk-management efforts by providing support and insight about risk management, remediation efforts, and the general effectiveness of your cybersecurity program.  Our virtual CIO role exists so that we can help your organization achieve the proper cybersecurity governance within your organization.

If we’re all honest with each other, a business could go just about anywhere to obtain cloud services or implement IT security. You can click a link and buy services online and never even meet the people who store your valuable data. And many businesses often choose their IT services based on who offers the best price at the time. But smart business leaders see the growing role IT plays in the everyday operation of their organizations and seek something more than break-fix solutions.

– Tom Hastings, thinkCSC President

C-Level Guidance without C-Level Costs

vCIO services level the playing field for small- and medium-sized organizations that can now have access to the same level of expertise as large corporations, without bearing the cost of a full-time CIO. In today’s globally competitive, rapidly transforming environment, small and midsize businesses must find ways to remain as competitive as possible, and when it comes to business IT, the vCIO solution is a great equalizer.  At thinkCSC, our vCIO is a free service that is provided as part of our managed services. Your vCIO will:

  • Take time to understand your business and industry
  • Understand your vision and provide solutions
  • Solve problems and ease pain points, proactively seeking solutions that keep your organization ahead of the competition
  • Demonstrate business acumen and a commitment to delivering customized solutions that align with your business goals and strategy
  • Provide regular, comprehensive reviews of your infrastructure and security and follow up with strategic guidance and solutions
  • Partner with you on the implementation of customized tech solutions designed to help your organization more effectively meet business objectives
  • Align IT infrastructure, applications, and security to organizational needs

The net results are proactive insights and informed decisions. Uninformed choices often result in irreparable damage. Our team does the legwork and research for you to ensure you make IT decisions that are strategic and cost-effective. We identify IT issues before they cost you time and money, by conducting a network assessment, inventorying your IT systems and licenses, identifying potential risks, and tagging obsolete systems for replacement.

What Can thinkCSC Do for Your Business?

At thinkCSC, we take security seriously, offering innovative levels of security monitoring for our clients. Cyber threats are a normal part of doing business, but these risks can, and should, be addressed and abated. Partnering with the right managed services provider does make a difference. Today’s MSP does more than just provide technology and facilitate server upgrades; the right MSP is an integral layer of your cybersecurity, providing the expertise you need to remain competitive, secure, and in business. We can partner with your Columbus-region organization to develop a unique solution designed to fit your business model. Take the first step towards advanced cybersecurity practices and contact us today to learn more about our managed security and vCIO services.

Collaboration is the Future of Cybersecurity

By | Cybersecurity, Managed IT Services | No Comments

Cybersecurity has become a top concern for every industry. Defending against cyber threats is a full-time job, yet even though most competent cybersecurity strategy is not foolproof. There are too many facets to consider, too many vulnerabilities to take notice of, and too few IT professionals to manage every threat. However, collaboration can give organizations the advantage. Team projects are more successful with the cooperation of diverse individuals; likewise, an organization can have a stronger cybersecurity strategy when they decide to partner with others.

Shared information benefits all.

It can be tempting to hoard your best cybersecurity strategies but doing so only limits your overall defensive capabilities. Even government agencies have begun partnering with private and international industries, recognizing that collaboration is the best defense against malicious cyberattacks. Collaboration also makes it possible for organizations to stop cyberattacks before they become rampant, by globally disseminating threat intelligence and guidelines on how to reduce the risk of known threats.

Keep your friends close and your “enemies” closer.

In some circumstances, cybersecurity vendors have found that partnering with their competition is beneficial in battling a common enemy. There are numerous stories of ransomware being decrypted by a team comprised of IT professionals from separate companies, each recognizing that they share a common goal. If one company is taken down by a cyberattack, it is only a matter of time before others find themselves susceptible to the same vulnerabilities. Working together is going to be more common as cybersecurity threats advance.

Collaboration promotes diverse expertise.

The most important aspect of collaboration is recognizing that one organization cannot possibly manage every threat alone. Companies assess their vulnerabilities, deciding areas of priority to mitigate risk. Inevitably, however, gaps remain. The best solution is to partner with others in the industry that excel where your own organization is lacking. Trading resources makes the sum greater than separate parts, resulting in stronger defenses than any one organization could possess.

For example, thinkCSC partnered last year with KnowBe4, and although thinkCSC is dedicated to improving awareness, KnowBe4 has the world’s largest library of security awareness training content. This partnership encourages everyone within an organization to be a part of the solution, offering the best training available. Human error is the root of most internal threats, and educating employees is a crucial step that every organization should take in establishing a culture of cybersecurity.

thinkCSC also recognizes that keeping information secure involves monitoring digital credentials, and ID Agent is the provider of the only commercial solution available that detects compromised credentials on the Dark Web. Clients deserve to know that their logon credentials are secure, even in the darkest corners of the internet. This credential monitoring software is highly specialized, and this collaboration offers clients the best solution against identify theft.

Collaboration has allowed organizations that offer managed cybersecurity services, such as thinkCSC, the opportunity to provide clients with an enhanced level of security tools. Our partnership with Arctic Wolf, a security operations center, offers clients 24/7 monitoring and crisis support from an experienced team of IT professionals. Managed threat detection can save a business from ruin, but not every size fits all. By collaborating with an adaptable service to manage threats as needed, businesses of every size can be protected.

The future of cybersecurity demands collaboration. Hackers are attempting to breach secure networks from multiple angles; therefore, your defenses should reflect a proactive strategy that leverages from diverse areas of expertise. There are many levels of cybersecurity, each as important as the other, but managing every aspect would be overwhelming to a single organization. Industries will find stronger defenses in partnerships, and the shared knowledge will benefit clients.

At thinkCSC, we believe that in order to achieve maximum success, regardless of the size or type of your organization, you must make IT an integral part of your overall business strategy and partner with IT professionals who not only understand how to leverage technology to their advantage but who are also committed to understanding your business goals and aligning their IT strategy to yours. We pride ourselves on having the best business-savvy technical experts in the industry. If you would like to learn how to create an IT security strategy aligned with your organizational goalscontact thinkCSC for more information.

Vulnerability Management

By | Data Security, Email Security, Managed IT Services, Managed Security

We keep repeating this, because it bears repeating: Cybersecurity is one of the most pressing issues facing businesses in today’s technological world. Business size, resources, location, and other characteristics are almost irrelevant. From small, individualized breaches to worldwide ransomware attacks, the scope of cybersecurity compromises has risen dramatically throughout the last decade.

This trend has led to the need for organizations of every size to establish strategies to enhance cybersecurity and combat attacks. One such approach is known as vulnerability management (VM), which focuses on identifying threats and reducing exposure rather than merely reacting to incidents. In broad business terms, this approach differs from the old quality control systems (detecting problems as they happened or early in their appearance, thereby containing potential crises) and is more like the newer quality assurance approach (putting measures in place to assure the prevention of problems occurring at all). Quality assurance approaches include expeditious handling of issues that occur, but they focus on identifying potential systemic weaknesses and strengthening them in order to prevent issues from the start.

How is this done? What does this mean in practical terms? How can even small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) employ a sufficiently robust VM plan?

The following are a few answers to these key questions:

Treat the Issue as More than Just a Requirement

Too many companies approach cybersecurity in general, and vulnerability management in particular, as an item on a checklist – a chore that must be done. These companies perform an annual scan and often use outdated or mismatched software systems. Treating cybersecurity simply as a requirement leads to inadequate protection and a never-ending cycle of escalating issues over which they never gain full control. Solving a serious problem requires seeing it as a serious problem and then treating it as such.

Conduct Regular Vulnerability Scans 

Solid VM programs involve much more than just threat-detection scans. They do employ regular scans (at least quarterly) using up-to-date systems, but they also include additional elements, such as root-cause analysis, tracking, remediation, and detailed reporting. Without such comprehensive essentials, businesses leave themselves open to risks that can be eliminated systematically.

Consider Both Authenticated and Unauthenticated Scanning

Unauthenticated scanning is a simple scanning process through which devices are scanned remotely to determine exposed vulnerabilities. Authenticated scanning goes one step further and logs into the system with a valid user account. Using authenticated scanning can identify system configuration issues, as well as embedded vulnerabilities that simple scanning cannot catch.

Use the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS)

The CVSS uses a calculation metric to assign severity scores to vulnerabilities. The three core areas analyzed are: base metrics (qualities that are intrinsic to a vulnerability), temporal metrics (vulnerabilities that evolve over time), and environmental metrics (vulnerabilities that require specific implementation or a particular environment). This allows organizations to prioritize their responses in an intentional, meaningful, and productive manner and avoid the tendency to spend disproportionate time and resources on minor threats.

Fix the Issues That Cause Vulnerability

Scans merely identify threats. Most companies do nothing more than remove the threats discovered by their scanning measures. What they fail to do is fix the core issue that allowed the threat into their systems in the first place. Thus, the same threats often reappear, are discovered by future scans, are removed once again, and the cycle continues. Eliminating the entry portal exploited continually by the threat closes the existing security gap and stops this cycle of entrance and removal, which altogether eliminates the risk posed by the threat.

If Necessary, Outsource Vulnerability Management

Vulnerability management can be overwhelming, especially for SMBs with limited technical expertise and limited budgets. Just as outsourcing HR, legal, or security services can be beneficial, partnering with an established, knowledgeable Managed Security Services company can be a perfect, cost-effective solution to such a daunting task.