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Managed Security

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.

Need Better IT Security? Managed Security Service Providers are the Answer

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

Meeting your business objectives is virtually impossible without a well-developed information security program. With businesses of every size and industry facing threats on a daily basis, comprehensive data security is now a primary need. However, many businesses don’t dedicate the personnel, time, or resources to maintain something that is always evolving. How can you address the constant barrage of hackers, malware, and phishing attacks and still stay in business?

The Importance of Managed Security

Cyberthreats are on the rise, and the technology used to launch these virtual offensives only gets more sophisticated with each attack. If you happen to have an experienced IT specialist at your disposable, you are one of the lucky few. Many small businesses lack the resources necessary to employ an IT professional, and even those businesses with full IT departments struggle to keep pace with cyberthreats. A Managed Security Service Provider, or MSSP, can offer premium IT services that are provided by highly-trained cybersecurity experts. Every aspect of data security for your business is covered, while an MSSP tackles cyberthreats so you can get back to running your business.

IT Departments Are Overwhelmed

It’s tough to admit when your professionals are stretched too thin, but outsourcing to a knowledgeable MSSP can offer relief to your entire organization. There’s no doubt that your IT personnel feel stress when a fraudulent email is opened and results in a system-wide crash, but all employees experience frustration when they can’t do their jobs. We work in a digital age that demands a reliable cybersecurity infrastructure. Even the best IT departments can lack the training and resources required to combat threats, and they are expected to simultaneously manage the daily upkeep of your business. IT security is more important than ever, making it crucial to control the many variables that exist.

An IT Strategy is a Necessity

Do you know when your basic programs need an upgrade? What are the proper security precautions for your eCommerce store? Are you in compliance with the latest regulations? These questions, and more, require up-to-date answers, and many businesses struggle to establish an IT strategy that covers all angles. An IT strategy should also create defense mechanisms within your systems that will alert you to data breaches. Faster responses save time and money, and although every breach can’t be prevented, hackers can be promptly stopped in their tracks. Not every strategy is going to look the same, and an MSSP can offer specialized solutions that fit your business objectives.

You Can’t Afford Regular Attacks

When considering an IT budget, many businesses don’t recognize the hidden costs that are inevitable. Breaches cost money, and frequent attacks will exhaust whatever budget resources you have established. Cutting costs where IT personnel and strategy is concerned will hurt you in the long run, putting your entire business at risk. You’ll spend more time on pursuing hackers and repairing the damage they have caused than you will on improving cybersecurity. An MSSP can greatly reduce costs by preventing breaches of sensitive information, and an agreement will usually offer a predictable monthly fee.

What Can thinkCSC Do for Your Business?

At thinkCSC, we take security seriously, and we want to give you the most control over your business with the necessary cybersecurity measures. Our determination to offer ourselves as an experienced MSSP has promoted the development of innovative levels of security monitoring for our clients. Massive cyberthreats are a normal part of doing business, but they are risks that can, and should, be addressed and abated. thinkCSC provides excellent levels of monitoring and detection designed to protect your data and keep your organization running smoothly.

At thinkCSC, cybersecurity is simply what we do. We can partner with you 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 enhanced Managed Security options.

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.