Finding and implementing software security is essential for any business with an online presence. Which means that pretty much every business in 2022 needs to find effective cloud security solutions.
Not having secure software solutions can lead to extremely damaging consequences. Sensitive customer or company data can be leaked or stolen, your network could be broken, business operations could be interrupted interminably.
And before you think that your business is too small for hackers to be interested, beware. Cyber attacks on SMBs have been on the rise with no signs of slowing down. Attackers are finding SMBs easier to attack, with big payoffs if they can successfully steal from or disrupt a business.
It’s more important than ever to find IT security solutions that work for you and your company.
Benefits of Cloud Solutions
Before you swear off software and try to build an unhackable business presence, let’s not forget that cloud solutions have immense benefits for businesses of all sizes, but especially for SMBs that hope to grow into the future.
Cloud solutions provide ease of use for executives, employees, and customers alike. For example, instead of complicated and barely legible spreadsheets, people can access data dashboards to find the information they need. Real-time tracking, accurate inventories, and instantly updated cashflow reports are all made possible by cloud computing.
Cloud solutions are also scalable and flexible. Instead of paying for services that you don’t need, cloud solutions often offer tailored solutions that fit the current size of your business, and are easy to expand or contract.
Continuity is also a huge benefit, not only for communications between a business and its clients, but also for employee collaboration. With the increase of remote work and businesses that operate internationally, cloud computing makes the essential possible, by making it easy for people across the globe to access the same information, and work together to find solutions.
Working on the cloud means working with an infrastructure that won’t crumble if someone spills coffee on their computer. You’ll always be able to pick up where you left off.
Protecting the Cloud
Unfortunately, the same things that make cloud computing so attractive and beneficial to businesses are the same things that hackers try to exploit for cyber attacks.
If a hacker can gain access into a SMB network through any one point, it might not be long before the entire network is at risk. That’s why it’s more necessary than ever to deploy robust endpoint security solutions and implement software security solutions that will stop hackers in their tracks.
And given the recent trends in cyber attacks, it’s only a matter of time before hackers target your business. From 2020 to 2021, the frequency of ransomware attacks on businesses went from 61% to 75%. Those numbers are on an upward trend with no sign of slowing down.
What is IT security software?
IT security software includes programs and applications implemented in devices, networks, and servers in order to protect companies from risk, including system attacks and data leaks. Security software is often specifically designed to fight against a few common threats, including the following:
- Virus: a program that self-replicates once it infects a system, spreading through the modification of existing files and programs.
- Spam: electronic junk mail, often tied to phishing attempts
- Malware: a program installed into an OS (operating system) that compromises the system and device in which its installed, including data the system holds
There is a wide variety of IT security software available, and it’s important to implement a suite of programs that will completely cover your system as well as possible.
This means that in addition to security software, you’ll likely have to implement hardware, or security appliances, which are devices and servers that block unwanted traffic from your network.
A security platform is designed to manage multiple security products including software and hardware, to ensure they are updated and working in sync with each other and your system.
Types of security software solutions
There are myriad security software solutions in 2022. While the abundance of choices can make designing a security platform overwhelming, knowing more about the types of security software available will make it easier for you to determine what exactly you need to cover your SMB.
Advanced malware protection software
Gone are the days when a simple malware program was all you needed. Hackers are getting more inventive and complex with their attacks every single day. Luckily, the good guys are keeping up, by creating advanced malware protection software. The right advanced malware protection software will have a primary goal of preventing breaches altogether, but in case of a breach, will automatically detect, contain, and fight against cyber threats.
Application security software
With the enormous uptick in application usage for SMBs, it’s more important than ever to ensure that no application in your business is a touchpoint for cyber criminals. Application security software will monitor the applications, how they’re running, and who is accessing them, watching for unusual activity.
A firewall is an essential part of any robust security program. Firewalls often include hardware and software working in tandem to prevent unauthorized access to networks.
Endpoint security software
Endpoint security software focuses on the devices connected to a network, and ensures they are not compromised. Devices include computers, phones, tablets, and servers. They work by checking files that enter the network, looking for unusual or corrupted files that signal an attack.
Web Security Software
Many cyber threats are online, hiding in plain sight, looking like otherwise innocuous links. While some browsers offer a modicum of protection, it’s much better to employ web security software to ensure that threats don’t enter the network through the web. Web security software often works as a proxy between the user and the internet to check data for threats, and block them.
Network security software
Network security software works by monitoring your network, ensuring that only authorized users are accessing it, and that data protection remains in place.
Identity and Access Management
Identity and access management (IAM) software is crucial for anyone who wants to streamline their employee network access without the mess of sharing passwords and having anonymous logins. The best software will be one that fits the size of your business, is easy for employees to use correctly, and hard for bad actors to invade. You should also consider features like multi-factor authentication, automatic alerts for suspicious logins, and easy but secure account retrieval.
If you have sensitive data, protecting it is more than a matter of ensuring that cyber criminals can’t access it. Encryption is an excellent tool to protect vulnerable, sensitive data, by making it unusable to anyone but you. When it comes to encryption, you can use tools that provide local encryption for data that isn’t traveling between networks, and email encryption for data that is. EIther way, encryption is key.
Next-Generation IPS (NGIPS)
Next-GenerationIntrusion Prevention Systems (NGIPS) are intrusion prevention systems designed for next-generation devices, namely the most common ones that are used today. They work by authenticating network traffic, inspecting the network perimeter, blocking unauthorized users from accessing the network, and tracking suspect files if they begin to travel through the network.
Security information and event management (SIEM)
SIEM software is critical for preventing and dealing with security events. The best SIEM software collects real time network data, identifies suspicious activity, and logs information to provide IT security visibility into possible attacks for easier detection and protection. Without SIEM, you could be flying blind when it comes to a major security event, making it that much harder to recuperate.
Network Security Analytics
For an even more comprehensive look into your network security, you may want to employ network security analytics. They provide visibility through global threat intelligence gathered through advanced software applications like machine learning and behavioral modeling.
IoT (Internet of Things) Security Software
The Internet of Things is everywhere around us, and odds are, your SMB has a variety of IoT touchpoints. The Internet of Things is a general signifier for the many devices that use network capabilities to operate– everything from ATMs to smart watches are a part of the IoT, and they can all provide access points to networks that aren’t secured with the right software. IoT Security software monitors these many touchpoints and provides endpoint analytics that are critical to protecting the network.
How to Deploy Security Software
Unfortunately, implementing security software is not typically a “set it and forget it” solution. Many software solutions on the market today do provide automatic updates, but you should be on the lookout for updates that have been missed due to poor connections or timing. Software that is not updated can suddenly turn from a security solution to a security risk, as out of date software is a common entry point for hackers.
It’s also critical that your business has a dedicated expert protecting your network and data. While some security software is relatively user-friendly, managing a suite of products, closing loopholes, monitoring for updates, and staying apprised of evolving threats is really a job for an expert.
GroupOne can help you rest easy with comprehensive security, so you can do what you do best: grow your business.