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Why Businesses Are Transforming Their Cybersecurity

Digital Transformation and The Cloud

In the wake of the pandemic and lockdown that followed, many medium and large sized companies have taken the time to upgrade their cyber security.

81 percent of businesses invested in accelerating and updating their IT infrastructure. This is according to a survey conducted by CensusWide and sponsored by Centrify. The purpose of the survey was to try and understand how IT spending has changed in the past six months since the Pandemic struck.

There have been numerous cyber attacks since the lockdown took place. Some of the most notable have included Twitter, the social media platform. On July 15, 2020, hackers used social engineering to gain access to high profile Instagram accounts like Barak Obama, Bill Gates and Elon Musk to trick victims into sending money to a specified address.

In the end, more than 130 accounts were impacted and the address received more than $110,000.

Cyber Attacks In 2020 Prove Security’s Important

Most recently, American healthcare company Universal Health Systems experienced a ransomware attack that impacted the systems of hospitals across the world.

Another health care organization was hacked in early October. Tennessee-based Community Health Systems was hacked in 28 states after millions of people’s personal information was stolen by cyber criminals.

It’s no surprise that the overwhelming majority of businesses have transformed their cyber security in the past 6 months. Medium and small sized firms are adjusting their IT infrastructure to reflect the need for digitally- driven systems. The Covid-19 pandemic forced firms to rely on remote operations to continue.

The data reflects this as well. 48 percent of organizations had to speed up cloud migration as a result of the pandemic. Business leaders took swift action when the lockdown came. Many quickly adopted cloud-based solutions or hired a managed IT services company to onboard their team in preparation for remote work.

However, the biggest issue was that many companies in a rush to ensure business continuity neglected cyber security. In fact, there were businesses and firms that were completely unprepared to migrate to a remote environment. As a result, they struggled to readjust when they could no longer work out of the office.

Remote Operations Are In Danger Without Cyber Security

This made firms carrying sensitive client information even more vulnerable to attack. And cyber criminals have taken notice. These rushed attempts to continue remotely has led to glaring vulnerabilities in security. Furthermore Cyber security incidents have spiked as result.

Cyber security company Malwarebites released an extensive report studying the effects of COVID-19 on business security. Company data and a survey with 200 cyber security experts concluded that remote workers were the cause of 20 percent of security breaches.

24 percent of respondents said their organization paid unexpected breach-related costs after shelter in place orders began.

Cyber Attackers And The Dark Web

On October 21, 2020 a cybersecurity company said it found a hacker selling the personal information of almost 200 million Americans. Much of the data hackers obtain start with a simple social engineering scam. The cyber thief sends a phishing email to an unsuspecting remote employee and they click on a link contained in the email.

In the CensusWide study, 51 percent of employees are making secure remote access a top priority. Contrary to this, 27 percent of organization IT leaders say that secure access to various teams, IT services companies and third-party providers is a priority.

Large firms were more concerned with cyber security than smaller one, according to the study. This is a bit alarming considering the average cost of an insider-related cyber incident is $7.68 million USD. An IBM and Ponemon Institute Survey showed organization with fewer than 500 employees spent an average of $7.68 million per incident.

Considering how so larger businesses are investing in cyber protection, that makes smaller businesses prime targets for hackers. What’s worse is that a January study showed that 43 percent of all SMB’s lacked any type of cyber defense plan.

Unfortunately, firms prioritize operation over security and leave themselves open to an attack that could cost them their business. 60 percent of all small companies fail within six months of a cyber attack.

There are those who believe they can withstand a cyber attack. However, they don’t consider the fact that even if a business pays a ransom or recovers from a breach, cyber criminals can still use  and sell their data on the darkweb. Dark web marketplaces like Joker’s Stash are infamous for selling social security numbers, credit card information and more.

Conclusion

IT experts and business leaders are understanding the importance of a resilient cloud strategy. Cyber security has become an important factor in transforming and modernizing IT infrastructure.

Larger firms were the first to invest in a digital transformation with medium sized businesses following behind.

Smaller businesses are now at their most vulnerable as hackers look for easier targets. But with so many organizations experiencing cyberattacks, protecting valuable client data needs to be a priority. Ensuring data compliance is key to securing sensitive client data. Nerds Support is a perfect place to start for a comprehensive cloud migration strategy that protects small and medium sized businesses and modernizes IT.

Cloud computing grants businesses the flexibility, scalability, and security to be successful with remote work.

Why Cloud Flexibility & Remote Work Are The Future

The Flexibility of The Cloud & Remote Work

How does cloud flexibility allow for a remote work environment? When you migrate to the cloud, your data is hosted in an off-site data center instead of on premise.

You can then work from any location as long as you have a device connected to the internet. By eliminating the restrictions of an on-site server, you can increase your mobility exponentially.

You can work from anywhere as long as you have the right credentials, a secure device and an internet connection.

Remote Work Promotes Business Continuity

Business doesn’t stop for anyone. Having the option to work off-site has many benefits. When you consider how chaotic things can be you start to appreciate the flexibility of the cloud.

Many businesses struggle and even fail after a natural disaster or an unforeseen event. The Pandemic of 2020 showed us that the world can come to a crashing halt at any given moment. Investing in your firm’s future is not about ignoring an uncomfortable reality, but adapting to it.

We learned in a matter of a few short months how quickly the standard model can fail when tried. And a pandemic isn’t the only natural disaster that brings these conflicts. If you live in the east coast, hurricanes, tropical storms and other weather events can limit access to your business. Storms cause outages and often floods. What happens to your business then?

For small businesses, the recovery from hurricanes and other natural disasters might take years — if they even recover at all.  After Katrina, Louisiana businesses suffered a lot of damage.

Those with remote capabilities can function in these types of circumstances since they are not limited by a physical office space.

Small Businesses Struggle After A Disaster

Many small businesses are not as lucky as the larger franchises, however. According to a government study, 40 percent of small businesses never reopen following a weather-related disaster. The reason for that is unfortunate but simple: a halt in productivity is a halt in revenue. Businesses that shut down during these disasters are still growing, don’t have adequate cash reserved to repair damage and pay bills once they stop operating.

Even without any physical destruction to property, businesses that shut down can lose money and fail to pay for their monthly overhead. We’ve seen this happen to shopping malls and retail stores. A retail store owner will pay a mall for space but when they shut down, there’s no money coming in. As a result, the store closes down.

How about if an employee gets sick or has to suddenly leave town? How about businesses that are impacted by earthquakes or reconstruction?

Companies whose workers can work remotely have a better chance at survival than those who rely on in house servers and technology.

What’s worse, none of these events are within the control of a business owner. Not having remote capabilities is like living in a house without insurance or an alarm system. You’re at the mercy of the elements.

Remote option Increases Productivity Even in Unforeseen Situations

Another example is when an employee gets sick, or has to care for a sick child, and can’t get to the office. Without the flexibility of the cloud and remote work, the will inevitably fall behind.
If they are able to work from home, however, business can continue without major interruption.

Working from Home Business Can Continue with The Cloud

The benefits of Cloud and remote work are for more than managing disasters and illness. When workers have access to their files and data, they can make last minute changes to a project or document. They can collaborate and improve the quality of the work outside the office as well.

Conversely, an employee might want to make progress with the work they are doing to prepare for a busy week coming up. That way they can clear up their schedule and move on to other projects and tasks. Employees can access their important files through the cloud at a moment’s notice.

When given remote access, employees experience a boost in productivity. Having a quieter environment away from the distractions of the office makes a big difference.
Offices can be very distracting environments. Away from office banter and side-conversations in the break-room, employees are more focused on the tasks at hand. They also take shorter breaks and work to the end of the day.

Increase Productivity With The Cloud

Remote work opens up new opportunities for employees and business owners alike. There are Gallup polls showing a 37 percent increase in productivity when moving to a remote environment.
The only thing is, you have to make sure you have the right technology in place to succeed. Ensuring you have the data and cyber protections in order to keep your business information safe. Migrating to the cloud and adopting remote work methods is useless if it makes your business more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Remote Work Is Green Work

As we alluded to, employees and employers work longer partly because they don’t have a long commute. But if you think about it, that also means no commute at all. Remote work decreasesw traffic congestion, greenhouse gasses and air pollution by working from home.

In fact, remote workers take 600,000 cars off the road each year. On a cloud-based platform, greenhouse emissions will plummet to an all time low. That doesn’t mean people won’t go out to their favorite restaurant or shopping center. It simply means vehicles will be used more sparingly.

Not to mention the added bonus in savings on gas and repairs from the natural wear-and-tare that comes with car use.

Do Your Research

Look for a Managed IT services partner that fits your specific business goals. Nerds Support, for example, focuses on financial services and logistics firms. Therefore, we focus on compliance, auditing processes and cyber security for financial firms.

Other cloud providers are made for marketing and creative projects. There are plenty of Managed IT services providers that offer IT consulting for hospitals or local businesses. Here are  10 examples of cloud computing if you want to learn more.

Cloud Flexibility Allows you To Adapt And Overcome

When companies are faced with any disaster or problem they have to rise to the occasion and pivot their business to adjust. Spotify, the massive music streaming service, is a good example. When the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 came, advertisers had to make budget cuts.

Knowing this would threaten Spotify’s business model, they chose to focus more on streaming podcasts rather than just music. Spotify recognized a massive uptick in the number of individuals streaming podcasts and decided to adapt by capitalizing on the unique opportunity.

In much the same way, companies must embrace remote work or be replaced by those willing to make the change.