Cybersecurity Risk Management Meets Physical Security

Cybersecurity Risk Management Meets Physical Security

A Closer Look at 2018 Trends: Who’s Responsible When Cybersecurity Risk Management Meets Physical Security?

Cyber threats reached an all-time high in 2017 according to Trend Micro’sTM 2017 Security Roundup. In this brave new world, cybersecurity and physical security are becoming synonymous.

 

Increasingly, industries ranging from nuclear power plants to self-driving cars are at the mercy of cyber attackers. Even our bodies are at risk since implanted medical devices like pacemakers, insulin pumps and brain implants are exposed to cyber attacks. The possibilities are frightening.

 

With this expanded threat comes bigger responsibilities across enterprises. Gone are the days when a silo like the IT department handled security for the entire firm. In fact, personnel from HR, to IT, to Procurement must be aware of the risks inherent in securing their physical and cyber-spaces – and be prepared to overcome them.

 

Our last post explored the changing role of security providers. Now we’ll delve into how physical security is changing to be increasingly cyber controlled – and how businesses are taking note.

 

Trend 9:  Cyber Security Risk Management is Essential for Physical Security

 

The word “ransomware” can strike fear into the most prepared businesses. Recently, Washington D.C.’s police department fended off a potentially devastating ransomware attack. Just prior to the Presidential Inauguration in January 2017, hackers hijacked 70 percent of the D.C. police’s department’s networked video recorders and stopped them from recording. Engineers were able to fix each video recorder on site without having to pay the ransom, but the results could have been debilitating.

 

Cyber risk abounds. In October 2017, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) warned users to update their devices because the agency had uncovered vulnerability in any updated, protected Wi-Fi network that could potentially harm every connected device by releasing emails, chat histories and even credit card numbers. Code-named KRACK (Key Reinstallation AttaCK), this malware had the potential to destroy any connected business’ data.

 

Cyber Security Risk Management Best Practices:  How Can Security Providers Help?

How do we possibly prepare for doomsday scenarios like these? There are several important steps security providers can take. Most importantly, security providers must address network security by eliminating harmful traffic like denial of service attacks. They need to create systems that analyze possible deficiencies, seek out malware, assess security controls, design newer improved cyber safeguards, update protections and ensure that security stays top of mind for all stakeholders.

 

IST offers cyber security as a service to meet businesses’ growing need for cyber protection. We understand how one small breach can spell millions in lost revenue or even denigrate company’s name. We proactively work to eliminate these risks. You can trust IST to handle any of the new and still undiscovered cyber threats, as we work tirelessly to stay on top of them.

 

Trend 10:  Everyone’s Responsible for Risk Management

 

Every business and every person is at risk. With so many avenues for cyber destruction, attackers can wreak havoc via credit card theft, embezzlement, workplace violence, worker’s compensation fraud, compliance control and information or data loss.

 

To counteract these risks, companies need a comprehensive approach to risk management and planning. This means that the traditional Chief Security Officer and Chief Information Officer will be involved, but it also means that IT, HR and other employees (plus vendors and service providers) need to weigh in as well. The companies that can best blend cyber and physical security will provide the tightest security, and that requires pulling from many different departments.

 

Risk Management Best Practices:  How Can Security Providers Help?

 

With silos of security experts, it’s easy to see how critical security threats can fall through the cracks. With a coordinated effort like a dashboard, all security stakeholders can see and respond to potential issues in real time. Tools like social media, “dark web” criminal activity monitoring, arrest reports, court findings, as well as traditional sources of information need to be harnessed to build a full picture of the security landscape for a given company, both internally and externally.

 

Security providers are a member of this important team. It’s imperative to employ the most sophisticated security measures to counteract cyber threats, including ransomware and a potentially large cyber-attack. IST has helped numerous customers secure their networks to prevent these malicious attacks. We’re prepared to fight and eradicate any threat.

 

This post concludes our series about the top ten security trends to look for in 2018. There is unlimited potential in the coming months with the IoT’s connectivity and convenience. There is also an unlimited opportunity for security breaches. We continue to monitor these as well as any emerging trends that affect your business’ security. As a premier protector of people, property and data, IST is dedicated to your security. Contact us now to see how we can get you completely secure.

 

Security Providers’ Changing Role

 

Security Providers’ Changing Role

A Closer Look at 2018 Security Trends:  How are the Roles of Security Providers Changing?

One of the biggest trends in 2018 security is change. Nowhere is this more evident than in the market itself, where companies ranging from industries that wouldn’t ordinarily handle security, like Comcast and Amazon, to start-ups eager to cash in on a hot market, increasingly enter the residential security scene. They are shaking up the landscape and changing the services being offered as well as the revenue models that drive them.

 

We reviewed how mobile device security and the use of the cloud are both augmenting overall security in our last post. As we move forward into 2018, the changing role of security providers is a trend that will also strengthen the residential security industry.

 

Trend 7:  Security Providers Are Changing

There’s no typical security provider these days. Both IT-focused companies like Best Buy and start-ups like August Home (recently acquired by ASSA ABLOY) are jumping into the traditional residential security monitoring services business. Harnessing the cloud and the IoT, many of these companies are offering everything-as-a-service with convenient tie-ins to smart devices.

 

Traditional security providers have picked up the trend as well, changing the subscription model to a month-to-month payment plan. With this freedom comes the death of the typical security services contract.

 

Security Industry Best Practices:  How Can Providers Adapt to the Players?

Providers must stay on their toes to move with this market. With so many new and powerful players in the game, security providers need to add value wherever possible to enhance the consumer experience while providing the convenience and smart features they’ve come to expect. Differentiation is everything. If a security provider can offer superior services, they will stay ahead. Service is prized over price; consumers will not be as price sensitive moving forward for this reason.

 

Within the services themselves, we’re moving from a heavy emphasis on product sales to cloud-based services. Therefore, the shift is towards security services, not installation of monitoring or deterrent devices. Flexible providers that harness these trends will move ahead.

 

In fact, IST is right on top of this trend. In addition to our 20+ years of security expertise protecting people, property and data in the enterprise market, we’ve embraced the move towards cloud-based services and are up-to-the-minute on leveraging the cloud for your utmost security using your existing systems or deploying new solutions. We also stay competitive by offering affordable month-to-month subscription style plans for our customers’ convenience.

 

Trend 8:  Entrepreneurs Enter the Security Scene

Entrepreneurs want a piece of the security action too.

 

Their relentless focus on data analytics, convergence and IoT are pushing the residential security industry forward faster. It’s a win-win for both providers and consumers, although the market is tightening with these new entrants. Multi-system operators (MSOs) like AT&T, Comcast and Cox Communications upended the U.S. intrusion market from 2013 – 2015. Likewise, start-ups made their mark. In fact, IHS Markit noted that companies that were two years old or younger claimed over nine percent of global consumer video-camera market revenues in 2016, up from just six percent one year before.

 

Security Industry Best Practices:  How Can Providers Adapt to the Game?

The players have changed and so has the game. In addition to dealing with the challenges of shifting from hardware and project focused work to a service, maintenance and remote monitoring model, subscriber acquisition costs (SAC) are up and recurring monthly revenue (RMR) margins are down. Technology obsolescence has increased, so manufacturer and service providers are also grappling with shorter product development cycles. Companies that can keep up with these changes will come out on top in the residential security market.

 

Additionally, consumers are demanding interoperability among their devices and services for streamlined experiences. Companies need to work together to create interoperable standards so consumers can integrate their current security devices.

 

Again, IST is following this trend closely on the enterprise side. We monitor all new security products and remain manufacturer agnostic so that you get the solution that works best for your needs. We also help you integrate these updated security solutions to keep them interoperable with yours.

 

Our last entry in this series will explore how cyber-breaches are becoming more common for physical security, and we’ll look at how everyone in an organization needs to play an important role in mitigating these risks. IST has solutions for these and your other most pressing security concerns. To learn more, contact us here.

 

 

Mobile Device Security and Cloud Security

Mobile Device Security and Cloud Security

A Closer Look at 2018 Security Trends: How Can the Use of Mobile Devices and the Cloud Increase Our Security?

As consumers and businesses embrace the cloud and its promise of even greater mobility, the future seems bright.

 

The cloud has been integrated with physical security, enabling more efficiencies and greater peace of mind at less cost. Consumers conducting their lives through their mobile devices are happy to feed this trend by purchasing security services online and are using their phones as credentials.

 

Our last post covered leveraging smart data and social media to increase security capabilities. Mobile device security and the cloud are also reshaping the security industry in positive ways.

 

Trend 5:  Mobilization

We love our mobile devices. Globally, we reached a record high of 17.5 billion connected devices in 2017. By 2023, that number is expected to increase to 31.6 billion (Source:  Ericsson Mobility Report, November 2017). Their convenience and connectivity makes them an indispensable part of our days. Consumers use mobile devices to access work documents, as well as check in on home monitoring devices like cameras and thermostats. Most trust them to send payments or serve as credentials.

The Gartner “Predicts 2017” report forecasts that 20% of organizations will drop traditional ID cards in favor of using mobile credentials by 2020. This growing trust aligns with the proliferation of cloud-based physical access control systems (PACs) that allow entry. We’ll move away from proprietary access control to cheaper, more efficient open systems in the cloud.

 

Mobile Device Security Best Practices:  How Can Providers Help?

To keep these devices secure, manufacturers increasingly incorporate more sophisticated security features. Apple’s iPhone X uses the biometric “Face ID” to unlock the phone and can also complete financial transactions.

 

Securityinformed.com reported that higher education and healthcare end-users are starting to use Bluetooth readers in their access control systems. Biometric apps also help visitors gain entry by ensuring the right person is using the credentials on the phone.

 

It’s a win-win for consumer and security company alike. With mobile credentials, the user benefits from the convenience of integrated systems—and security providers can offer new services and thus open up new sources of revenue.

 

Trend 6:  The Cloud Continues to Grow

By 2020, Gartner predicts 90 percent of organizations will use a hybrid infrastructure (including cloud services) to house their data. There are several important reasons why consumers and businesses are adopting the cloud so readily. Its value propositions are hard to ignore:

  • Easy connectivity
  • Convergence and integration with IoT
  • Mobile technology
  • Increasing number of applications and services

 

Additionally, cloud security has strengthened in recent years. Companies such as Airbnb and Uber operate solely from the cloud, eschewing traditional brick and mortar facilities and placing their trust in this new business model.

 

Cloud Security Best Practices:  How Can Providers Help?

Security providers must leverage the cloud to oversee physical security through software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud computing and managed services. This is done to capitalize on its safety, scalability, efficiency and accessibility while reaping the benefits of recurring monthly revenue (RMR). They can also provide remote testing and maintenance, system resetting, scheduling and credential administration, essentially offering total solutions that cover all system installations.

 

The cloud is attractive to integrators for other reasons as well. Its built-in security with two-factor authentication, encryption and SSL certifications is certainly important, but the safety features don’t end there. The automatic backups, disaster recovery systems and continual updates also make it an ideal repository for securing information.

 

Since the cloud is also hardware agnostic, most devices can easily gain access. This eliminates the need to update costly equipment as frequently and also makes it easy to add devices. It’s no wonder that providers applaud the cloud’s growth.

 

For our next entry in this series, we’ll discuss the changing landscape of security providers and the entrepreneurial invasion into this sphere. As the world of security changes, IST continues to be a driving force for innovation. For more information on how IST can help you capitalize on these trends in security, contact us here.

 

The 10 Security Trends to Watch in 2018

Security trends to look out for in the new year

“We are living in the most exciting times in the history of modern technology,” notes Steven Van Till, President and CEO of Brivo and Chairman of the Security Industry Association (SIA) Standards. “Technological currents have converged and amplified and remixed with each other to accelerate the pace of innovation. Now, physical security is no longer just physical—modern security systems are cyber-physical systems, inheriting both the power and pitfalls of the digital world.”

As the security sector undergoes enormous evolutions, both innovations and exploitations will proliferate.

At the end of 2017, the SIA’s annual Securing New Ground (SNGTM) Conference collected 2018 security trend predictions from the experts. From the minds of top security executives, new entrants to the marketplace, investors and SIA’s contributing specialists came the second ever “Security Megatrends ReportTM.”

 

The report notes that while the industry has seen a marked growth in physical security, information technology, logical security and cyber sectors, security has been greatly influenced by sea changes in our daily technology capabilities. The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the landscape. Physical security enterprises now incorporate Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and mobile devices increasingly monitor and manage our security.

 

We’ve recapped these megatrends here:

 

  1. The IoT is Taking Over: This makes life easier (and more vulnerable) for all of us. In 2017, consumers and enterprises spent almost $2 trillion on the 8.4 billion connected devices and their corresponding services. That number is expected to balloon to 50 billion devices by 2020, and security breaches will grow commensurately.
  2. Everything Will Be Connected: Tomorrow’s smart homes will monitor and report real-time analytics on how every system is faring. As consumers continue to embrace this connectivity and the cloud, security providers will be able to help with more systems, including lighting and energy management.
  3. We’re Making Swifter Sense of Smart and Big Data: By 2020, each person will generate 1.7 megabytes of new information per second. Add the data generated by sensors, medical records and corporate databases, and only AI and Augmented Reality (AR) can reasonably organize and analyze this incomprehensible volume. Security companies must find ways to protect this data with ever-evolving smart cyber controls.
  4. Social Media Aids Security: As a wide-reaching communications tool, social media will assist with more real-time emergency communications, relying on an increasing ability to geographically pinpoint specific individuals who may be affected by disasters relayed to them through video surveillance.
  5. Mobilization: Smartphones are already indispensable. With biometric recognition and credentials capabilities, they’ll become our mobile physical access passes. Security companies are also deploying cloud-based PACS.
  6. The Cloud Continues to Grow: Increasing connectivity plus convergence and integration with IoT, mobile devices and other solutions means that more businesses and consumers are embracing the cloud. Security providers will be offering more cloud hosting services, which have the added benefit of ingrained cybersecurity features.
  7. Security Providers Are Changing: The role of security provider is constantly evolving, especially in offering everything-as-a-service. Newer companies without IT backgrounds will continue to move into the market with interactive products, DIY management and self-installation. Month-to-month contracts will replace longer commitments.
  8. Entrepreneurs Enter the Security Scene: Outside companies, startups and IT-focused companies are realizing the security marketplace’s value and augmenting the segment with data analytics, convergence and IoT; models are moving away from security monitoring-based revenue to providing greater product innovation.
  9. Physical Security is Increasingly at Cyber-risk: The number of cyber threats broke a record in 2016, and ransomware’s use as an insidious extortion tool has grown. Security companies are looking to strengthen physical systems and add cyber safeguards. As a result, cybersecurity as a service will grow.
  10. Everyone’s Responsible for Risk Management: Business security risks abound, crossing corporate silos from HR to IT, to relationships with suppliers. All departments must work together with security providers to predict and identify physical and cyber-risks and then create comprehensive plans to mitigate and eliminate them.

 

2018 promises more and bigger changes in the security realm. IST welcomes these innovations, as a security provider that has always been on the cutting edge of technology. From offering cloud hosting services to integrating our VMS technology with AI, to providing mobile device operated security systems, we’re always seeking out the best ways to keep your physical and cyber-world secured.

 

We’ll explore each of these trends in greater depth in our upcoming posts. For more information on how IST can help you leverage what’s to come, contact us here.

How Did Security Move Forward in 2017?

And How Can You Take Advantage of These Trends?

While 2017 wasn’t a watershed in the world of access control, intrusion detection and video surveillance, there were several noteworthy trends that drove the industry forward. The experts at Security Sales & Integration recently identified five:

 

  1. Artificial Intelligence Continued to Grow

As both AI quality and capacity increased in 2017, manufacturers relied on AI to control workflow for Big Data, a segment where human capabilities have reached their limit. AI’s ability to process information from various sources at exceedingly fast speeds makes it an essential security tool. FST Biometrics America Inc. of New York City innovated in this arena; the company equips turnstiles with high-resolution cameras that use facial biometrics to first recognize a person and then create a red or green spot on his or her face. Green spots are allowed entry, whereas red are not.

 

Takeaway:  Look for AI enabled security products in everything from video surveillance to access control for smarter streamlined management of various security silos.

 

  1. Platform Unification Increased Efficiencies

As security systems integrators looked to consolidate video surveillance, intrusion detection, access control, visitor management and bi-directional intercoms through one electronic system via the Cloud, this equated to fewer computers, software and service agreements as well as decreased IT costs.

 

By combining security alarms and intrusion detection devices under a VMS platform, only one set-up is required, and a video feed can now check and balance any alerts to confirm that they’re not false alarms.
Takeaway:  The future of security lies in unification; whenever possible, seek our synchronicities for your solution.

 

  1. Video Surveillance Became More Powerful

Unfortunately, many experts believe that the price reductions in IP-based cameras correlated directly to a quality reduction. Some companies, like Sony, dropped camera production to focus on AI-powered VMS’s that integrate with other security products.

On the plus side, video images are more compact than ever. ProActive CCTV from Farmington, NY compressed 32 channels into 8TB of data storage space, or three years of compressed data. This is a new milestone.

Takeaway:  Look for a VMS featuring high compression levels for greater storage at lower costs.

  1. Intrusion Alarms Got Integrated and Updated

Newer companies entered this sphere since older companies weren’t keeping pace with technology or client needs. The winners are access control manufacturers who added intrusion detection devices that report to their operating systems.

 

Intrusion alarms are becoming more and more compatible with the Internet of Things (IoT) and include cybersecure protections to deter would-be hackers.

 

Takeaway:  Companies integrating intrusion alarms with their other products offer a total solution that’s also more accessible through common mobile devices.

 

  1. Access Control Received a Value Added Upgrades

As access control products became more of a commodity through standardization and Cloud driven software, companies embracing value-added elements surged ahead. Many offer bi-direction communication standard, with a central access control system to update fobs, cards or other credentials that can be modified while in use.

 

Companies also favor the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) option, and users can even select which device to use. Mobile keys are also a small but expanding solution.

 

Takeaway:  As the focus shifts to BYOD and identity management, access control will become a user driven platform.

 

IST can help you take advantage of all of these developments. We offer many AI-enabled products to make your security even smarter. We’ll help you consolidate different types of security services with VMS platforms. In fact, IST leads the way in implementing the latest developments in VMS technology in coordination with our clients and industry partners. Look through what IST can provide in VMS. Additionally, our intrusion alarms and access control systems easily integrate with your mobile devices for a streamlined security system that’s simpler than ever to control.

 

The drumbeat of increased integration, consolidation and a move towards mobile devices continues to improve security systems and make them more cost-effective and easier to manage. As we move into 2018, we look forward to these trends continuing.

 

Top Five Blog Posts of 2017

Click through our most popular posts from the year!

  1. Eliminate the Knowledge Gap http://istonline.wpengine.com/2017/09/eliminate-the-knowledge-gap/

 

  1. Do Certifications Make a Difference? http://istonline.wpengine.com/2017/10/do-certifications-make-a-difference/

 

  1. The 411 on Hosted and Managed http://istonline.wpengine.com/2017/06/cloud-security-solutions-the-411-on-hosted-vs-managed/

 

  1. Find the Right Security for your Business http://istonline.wpengine.com/2017/07/choosing-right-security-option-business/

 

  1. Meet SHIELD http://istonline.wpengine.com/2017/06/meet-s-h-i-e-l-d-safeguarding-cloud-security/

Choose a Security Integrator with a Great Home Base and Even Greater Range

Why Geography Matters—And When it Doesn’t

 

The DMV area has thrived on innovation since leading the technological revolution in the late 1990s. Internet providers like AOL and UUNet, and telecommunications giants MCI and Verizon spurred phenomenal job growth and technological advances here and throughout the country. In 2017, the federal government now plays a driving role in the push for technology and focuses on cybersecurity and healthcare (Source:  Forbes.com.) The quest for innovation remains as strong as ever.

 

That puts businesses in the metro area in an excellent position to participate in and reap the benefits of the most recent security innovations.

 

Headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, IST is at the center of the security world in many ways. However, IST goes beyond the metro area to serve other areas throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, including Southern Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We also maintain three fully staffed program offices at federal facilities in the Washington DC area to serve the federal government. Many of our competitors don’t have this range.

 

Choose a Security Integrator with a Great Home Base and Even Greater Range | Integrated Security Technologies

 

As a customer-centric company, IST has increased its locations to help its customers. “We have continued to expand geographically based on our customers’ needs,” IST President Jon Langhorst said. “Once we make that decision, it is so important, as a company, to completely commit to a region with an ‘all-in’ attitude. We then ramp up the staff and capabilities. The results have been rewarding as we have experienced sustained growth in those markets. Additionally, we have an even greater reach when teaming with like-minded companies across the nation, and we are always strategically evaluating new localities for growth to better serve our nationally positioned clients.”

 

When Geography Doesn’t Matter:  What Does This Mean For You?

Even if you’re not in our immediate area, we can work with you to create and execute a strong, effective security plan rooted in our proprietary holistic Full Lifecycle Approach. This unique method allows us to address your security throughout its lifecycle, including strategy, engineering, design, implementation and lifecycle support. We’re with you every step of the way.

 

IST also maintains many important certifications that set us above other security integrators. We have several distinctions that make working with us even easier. In the Virginia area, we are in the Division of Engineering and Buildings’ (DEB) Commonwealth of Virginia Pre-Qualified Contractors Pool list to streamline our work with government entities. We are ISO 9001:2015 certified, which provides requirements for quality management systems (QMS). This esteemed designation guarantees consistent quality and ongoing dedication to improvement and excellence.

 

IST is different from our competitors. Local security integrators do not carry the ISO certification. Many of our competitors are also focused on their local areas. We believe it’s important to earn these distinctions and to bring our expertise to places beyond our headquarters. Consider IST whether you’re in the DMV area or not. You can tap our expertise as a company steeped in security both geographically and operationally. We can come to you wherever you are. To contact us, click here.

Why a one-stop shop is critical to securing your physical environment

Door Locking Solutions One-Stop Shop

When it comes to security doors or any other type of physical security, the general rule of thumb is that fewer cooks are better in the kitchen.

When you enlist the help of various companies to handle various aspects of your security, you are susceptible to greater security risks like human error, stymied communication and other opportunities for good practices to fall through the cracks.

 

As a one-stop security shop, IST addresses this concern for our clients. We understand the importance of keeping security tighter with fewer cooks and fewer moving parts. In fact, there are several important reasons why going with a one-stop shop for your doors and your overall security will strengthen your position.

 

Save Money, Time and Your Sanity:  Most importantly, using a one-stop shop will alleviate your stress levels and provide peace of mind. You’ll work with one point person, and you can hand over all security concerns to their team. This streamlined interaction saves tremendous amounts of time as well as effort and certainly puts you at ease. Another important consideration is cost savings. By bundling services, you’ll gain greater efficiencies and save significant money on security services.

 

Eliminate Finger Pointing:  One downfall of engaging with several security vendors is that it makes it easy for vendors to scapegoat if an issue arises. For instance, one vendor can easily blame another when a fire code requirement is not met or when components malfunction or break. With a one-stop shop, the responsibility lies completely with us. We are accountable for every issue, so we’re motivated to be proactive first of all—but also to accept responsibility and correct any issues.

 

Eradicate Inspection Delays:  With a one-stop shop, we do everything. From door security design—to setup—to maintenance and troubleshooting, it’s all included. We also handle inspections seamlessly as part of that process, so you won’t have to coordinate schedules among vendors. We’ll ensure that all inspections are done correctly and in a timely manner.

 

Troubleshoot Problems Before They Become Problems:  A great advantage of a one-stop shop is its ability to see your security in its entirety and foresee any issues on the horizon. When we have access to all information, and other vendors aren’t withholding data or failing to report it accurately, we can make the most informed decisions on how to proceed. With the complete picture, we’ll proactively find and troubleshoot issues before they become real problems.

 

While there are several reasons why it’s much easier, more efficient and just smarter use a one-stop shop for your security, another important consideration is the long-term. When you choose one security partner, your relationship becomes a true partnership in many ways. With all the pieces of your security puzzle, we can always act with your best interests in mind.

 

At IST, in addition to offering one-stop service, we’re also proud to provide you with a team leader that’s been certified by the Door Hardware Institute, a recognized industry-wide organization dedicated to promoting Standards and Best Practices. Look here to see how we can effectively help with your door hardware and locking objectives or request info here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Do I Find the Right Hosted or Managed Services Provider?

8 Things to Check

We’ve talked about how you can make the business case for moving to a hosted or managed security solution. So once you’re ready, how do you choose? There are a number of providers out there, so you can start by using this checklist to help you find the right one for your company’s needs:

  1. Services: Do the provider’s services align with your company’s current AND future needs?  Some services seem like a good fit now, but are they scalable so they can grow with your company? Thinking a few years ahead will save you trouble and money down the road.

 

  1. Cultural Fit: Are your security priorities their priorities too? It’s important to discuss what’s crucial to you and your business. Whether it’s receiving daily security updates, getting in-house personnel training (a hosted solution benefit) or partnering with specific vendors, you need to know their philosophy. When dealing with the delicate aspect of security, it’s reassuring when your provider responds to threats appropriately and sees eye-to-eye with you on security needs.

 

  1. Third Party Verified: Make sure you have a SSAE16 or ISO-certified data center to achieve compliance with HIPAA, SOX or PCI DSS. Those requirements vary per business.

 

  1. Employee Certifications: Providers with certifications have taken the time and money to validate their employees’ credentials. You can feel good about partnering and trusting them with your data.

 

  1. Employee Trustworthiness: It goes without saying that a security company should have impeccable standards here. Make sure they’re screening their employees thoroughly with criminal background checks, drug testing and security clearances if applicable.

 

  1. Manufacturer Relationships: Providers with strong manufacturer connections have an edge in an emergency—and will generally provide greater ongoing service. Check partner status, certifications and if the provider has direct access to the manufacturers’ L3 engineers. This can show you how committed the provider is to its manufacturers’ relationships and ultimately to you.

 

  1. Datacenter Security: Is their datacenter equipped with high-security measures? Do they have biometric authentication, 24/7 in-person and video monitoring and user records to protect your critical data? Do they have full redundancy and disaster recovery systems in place in case of a natural disaster or other catastrophic events? Ensure that your security is secured too.

 

  1. Daily Relationship: Last but certainly not least, how will your provider keep the communication channels open? Do they have a portal for daily security updates, service level reports and troubleshooting requests? How about communication hubs for feedback and best practices? Clear and easy communication is key to running a successful security operation.

 

Is IST a good fit for you?

We’d like to think so. We work hard to help you check the above boxes. Our services are scalable and our data center is third-party verified and deploys the highest security levels. Our employees are screened for security continuously and maintain the most up-to-date certifications, including top-level vendor certifications. We’d be happy to help you address your security concerns and objectives. Contact us here to see how.

Why Hosted Or Managed Security Solutions Make Good Business Sense Reason #2

Reason #2: Eliminate Costly Infrastructure

Our last post discussed efficacies of moving to a hosted or managed security solution, that helped lower the costs and risks associated with having an in-house IT team managing your security. There are more great reasons to make the move, and one removes large infrastructure bills from your plate.

 

Today’s companies need to invest in servers, PCs, software and OS updates regularly to keep up with the changing technology. From semi-annually to every few years, each update adds significant costs to a bottom line. The cost of a server alone can be tens of thousands of dollars. On top of having an IT staff to maintain the equipment and other incidentals, like the utility costs. As more businesses move to a rental model to handle certain business functions, outsourcing costly infrastructure makes good business sense too.

 

A closer look at costs

With an on-premise server solution, you’ll incur direct costs like hardware, storage, electricity, HVAC, security and cleaning costs. These costs are required to keep them running optimally. Indirect costs include salaries of the IT professionals that manage the system, as well as any loss of revenue from downtime.

 

Downtime can be especially costly. With a 99.9% availability from most service providers, that equates to about 44 minutes of downtime per month. This can wreak havoc on a budget. A 2015 IHS report put it this way:  for mid-sized North American companies, downtime costs can be as high as $1 million per year in lost revenue. Mid-size companies are defined as having $100 million in average revenue and between 100-1,000 employees. Large-sized companies average in $2 billion in revenue with 13,000 employees. They can have $60 million a year in lost revenue (Source:  Networkingcomputing.com).

 

In an example described by Forbes.com, a retail e-commerce company had a total savings of 37% by moving from an on-premise server to a managed cloud-based system (Source:  Forbes.com). In addition to saving on expensive infrastructure, companies also gain the expertise of the hosting or managed services provider, which has a high cost as well.

 

Join us for our next post, where we’ll look how managed security solutions eliminate the dreaded knowledge gap. For the full story on making the business case to move to a hosted or managed solution, click here.