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A cybersecurity stack contains all the tools meant to protect a firm against data breaches and other online security attacks. The stack must be actively monitored, managed and updated to protect against the latest threats.

Here’s what a typical stack should include so a firm has 24/7 cybersecurity protection.

What’s in the cybersecurity stack?

First, let’s agree that a cybersecurity stack is not a firewall, antivirus software and back up. While once cutting-edge, today these elements are the lowest common denominator of protection and are not enough anymore. Instead, the stack should contain:

  • A BUSINESS CLASS FIREWALL
    for additional security, content filtering, spyware protection and intrusion protection.
  • ENDPOINT DETECTION AND RESPONSE (EDR)
    software for additional monitoring and protection of a firm’s devices. Unlike antivirus software, which is reactive and only flags known threats, EDR involves active monitoring. If ransomware is discovered on a networked computer, EDR capabilities allow that device to be shut down and rolled back to the point prior to the ransomware infection, restoring operations so the computer can be up and functioning again.
  • BACK UPS OF CORE BUSINESS ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING CLOUD-BASED APPLICATIONS
    It is wrong to assume that everything is securely updated in the cloud. Firms need to understand the backup policies and recovery plans of their cloud-based providers.
  • A SECURITY INFORMATION AND EVENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (SIEM)
    The SIEM collects data on what’s happening, notifying the firm in real time of potential security threats and vulnerabilities before they disrupt operations. They are essential for tracking and logging of security data for compliance and auditing.
  • FORMALIZED TRAINING AND TESTING OF STAFF
    It is well-documented that individuals are the weakest links in any cybersecurity program and yet, training is the most overlooked element of the stack. Firms need to teach and regularly train their people how to be secure and work safely online. 

Who’s keeping tabs on your cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity might be vital in today’s world, but most firms lack bandwidth to ensure that their security measures are working.

Investing in the tools but not having a person or team actively dedicated to ensuring that everything is working is setting your firm up for failure. Hackers can lurk undetected in networks for months if no one is paying attention.

Your cybersecurity stack needs expert human and AI-enabled eyes, together with automated tasks and alerts, watching to see if people are visiting bad websites, clicking on things they shouldn’t, or responding to phishing emails.

Active management includes monitoring who is logging into the firm’s computers, checking on the SIEM and the encryption software, looking at the firewall, addressing Office 365 issues, and receiving alerts when anything unusual happens – software stops working, for example. Deploying patches to keep computers up to date is also critical. 

Is a cybersecurity stack expensive?

Not really. Certainly, some organizations hire full-time IT directors and cybersecurity staff to oversee the integrity of their technology. But firms do not need to spend exorbitantly to get the solution they need.

Many find it more cost-effective to rely on outside experts to manage their security issues – like a managed service provider (MSP).  With the MSP, the firm gets a team of technology and cybersecurity experts focused on its network as well as high-level, enterprise-grade solutions at a fraction of the cost.

Regardless of which route a firm chooses, one thing is certain – cybersecurity is not a hobby. Firms need experts to help ensure their cybersecurity stack is performing and the technology is being used appropriately. 

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