Dear Clients and Colleagues,
I’ve been talking about cybersecurity. A lot.
If you thought we turned up the volume on cybersecurity-focused content and education in 2019, your observation was correct—we did.
In 2020, our message isn’t changing. In fact, we’ll probably talk about this topic even more than we did in 2019. But as we champion the cause for a safer internet, I want to share a few thoughts on cybersecurity and the mission of Proactive IT…
1. Sweating the details necessitates caring about cybersecurity.
At our core, Proactive IT’s mission isn’t cybersecurity. Our mission is sweating the details of your IT infrastructure.
We pay attention to the little things. We keep an eye on technological developments. We think into the future. And when we see something that threatens our clients’ best interests, we take action.
This past year alone, I’ve seen clients forfeit funds due to business email compromise. I’ve watched the North Carolina State Bar succumb to ransomware. I’ve taken note that the bad guys are going after IT companies.
Sweating the details means we MUST care about cybersecurity practices.
I should also point out that paying attention to the details means Proactive IT can’t get myopic about this issue either. Cybersecurity is currently a hot topic. But ten years from now, it might be old news. In 2030, there may be a new, more urgent threat to your business that we can’t foresee.
While technological trends will continuously change, our mission of sweating the details will not.
2. Our commitment to cybersecurity isn’t new.
Proactive IT has always been concerned with cybersecurity. IT best practices can also double as cybersecurity measures. For example, backing up your data provides more than peace of mind during hurricane season; it will also help your business recover should an unexpected ransomware attack occur.
Right now, it’s popular to talk about cybersecurity. But we were practicing cybersecurity before it was a buzzword.
However, while our commitment to cybersecurity isn’t new, we’ve made an intentional decision to publicly champion this issue. In 2019, we began to emphasize cybersecurity education—whether that was supporting the National Cyber Security Alliance in Charlotte or publishing articles on relevant topics, such as cyber insurance or spear phishing. For 2020, we’ll be pursuing even more educational opportunities.
3. We’re in an era where businesses need advanced cybersecurity.
As I said before, some IT practices are also good cybersecurity protections. But we’ve long reached the point where upping the cybersecurity game isn’t optional. When things like The Silent Bad Actor and business email compromise are happening, we need to go a step beyond firewalls, data encryption, and backups.
Sweating the details means I need to sound the alarm: Typical cybersecurity solutions aren’t sufficient for the attacks we’re seeing today.
In the past, Proactive IT has offered two levels of care for clients. However, as we face cybersecurity threats and compliance, I have a new package in the works: Compliance Care—a service for business owners who want to further mitigate the risk of cybercrime and get ahead of the compliance curve.
Having said all this, let me share two important caveats.
Caveat #1. Cybersecurity is critical. But it doesn’t replace maintaining operations.
Cybersecurity is vital, but it doesn’t mean that keeping your operations running smoothly is any less important. A crashed server is just as annoying in 2020 as it was in 2010.
Here’s an illustration of what I mean. Let’s say an organization hires a risk management officer. It’s a smart move—the company can now reduce its organizational exposure. However, even with a risk management officer, the company can’t discount its chief operating officer. It still needs someone to oversee the supply chain, internal efficiencies, and other activities. Both roles are important.
The same is true when it comes to IT. Managed IT supports your business operations, keeping your infrastructure functional and efficient. Cybersecurity helps your business prevent and respond to cybercrime.
Both are critical, and one cannot replace the other.
Caveat #2. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
Cybersecurity matters for every business. But I’d be crazy to think that my clients should implement the cybersecurity measures that Microsoft likely has. Different businesses have different priorities and risk levels.
If you’re a client, please know that I realize you’re a small business. I get it.
However, as your IT provider, it’s my job to explain what you need and then discuss with you how to accomplish your goals in a way that’s feasible for your company and your budget.
2020 is going to be an important year. Only time can tell what cybersecurity developments are going to take place.
May your business be prepared to beat the bad guys at their game and get ahead of the coming regulatory compliance.
Dedicated to IT security and productivity,
P.S. Open letters should spark open dialogue. I welcome your calls and emails. You can leave me a comment below. (Or you can get in touch at 704-464-3075 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
About Steve Kennen
As an expert in information technology infrastructure management, cybersecurity, and cyber risk management practices for small businesses, Steve spearheads initiatives that keep his clients secure and their business operations running smoothly. His core message is that the details matter.