GREAT COMPANIES SOLVE PROBLEMS THAT MATTER -- I think that great companies are those that dedicate themselves to a problem that matters. When they solve the problem, they exit the stage triumphant. And companies that survive, do so because the problem they exist to solve (their purpose or mission) is so big that there is still work to do. Longevity is not a goal in itself; it is a bi-product of taking on a big problem. –Kaihan Kriippendorff @ Fast Company
There is a big problem looming in the shadow of business and it’s a problem that matters. It’s a problem that if not solved could have a negative impact on the global economy.
For the last several years Fortune 1000 companies have been installing security software, creating governance models and hiring security professionals to fend off the ever increasing cyber related attacks on their companies (more here). However, the Small & Medium business markets (SMB) have been doing almost nothing to defend their infrastructure from malicious bad actors (more here, here, and here). Why? Because they can’t afford the protection (40% don’t have the budget more here), they can’t hire the expensive cyber security analysts required to manage very complex cyber security solutions (more here) and their executives do not understand the cyber security problem (until it’s too late). There is another added element—the executive staff of companies, board members and those with confidential company (and government) data use smartphones, tablets and laptops that go between connecting to work, home networks and public WIFI’s—none of which are secure! The problem is that bad actors know this and they are using this soft underbelly in our infrastructure to infiltrate critical systems. They know that these small companies and connected home networks are easy ways into big companies. How? Just follow any companies supply chain—for example, take a large aircraft manufacturer building the next jet liner and you will find more than 2,000 suppliers in over 20 countries delivering the components, parts, systems and hardware that is required to assemble the aircraft. If you look at some of those suppliers you will find the same thing (they each have several suppliers and so on…). This corporate to corporate commerce is what keeps our global economy going and growing. The problem is that all of these supplier companies do not have the same emphasis on securing their networks as the large aircraft manufacturer—that creates a big hole and one that a bad actor can exploit. The other problem is that the executives of these companies do not have the same emphasis on securing their home networks as the large aircraft company and that creates another big security hole that can be exploited. If the bad actor can compromise the big company (aircraft manufacturer) via one of the suppliers in their supply chain they will easily do it. If you don’t believe me, read the Symantec Corporation 2015 Internet Security Threat Report, where it outlines that small and mid-size businesses suffered data breaches more often than larger firms.
The cost of a data breach to a SMB can be devastating. According to the Ponemon Institute the average consolidated total cost of a data breach increased 15 percent in the last year to $3.5 million or $145 per each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information. How many SMB’s can withstand such a hit? The answer is very few.
This is a very hard problem to solve but it is not unsolvable… How can we defend the SMB segment?
- Make the expensive solutions (and governance models) that the big companies use available and affordable to SMB’s
- The solutions need to be very easy to install, and used, by the average business person versus an expensive cyber-security analyst.
- Employees (including the executives and board members) need to be educated and more importantly alerted and protected.
We created the NetWatcher Managed Security Service to provide SMB’s a very affordable managed security service that only large companies could deploy in the past.
At NetWatcher we are much like ADT the Home Security and Automation Company that alerts you when someone is breaking in to your home or business. For a low monthly fee, plus a minimal hardware installation cost, NetWatcher will alert you when someone is trying to break in to your network or when there are security policy/hygiene issues (and much more…). NetWatcher is the ultimate situational awareness tool for the security of your network.