One of the most basic forms of cybersecurity is anti-virus, malware and spyware protection. These safeguarding systems are typically in the form of downloadable software that prevents, detects and removes unwanted or hidden programs that somehow attach themselves to your computer.
Computer viruses, malware (or malicious software) and spyware are dangerous to companies because they have the potential to collect information or damage existing programs on your computer server. For companies that deal with confidential, important, or sensitive information, a digital breach could mean serious legal and business ramifications in the future.
Now that we are fully-ingrained in a digital world, more and more businesses are straying from physical information storage to cloud-based. While this shift improves productivity for companies, it also increases the likelihood of a data breach.
The good news? Top cybersecurity and risk management companies are on top of the latest digital trends. They have systems and experts in place who are well-versed in protecting data stored digitally -- especially on well-known and reputable cloud storage platforms.
Perhaps the biggest benefit cybersecurity companies bring to the table is the near-immediate ability to detect any digital threats. Instead of dedicating a team of people to ensuring the computer server safety, you can automate and outsource this important job to a reliable company instead.
It is important to note that not every threat is a real danger to your system. However, some may be, and early detection is the key to stopping data breaches before it’s too late and saving as much sensitive information as possible. The best cybersecurity companies can ensure this is possible.
After a cybersecurity and risk management company detects a threat and confirms it is malicious, and an automatic incident response is issued. And as we mentioned earlier, this fast solution to any digital danger is the key to stopping it and protecting your business.
What’s more, cybersecurity companies have teams of experts on hand to recover information and secure data after complex or large-scale breaches. This alleviates stress on your internal employees while ensuring you have the best-of-the-best on call to secure your company’s information if needed, without shelling out for a full-time in-house team.
Ultimately, we recommend every business, big or small, invest in a cybersecurity and risk management team for the peace of mind. These programs and companies are continually monitoring your company’s digital presence, and ultimately empower you to focus your energy on the task at hand while they manage internet safety.
There’s no bigger disaster than compromising your business’s important information -- or worse, your clients’ or consumers’ data. By partnering with a great risk management firm, your brand can avoid a logistical headache, public relations nightmare, and potential legal ramifications that data breaches bring.
Questions To Ask A Top Cybersecurity & Risk Management Company
Cybersecurity and risk management is complex and not every business needs the same amount of protection. Assess the amount of data you need to be protected, where it is stored, then find the reputable company that suits your needs.
- What cybersecurity or risk management services do you offer?
- Does your company offer any other business, marketing, or cybersecurity-related services?
- What data or information does your business protect?
- Will we need to perform any system updates or digital improvements before we begin utilizing your company?
- Do you have a team in place to help or manage this?
- How long will it be until we are fully protected?
Although plenty of cybersecurity is automated, there may be times when you need additional human support -- if you have a question, billing issue, or -- worse -- a true security breach. Ask the questions below to determine how much additional support and account management you could expect if you were to work with an agency.
- Who will be our point of contact?
- Will we receive regular security updates?
- Do you plan on placing one or more employees in our office as a consultant? Why or why not?
- Who should we call in case of a security breach?
- Who will respond if we have a high-grade security breach? How long will that take and how involved will they be?
The process of downloading or onboarding a new cybersecurity system looks vastly different for every company. But if you’re looking for major, comprehensive protection, you’ll need a dedicated team to facilitate a smooth transition that doesn’t leave any security gaps open. Make sure you have a clear understanding of how the implementation process will work.
- How does your company protect our data and information?
- Will this require and software installations, system updates, etc.?
- What is the alert process if the system finds a breach at varying levels? Who will be notified and when?
- What do you consider a low-grade or high-grade threat and why?
Most importantly, businesses need to know what data is protected and to what degree. So, don’t let the logistics of the process overshadow the most important questions: How protected are we, and how will you secure our data in the event of a digital breach?
- What information of ours will be protected?
- Is any data currently at risk?
- Will any data be at risk after partnering with you? What is that risk?
- If client or customer data is exploited and we need to inform them, who will handle that communication?
- If a cybersecurity breach results in legal and/or governmental ramifications, who will be held responsible?
- Tell us about a few security breaches and how your company and/or staff rectified the situation.
Just as services and support vary in cybersecurity companies, so does pricing. Ask the questions below to fully comprehend how their structure works, what data is protected, how a risk management company will act in the event of a data breach, and how long your information will be safe.
- How much do your services cost?
- Are their tiers to your pricing structure?
- How long are we protected for?
- What digital and personal support are we entitled to at that cost?
How To Choose The Best Cybersecurity & Risk Management Company
First and foremost, the best cybersecurity and risk management company for your company is the one that protects the information you need to be safeguarded -- it’s as simple as that! Take stock of your needs, then speak to reliable companies that offer those services.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to look towards the future and assess the needs your business might have down the road. For example, if you foresee entering a new, more sensitive industry or think you’ll begin collecting additional data, it’s worth finding a company that offers services in those areas as well to avoid the cost and energy of eventually changing security providers. However, if your needs simply aren’t that great, there’s no need to pay for protection you don’t -- and won’t ever -- need.
In addition to strong systems and solid protection, the top cybersecurity companies have teams of experts on hand to answer all of your questions or assist you in an unexpected time of need.
Before you commit to a risk management company, determine the level of account management support, incident response assistance, and even onboarding help that they are prepared to give. If that doesn’t align with your needs -- particularly if you’re hoping for more one-on-one attention -- it likely is not the right company for you.
When it comes to cybersecurity, reputation is everything. Even if the price is right, don’t settle for a company with anything less than glowing reviews and a shining notoriety. Protecting your business’s important information is one of the few expenses that is well worth it.
Top cybersecurity companies will also attract the top talent to act as their support system. Make sure to ask any potential agencies how many employees they have, what their certifications are, and if the company itself has any recognition for stellar work and strong protection.
A great cybersecurity agency will protect top businesses in many industries, most of whom should be willing to state their happiness with the security agency on-record. For more insight into their day-to-day protection, ask to see specific testimonials, reviews or even current client information so you can ask them for their unbiased opinion of the risk management company.
Bonus: Ask risk management companies if they have worked with any of your competitors, brands in your industry, or secured similar data files (plus, what the success rate was). Their familiarity with your needs will be a strong indicator of their ability to protect your information.
Once you have determined if an agency is competent and reliable enough to properly protect your information, make sure you understand their pricing structure AND what you’ll be entitled to. Some cybersecurity companies may make you pay extra for additional support in the event of a catastrophe, but you certainly don’t want to wait until you’re in the thick of a scandal to learn that.
Finally, ask if you are required to use their service or company for a specific amount of time -- you don’t want to get stuck with a service if you determine it’s not satisfactory. Then enlist the help of your legal department to put every detail into a comprehensive contract to protect your business and guarantee success.
Top Value Propositions & Differentiating Factors Of The Best Cybersecurity and Risk Management Companies
Cyber attacks are a fact of modern life. In the digital era, multiple high profile cyber attacks take place every year. These attacks threaten to bring the work of major institutions to a standstill (as when the National Health Service in the UK suffered ransomware attacks that took records offline and resulted in delayed procedures and services), and to expose consumers to identity theft (as when Experian was the victim of a data breach that saw millions of customers’ information stolen).
These high profile attacks have helped make network security and risk management top of mind for many businesses that are now acutely aware of the need to protect against cyber threats. No company is exempt from the risk of cyber attack, with threats and attacks having been carried out against banks, large corporations, governments, and even connected cars. The growing proliferation of connected devices (Internet of Things or IoT) has many worried that cyber attacks on these devices are imminent.
Employing effective security solutions to guard against attacks is essential to operating a business in the digital age. Below we cover the basics of cyber security company capabilities and provide advice on which differentiators to look for in your choice of cyber security and risk management partner.
What Is Cyber Security?
Cyber security entails a system of protections put in place to guard against attacks, manage existing threats, and detect potential breaches. Due to many recent high profile attacks, and because of the massive proliferation of digital devices over the past twenty years, the cyber security market is experiencing significant growth.
Common Types Of Cyber Attacks
Cyber attacks come in many different forms, which is part of what makes cyber security and risk management such a complex field. Some common attacks that companies must take measures to guard against include:
- Malware - Malware is a portmanteau of the words “malicious” and “software”. Malware infects a system or computer, allowing the attacker to use that system for any number of malicious purposes (ie; spamming, data theft, etc.) The term malware includes things like viruses, spyware, and trojans.
- Ransomware - Ransomware is a type of malware (also a portmanteau, combining the words “ransom” and “software”). In a ransomware attack, cyber criminals hijack a system or files and demand a ransom (paid in the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin) in return for release of the materials back to the owner.
- Phishing - If you have an email address, you’ve probably been exposed to a phishing attack at some point or another. Phishing is when attackers impersonate a legitimate company or person in an effort to extract personal information (account credentials, credit card numbers, etc.)
- Denial-of-Service Attacks - Denial-of-Service attacks, or DoS attacks, entail making a system or platform inaccessible to its users. DoS attacks are executed by sending influxes of traffic to a system to exceed capacity, or by otherwise deliberately orchestrating a crash.
What Services Do Cybersecurity Companies Offer?
Cyber security is a massive field that covers many different technologies and approaches to risk management and security. Depending on the client’s needs, there are dozens of techniques and cyber security products that can be deployed to prevent vulnerabilities and minimize damage in the case of an attack.
Some popular services and software solutions include:
- Anti-malware software / Anti-virus protection - A form of software designed to detect and remove malware and viruses on a system or computer. Anti-virus software has been around since the early days of the web, but is now experiencing a renaissance sometimes referred to as next-generation anti-virus. Next-gen approaches are harnessing new technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve effectiveness.
- Anti-spyware - Anti-spyware software can detect and block attempted spyware attacks as they happen.
- Firewalls - A firewall is a system of monitoring incoming and outgoing network traffic in order to identify and block threats. Next-generation firewalls are more sophisticated, effective versions of the original firewalls developed in the early days of the internet.
- Intrusion Detection System - Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) are designed to identify threats that have already infiltrated a network. These systems trigger an alarm alerting the company to the presence of the threat. Intrusion Prevention Systems can also both identify and dispense with the threat.
Top Cybersecurity Companies Are Forward-Thinking
It’s unfortunate but true that cyber threats are constantly evolving. Hackers have monetary and ideological incentives to continue improving their approach to infiltration. In order to be effective at identifying and defeating attacks, cyber security companies have to stay on top of the latest techniques being adopted by attackers as well as the most advanced, cutting-edge technology used to combat such attacks.
When evaluating potential cyber security partners you should make an effort to assess their efforts to stay relevant and cutting edge in their field. What training initiatives do they invest in? How do they keep their products updated to reflect new technologies and practices?
Leading Cyber Security Firms Have A Track Record Of Success
When you’re dealing with something as important as cyber security, you want to make sure your business is in the best hands. That’s why top cyber security companies are quick to offer evidence of a track record of success for past and current clients. Look for a security firm that can offer case studies and example product use cases tied to measurable results for clients. Any respectable cyber security company will also be more than willing to provide references on request. Always work with a tested partner if you want to ensure your company’s security is taken care of.
How Type Cybersecurity Agencies Market Themselves
Cyber security is a very hot topic these days and top security companies have capitalized on ongoing discussions of security to develop themselves as authoritative thought leaders. Digital PR in the form of press mentions, quotes in the media, and guest articles help cyber security companies increase brand awareness among target audiences.
In additional to digital marketing channels, offline tactics are still of great importance to B2B brands. Cyber security and risk management companies may target C-suite executives through print media and offline events like conferences, seminars, and trade shows. Content marketing and email marketing are also key channels for speaking to the B2B audience.
Cyber security is one of the most pressing challenges facing businesses in the digital era. High-profile cyber attacks are becoming a frequent occurrence and no company is immune to these threats. Making an investment in services from the right cyber security company is key to protecting both your company’s data and that of your clients or customers.
Here are some important considerations when evaluating your choices for cyber security:
- A definition of cyber security - Cyber security simply describes all processes, systems, and software design to help protect against attacks and security breaches and dispense with threats once they are detected.
- Common types of cyber attacks - Cyber attacks take many different forms, including malware (viruses, worms, spyware, trojans, etc.), ransomware attacks, phishing, and DoS attacks.
- Cyber security products and services - To match the range of different cyber attacks, cyber security firms offer a range of services to address numerous types of threats. These may include anti-virus software, firewalls, IDS, cloud security, and other incident response services.
- Forward-thinking - Hackers are smart, and their methods are constantly evolving in an effort to evade detection. The best cyber security companies are the ones that remain vigilant, making an effort to adapt to the latest techniques employed by attackers.
- Proven track record - Cyber security is far too important to hand over to an untested partner. Top cyber security firms have long track records of proven success implementing security solutions for other clients. Be sure to ask to see case studies that include implementation details and measurable results.
Top Qualities Of The Best Cybersecurity & Risk Management Companies
Cybersecurity is a complex issue, and one that is top of mind for businesses who know they need to minimize risk and protect themselves from threats. Top cybersecurity companies have many years of experience helping companies manage their businesses more securely. Experience is the number one factor you should look for in a cybersecurity partner, as it’s the best indicator that the company has the expertise on staff to handle even the most complex security issues. To understand the company’s experience, be sure to ask questions about past projects as well as the training of the employees who will be working on your account.
Top cybersecurity companies should be happy to provide examples of their work, including solutions they’ve been able to execute and satisfied customers they’ve worked with. Don’t simply take the company’s word for it though -- make it a priority to verify references. Speaking with references can give you a more in-depth picture of how the company operates and whether or not they’ll be a good match for your needs. Be sure to ask specific, pointed questions about the aspects of cybersecurity and risk management that are important to you. References are likely to give a generally positive review of the company, so you’ll want to have a list of questions prepared in order to obtain more detailed feedback.
The cybersecurity needs of every company are unique. There isn’t a one size fits all solution that a vendor can offer to satisfy every customer. Less reputable companies may try to talk you into solutions that aren’t right for you but are easy for them to execute. Don’t take the bait. Top cybersecurity companies offer solutions that are tailored to the needs of each individual client. Before going into meetings, be sure that your company has a clear understanding of what your goals and objectives are so these can be conveyed to the vendors you interview.
Creative Problem Solving
Cybersecurity might not seem like the most creative field, but innovative thinking is invaluable in the security and risk management industry. Top cybersecurity companies value rigorous, analytical thinking in their employees, but they also recognize the importance of being able to come up with creative solutions to difficult problems. You want to work with a team that is passionate about their field and committed to learning. These traits mean the company is open-minded and flexible -- two essential qualities in a field that changes as rapidly as technology does.
With any vendor partnership it’s important for the client to be in the loop on the work the vendor is doing on their behalf. Though cybersecurity and risk management is a highly technical field, the company you work with should still be able to clearly articulate what work is being done on your behalf, and what the outcomes will be. Top cybersecurity companies will set expectations for regular reporting and communication so that you’re secure in the knowledge that your investment is being well-spent, and that your company’s security is protected.