Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Cloud Security

Microservices Expo: News Item

Cyber Security Alliance Helps Small Businesses Address Security Risks

Increasing awareness through education, free resources, and active engagements

Across all industries, small businesses are increasingly facing new threats related to cyber security. Whereas some have taken minimum steps to address these threats but most have not. New security threats and incidents are reported every day in news reports and a many remain unreported. This underscores the need for cyber security education of small business owners and managers. These threats have potentially serious consequences and could lead to unrecoverable damage to small businesses.

What are some consequences of the lack of basic cyber security controls?

  • Loss or stolen customer data
  • Loss of intellectual property
  • Decreased productivity
  • Legal liability
  • Regulatory sanctions and fines
  • Computer systems downtime
  • Loss of reputation and customer confidence
  • Loss of revenue
  • Banking Fraud

Could this happen to you?
It is very important to understand that neither size nor industry guarantees protection from an attack. The use of computer systems and the Internet makes you vulnerable to attacks and other threats.

A 2010 survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute and Guardian Analytics of over 500 SMBs surfaced these alarming statistics:

  • 55% experienced a fraud attack in the last year
  • 58% of the incidents involved online banking
  • Over 50% experienced multiple incidents
  • 87% failed to fully recover lost funds

You are not a big, well known business. Why would anyone attack you?
While it might be the case that well trained hackers are not very interested in your small company, most online attacks aren't carried out by expert hackers. Attacks are perpetrated by low-skilled, common criminals with access to pre-packaged hacking tools, thereby casting a wide net in hopes of finding an unprotected computer system or network. These tools are easy to use and readily available on the Internet, often times free of charge. The anonymity of a cyber attack makes it even more attractive to criminals. Many attackers use safe havens in foreign countries which do not have strong cyber crime laws.

Malicious software like viruses, worms, trojan horses, spam, bots are all vectors of cyber attacks that are indiscriminately spreading across the Internet. These attacks don't only target your small business computer systems but also seek to use your unprotected systems to launch attack on others.

Hasn't IT guy(s) already dealt with this issue?
Although cyber security includes traditional "IT"related issues, it primarily focuses on protecting your valuable information from all threats including physical attacks, data corruption, equipment failure, social engineering, and bad security choices due to insufficient security awareness education. Effective cyber security management requires specific training related to threats, vulnerabilities, and risks affecting computer systems, business operational processes, and most importantly you and your employees. One's security problems cannot be addressed solely by off the shelf products. Security must be addressed in the boardroom before it is addressed in the computer room.

What are the benefits and cost of cyber security?
Besides avoiding some of the devastating consequences mentioned earlier, good security is simply good business. It does far more than increase customer confidence and protects the integrity of your businesses brand. A secure business increases customer confidence, loyalty and adds to the businesses bottom line.

Responsible businesses understand that risk management mandates that all threats, including cyber threats, be assessed and managed to protect the business, employees and customers.

The potential cost of inaction far outweighs the cost of action. Analyzing your businesses risks allows you to weigh the costs and benefits and make informed decisions.

Where do you start? Where can you get help?
Although improving your security may seem a daunting task, it doesn't have to be. Increasing cyber security awareness helps small and medium sized businesses proactively implement simple best practices to protect their businesses. Security should be built into your business processes, information technology (IT), and most importantly your employees and contractors. Each business is unique and faces challenges particular to their operations. There is no magic pill that guarantees 100% security. The SMB Cyber Security Alliance have security experts available to help you understand your unique risks and implement solutions that work your your particular business environment.

Visit us today and sign up for your free membership at http://www.smbcybersecurity.org

The SMB Cyber Security Alliance is volunteer-run organization seeking to increase cyber security awareness in small business communities through education, awareness training, free resources and consultations, and active engagements between small business owners and local security professionals.

More Stories By William McBorrough

William J McBorrough is a Security Expert with many years of success Managing, Designing, and Implementing medium and large enterprise Physical and Information Technology Security Solutions. His experience spans the spectrum from small e-commerce start-ups to multi-campus state and federal agencies to multi-state financial sector organizations. He is also on the faculty of various universities including University of Maryland University College, EC-Council University, George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College where he conducts research and teach graduate and undergraduate courses relating to cybersecurity, cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and information security and assurance. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Computing Engineering with a concentration in digital networks and a Masters of Science in Information Security and Assurance. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified in Risk Information System Control (CRISC), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).He is well versed in personnel, systems and network security risk management. His core competancies include Developing cost effective solutions to enable mission assurance in the following areas: Enterprise Risk Management, IT Governance, Security Organization Development, Information Security and Assurance

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...