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Cybersecurity is a term we are confronted with daily

This October is European Cybersecurity Awareness Month which draws particular attention to an important topic that is no longer just a key topic for large corporations. We all rely on computer systems every day and protecting our data is protecting one of our most important assets – yet cloud service security, IoT, crimeware- as- a- service, the rise of smartphones and most recently the evident needs of a remote workforce to have data accessibility, has only complicated the field for many businesses. Especially small and medium business (SMBs) may lack some of the resources and the IT knowledge to protect their vulnerabilities.

Let me quickly break down what I am talking about when I speak about cybersecurity: First and foremost, there is user sensitisation. I appreciate the EU´s campaign hashtag #thinkB4Uclick – because it points to the greatest security hazard for corporations – the people that sit in front of a keyboard. Employees are our biggest asset and simultaneously the biggest source of data breaches. The issue here is that people can’t know what they don´t know and we cannot expect everyone to stay on top of changes in this field – so education is key. Businesses have to make sure staff are kept up to date on developments and practice good cyber hygiene. It is key to train and support our colleagues and staff to spot phishing mails, create strong password, avoid suspicious downloads and the likes. Here at RNT we encourage everyone to err on the side of caution. This means we encourage everyone to think twice before clicking on anything they may think is suspicious and when in doubt to ask IT. Unfortunately, common sense isn’t enough anymore, and the consequences of individual action can be fatal to the company. For further information on this, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) publishes a helpful guide on cybersecurity for SMBs.

Secondly, there´s access protection from outside cyber attackers through shields like firewalls or virus protection. We don´t develop those, it´s not our wheelhouse, but being a medium sized business in the IT businesses, we audited and reviewed many suppliers before we committed our systems. It´s important to review product portfolio, security level and responsiveness and in addition, it´s essential to work with someone that understands your business needs, your network size and training requirements. For something as essential as cybersecurity you want to make sure your provider has the relevant solutions that will meet your needs. We only offer the solutions to our clients that we ourselves rely on with our business, making sure we have skin in the game.

Thirdly, and this is where I get excited, we should talk about immutable storage. Because if all lines of defence fail, how you secure your data has giant impact on how much impact your security breach has on your business and valuable assets. Immutable means unchangeable, so immutable storage means stored data cannot be overwritten or deleted. If it cannot be changed, this means that it cannot be encrypted by ransomware. Ransomware, which is a type of malware or software code that is designed to block access to your data, has been one of the most prolific threats to data security and increasingly so to SMBs in Europe.

Being one of those highly specialized medium sized businesses ourselves, we have spent the last year identifying partners and solutions that allow SMBs to have enterprise grade software from innovation and market leaders such as Cloudian or Acronis, available on a 3U with five nodes appliance, which we build. This turnkey solution called Yowie is small and affordable yet manages peak performance and highest demands on cybersecurity while offering complete scalability.

We need to make cybersecurity relatable, easy to understand and affordable if we want to protect our company´s second most valuable and precious asset: data.