Houston Cybersecurity – a Hot Topic

Cybersecurity is considered a high priority for many businesses across industry sectors. With cybercrime frequently in the news and on the increase, proactive measures to protect a business from malicious threats are critical as the consequences of a security breach can be expensive in terms of money spent to remediate the attack, time lost in repairing the damage, and reputational damage as clients find out their data may have been compromised. The question of cost can be viewed from either side of the dilemma: “How much will it cost to protect my business and have robust cybersecurity in place?” and “How much could it cost if I am the victim of a cybersecurity attack?”

The first question can be tackled predictably with a budget set aside to install concentric layers of secure protocols and processes. For business owners who do not have the in-house expertise to plan and implement a strategy, there are Managed Service Providers who offer their services to bring IT up to the level required to be secure and compliant in many sectors. AVATAR Managed Services is a Houston-based MSP offering a range of IT services, including managed cybersecurity; here, we take a closer look at some particular challenges across varying industry sectors.

Cybersecurity for the Manufacturing and Distribution Industry

The manufacturing industry is widespread and often critical to the upstream provision of products and equipment that other business entities or groups utilize. Reliant on supply chains and often involving a network of many connected devices that could be spread over a wide geographical area, there is little room for downtime and disruption. The databases of a manufacturing company are also likely to hold personal information for clients, vendors, business partners, and staff. Likely to have been using information technology for many years, there is a chance that moving to newer infrastructure and software has lagged behind in some areas, meaning there could be vulnerabilities yet to be remediated even if there is a plan to improve cybersecurity. Ransomware is a common form of cyber threat encountered by the manufacturing industry. For businesses that operate 24/7, it is essential to be able to respond any time a possible threat is detected. AVATAR Managed Services is available 24x7x365, always on hand to respond immediately, offering clients peace of mind that a professional response is one call away no matter when a cyber threat is suspected.

Find out more about AVATAR’s Houston Manufacturing and Distribution IT Services.

Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

Small businesses may not have a large operating budget, especially as they are starting up. Knowing that there may be more tasks on the wishlist than can be committed to, small businesses are often the target of phishing attacks and malware. Phishing attacks entice employees to click on a link, download an infected file, or share sensitive data. Phishing attempts may look genuine in many ways, so they are often successful. Staff training is essential and should never be underestimated. Making staff aware that there may be a threat and how to look for signs of a phishing attempt can help fight cybercrime. It is also equally important that staff feel empowered to speak up if they suspect they may have accidentally exposed the company to a cyber threat by clicking on something that now looks fake or downloading a potentially dangerous file onto their PC connected to others via the company’s network. AVATAR Managed Services tailors its services for each client, helping businesses of every size prioritize their IT roadmap and budget, with cybersecurity high on the list. Find out more about AVATAR’s Houston Managed Cybersecurity Solutions.

Cybersecurity for the Healthcare Industry

The Healthcare industry, by nature, holds sensitive personal data that patients expect to remain private and secure. For this reason, the healthcare industry is particularly vulnerable to cyber threats like ransomware, denial of service attacks, and the introduction of malicious code. Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks disrupt regular network traffic, flooding infrastructure with so many spurious requests that genuine and legitimate requests are crowded out and not served. Ransomware attacks can either threaten to publicize private information or block access to information until a ransom is paid. Ransomware attacks can be triggered from malicious phishing emails, can be introduced through infected portable devices like a USB drive, can be inadvertently downloaded, or can be delivered across an insecure public wi-fi connection. Security policy management and providing the appropriate guidance to employees are among the pillars of managed cybersecurity AVATAR can support clients with. “It’s important that everyone knows the ground rules. We can help you set up policies covering issues such as using personal devices (BYOD), personal use of company assets and networks, content sharing policies, etc.”

AVATAR’s approach to managed cybersecurity includes regular assessments, external testing, proactive IT infrastructure management, and planning with you and your team to ensure that you have processes and procedures in place to avoid disruption.

Contact us today to explore how your business can leverage the AVATAR team. We’re available 24x7x365 and look forward to applying our IT expertise to take your business to the next level.

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