Introducing The Security Shield

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An enterprise-level, fully layered cyber security solution for SMBs

Introducing The Security Shield, a cyber security solution for medium sized organizations.

When it comes to cybersecurity, SMBs are at risk, vulnerable, and exposed. Why?

There are three main reasons:

  1.  SMBs don’t believe they are a target
  2. Only the top few security concerns are addressed and protected
  3. They focus on stopping attacks and not on cyber resilience

As a Managed Service Provider here in the Twin Cities, Imagine IT has protected and guided SMBs for 25 years.  Peter Durand, our co-founder, and Chief Security Officer, is one of the top cyber-security experts in the Midwest.  Pete and his team have developed The Security Shield, a fully layered and inclusive cybersecurity solution.

In this article, we will address those three vulnerabilities and how to protect yourself.

We will share a solution with you that will finally address all of your weak points and show you how to create a cyber resilience strategy.

Why do SMBs believe they are not a target?

It begins with the news cycle. The cyber-attacks that make the big headlines typically involve large multi-national corporations with thousands of employees and millions of customers. These headlines lull SMBs to sleep. They do this by falsely promoting that  hackers are only after big corporations.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Cyber-criminals do not discriminate by size

Some of the biggest data breaches in the 21st century started out at small businesses.  For example, one of the largest cyberattacks in history that affected over 100 million accounts was carried out through a small HVAC contractor.

Over 99% of American corporations are considered SMBs, so who else are the cyber-criminals going to attack? Cyber-attacks can happen to anyone, regardless of company size and industry. This is especially true today with so many remote workers, mobile devices, and many SMBs using cloud services.

SMBs are subject to the exact cyber threats that large corporations are, but are much more vulnerable.

How do most IT support and managed service solutions leave you exposed?

Because organizations like yours seldom recognize how much cyber-security they need. And because most SMBs don’t feel they are a target.  It is difficult for Managed Service Providers to persuade their clients to fully invest in cyber-security.

So in their security meetings with their clients, IT support companies will identify the top 3-5 security issues. The company will then agree to pay for those protections. So, the business owner leaves the meeting believing he is protected, and the Managed Service Provider leaves happy to have a new paying client.

But at Imagine IT, we believe that is a big mistake, and one that we have honestly made ourselves in the past. But we’ve now drawn a line in the sand and said “no more!”

SMBs need to protect all of their exposed security areas, not just the top few.


The move to cyber resilience

Cyber Resilience is important because traditional cybersecurity measures are no longer sufficient.

The truth is, harmful cyber events negatively impact smaller companies every day. These events may be external or internal and may be intentional or unintentional, caused by humans, nature, or a combination of both.

Today, it’s as critical for SMBs to have the ability to respond and recover from a security breach as it is to prevent them.  Cyber resilience aims to give your organization a plan that will consider actions and outcomes before, during, and after an event.

A cyber resilience strategy should be considered a preventive measure to counteract human error and security weaknesses in hardware and software. The overall purpose of cyber resilience is to protect the organization while understanding that there will likely be insecure parts, no matter how robust your security controls are.

The Full Cyber Resilience story here


The new face of the cyber-hacker: How they have evolved


As cyber-security becomes more complex, hackers worldwide have evolved along with the technology they employ to attack your organization.

The stereotype of a hacker sitting in a dark basement and having fun trying to hack your system is completely outdated.

In its place, you’ll find a sophisticated network of companies, nation-states, and organized criminal organizations that employ full-time employees with one simple task … to break into your systems.

Cyber criminals are as sophisticated as the most advanced information technology companies with their large budgets, know-how, and technology expertise. Moreover, the hackers are as sophisticated as the cyber-security professionals trying to stop them.

The Security ShieldThe Cyber Security ShieldThe Cyber Security Shield

The Security Shield combines enterprise-grade technologies. Including AI, automation, breached device isolation, processes that monitor for suspicious activity, recurring scans,  and frequent user training.

The Shield is designed around the “Zero-Trust” model and the 5 key areas of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework:The Cyber Security Shield

  1. Identify: Document the current gaps and make a remediation plan and timeline.
  2. Protect: Deploy technologies that avoid breaches.
  3. Detect: Deploy technologies that detect breaches (assume there will be breaches).
  4. Respond: Document a well-baked Incident Response Plan.
  5. Recover: Deploy bulletproof backup solutions, Cyber Insurance, and a Disaster Recovery Plan.

In short, we will:

  • Lock it down
  • Train your users (the “human” firewall)
  • Monitor for breaches
  • Continually improve your security posture
  • Make security a competitive advantage
  • Protect reputation, revenue, and business valuation.

The Imagine IT NIST Cybersecurity Framework Process

Protections included in The Security Shield:

Intrusion Detection System (IDS): Every business will have an intrusion, and the average time to discover a breach is 20 days. Therefore, it is critical to get alerted to a breach immediately. IDS monitors for suspicious traffic on your network (like traffic going to Russia).  Once the alert is received, we can shut down the breach before damage or data loss.

NexGen Antivirus: Same features as business-class AV, plus protects against file-less malware, PowerShell scripts, and more advanced malware and ransomware.

24/7 XDR SOC: This platform hunts for threats that were missed by antivirus and other security technologies. This can be an extremely useful tool against ransomware and other malicious software, especially in this “work from anywhere” world.

External Vulnerability Scanning: Imagine IT will perform monthly vulnerability scans against your premise and applicable Cloud infrastructure.

  •  Dark Web Monitoring: The Dark Web is where hackers sell bad things, including stolen credentials and identities. Dark Web Monitoring will alert us immediately,\.
  •  Training & Phishing Exercises: Users are the weakest link to data security and often make bad decisions. To solve this, users must continually be trained and tested.
  •  Cloud Server Posture: A system is deployed that continually monitors the security posture of Azure servers.
  •  Cisco Umbrella: Protects endpoints against malicious websites and links.
  •  Remote Access Lockdown: Traditionally, you would set up a firewall rule to allow users to connect via Remote Desktop (RDP). However, bad guys can easily hack this.
  • WiFi Lockdown: Standard Wi-Fi security measures can easily be hacked. Therefore, orgs must segment Wi-Fi networks, and provide long shared WPA2 keys,
  • Active Directory Cleanup: Hackers take advantage of poorly maintained Active Directory Users and Group. Imagine IT regularly reviews active accounts and group memberships.


How is the Security Shield different?

It’s different because of the long list we just shared with you.  Typical Managed Service Providers and IT support companies offer a very limited security solution as part of their IT support plan: This ends up including about 5-7 of the many items we listed above.

At Imagine IT, we have taken steps to create a fully layered cyber-security solution that addresses all the necessary elements to keep your SMB secure.

How will The Security Shield improve our overall security?

Imagine IT utilized cutting-edge and enterprise-level security technologies and processes to protect, monitor, investigate, and verify that your users are routinely trained. As a result, your organization will realize an increase in the level of security for your data.  Not only will your data be better protected, but Imagine IT will become aware shortly after a breach occurs.

No security system or process is 100% effective, but your goal is to get as close to 100% possible by mitigating risk using a layered security strategy.

How much does the Security Shield Cost?

The Security Shield is part of our Manage Service Monthly agreement.  And Imagine IT offers month-to-month agreements only, with no long-term contracts.

Your Role in Cybersecurity

Security is a shared responsibility. executives have a role, managers have a role, and end-users have a role.  It will not work if everyone isn’t on board and doing their part.

Final Thoughts

SMBs have become a huge target for cyber-attackers.  And the fact is, most SMBs are inadequately protected from a cyber-arrack, and the consequences can be lethal.

Your organization will be attacked, and they will eventually be breached; it is inevitable. Therefore, you need to start looking at your security posture from a cyber-resilience standpoint. Yes, cybersecurity is important, but it is only one piece of your overall cyber-resilience strategy.  You want a system to identify, protect, detect, respond, recover and anticipate a cyber or business altering event.

Next Steps:

If you have questions or wish to talk with us regarding the Security Shield, click on this link:

Start A Conversation

If you aren’t ready to talk, we get it. Here are a few articles to give you some additional insights.

Understanding Cyber Resilience

The 14 Key Questions To Ask When Vetting Any Managed Service Provider