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Top 5 IT Security Skills SMBs Need In 2018 (chart)

Article by Diogo Correa
July 30, 2018

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Cyber Security

Across the board, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) trail their larger counterparts in their need for skill improvement, specifically when it comes to IT security. However, SMBs can look to partner with managed services providers (MSPs) in order to bridge this skills gap and gain access to the expertise needed to stay protected, including these top 5 IT security skills SMBs now require.

We will be going through the TOP 5 Security skills SMBs needed in 2018 in this article, showing a chart demonstrating the Moderate Improvements that are needed and also assessing the significant improvements needed. Firstly we will work through the Top 5 to understand each skill and why they are important to a business.

1. Network/Infrastructure Security

It’s no secret that your IT infrastructure is the backbone of any business operating in 2018. If you want your organisation to perform to the very best of its capabilities all your hardware and software need to work and function together at a quality standard. However, one of the biggest threats to your network infrastructure and your business is security. With the rise of Malware and Ransomware, it’s crucial that your business’ Network Infrastructure is secure so that you can be equipt to not only handle attacks but see it coming.

Keeping your network security should be a continuous development of growth within your business. Systems change, hackers get more advanced and the fight between digital law enforcement and criminals continue as each look for advancements in technology that can better equip each side so it’s critical that you stay on top of your network and understand new advancements within the industry. This is why it’s sometimes good to partner with an MSP as they stay on top of new security practices from the industry.

2. Knowledge of Threats

Most employees today are more familiar with Information Security (IS) because it has been embedded within our society as online use continues to grow. However, there are many employees whose level of awareness on this subject is still not enough considering the occurrence of security risks that continue to happen to businesses across Australia. Many studies have been conducted to assess employees and to help raise their level of IS awareness.

What we have found:

  • Over half (52%) of companies have cybersecurity policies.
  • More than one-fourth (28%) of employees don’t know whether their company has a cybersecurity policy.
  • Nearly half (46%) of entry-level employees don’t know whether their company has a cybersecurity policy.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of employees are uncertain whether their company will experience more IT security threats over the next year.
  • A majority (56%) of employees feel their company is prepared for IT security threats.
  • Employees identify physical theft of company property (17%) as the biggest threat to company security.

Knowledge of threats should not only be implemented within software and system analysis to prevent outsider attacks but we would also suggest that companies need to focus on IT security training and onboarding to increase awareness about IT security policy and about potential internal ‘accidental’ threats.

3. Application/Data Security

The fundamental mistakes that businesses make when looking at Application/Data Security are that they look at detection and response to attacks rather than focusing on monitoring and protecting, this is a key difference. CEOs, Entrepreneurs, CTOs, Security and Risk Managers and leaders should have in place data security governance to prepare risk-based security strategies to prepare for budgets and data security.

It’s no secret that vulnerabilities in software have been the leading cause of security breaches. Although technology advances have simplified writing web applications, implementing secure practices is something that needs to be internally developed and adopted.

4. Compliance/Operational Security

Security doesn’t just thrive by its self, security thrives on control. there are 3 types of control that need to be established, it’s a multi-layer approach and not one of these controls is sufficient on its own.

  • Technical

These systems can be hardware or software. A physical lock is not considered technical, however, encryption is. Firewalls and IDSs are technical controls that support your business from attacks. Technical may seem to some that it’s out of their scope but technical really just means the items you use all the time to keep your network, data, and users safe and secure.

  • Operational

These controls are used by people, not managers, and it’s not automated like the technical controls. These controls include incident response, [personnel security, and training. While they’re not automated, these controls can certainly have alerts set up so it’s not completely manual.

Why are operational controls important if you have the technical controls in place?

Operational controls are needed because the technical controls don’t know about users and human effects to the infrastructure. Operational controls include the users training and studies of the business’ user security operations.

  • Management

The focus on decision-making and mitigating risks generally fall under the management and executives that implement policies and solutions for the business to follow. There’s a lot of risk assessment, planning, written policy creation, and project management that goes on. This needs to happen as they’re the business leaders, and IT needs to support the business via strong processes and solutions that users can easily adopt.

1. Threat Management

This is the advanced management programs in place that enables early identification of threats brought together by data-driven situational awareness, accurate decision making, and timely threat mitigation actions. Cyber Threat Management (CTM) includes;

  • A comprehensive methodology for real-time monitoring including advanced techniques such as behavioural modelling.
  • Manual and automated intelligence gathering and threat analytics.
  • Use of advanced analytics to optimize intelligence, generate security intelligence, and provide situational awareness.

Top 5 IT Security Skills SMBs Need In 2018 (chart)

Managed IT Security

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