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Cybersecurity vs. Information Technology Management

Posted by Kerry Collier on June 4, 2021 at 11:25 AM
Kerry Collier

Cybersecurity is a trendy topic in the information technology (IT) services market. Many IT management companies do offer cybersecurity services, but cybersecurity and IT management are not the same. Having IT management services in place does not mean your network is adequately protected from cyberattacks.

What’s the Difference?

The lines between IT management and cybersecurity are somewhat blurred, so it’s easy to see how the two could be confused. The services have a lot of overlap when it comes to the general concepts of protecting your business’s network and using technology to mitigate outside threats. However, the role an IT management service plays in that protection and threat mitigation is significantly different than the role a cybersecurity service plays.

Take firewalls, for example. IT management would be responsible for making sure the firewalls exist, but it’s the cybersecurity team that would create a strategy for ensuring firewall configuration reduces overall organizational risk.

Think of it like physical security:

IT management would be the security company that installs the alarms, cameras, locks, etc. It might even offer some monitoring to ensure the doors are locked when they should be. While this a great first line of defense, the security system could still be manipulated and bypassed without the help of a security specialist providing a strategy for layered protection. This might include identifying weak points of entry and exit, advising on things like building fences and barriers, restricting physical access through unique codes or key fobs, and looking at internal processes as they relate to outside activity. Think of cybersecurity services as that specialist.

How to Know If My IT Management Includes Cybersecurity

Many IT vendors claim to bundle cybersecurity into their management services. It’s important to know what constitutes adequate protection and ensure it’s being provided.

Here are a few questions you can ask your vendor to determine your level of security:

  1. Do you have dedicated resources focused on security components like monitoring, gap analysis, remediation, etc.?
  2. What are your accreditations as an organization?
  3. What credentials does your staff have? Do you have team members with security specializations?

Today’s cyberthreat landscape is changing rapidly. Having programs dedicated to perpetually increasing your organization’s security posture is paramount. Cybersecurity practices should include regular policy review, measurement, training, and gap remediation intervals. Your cybersecurity service vendor and its team should have industry accreditations like MSPAlliance® Cyber Verify™, AICPA® SOC, and (ISC)2 certifications. Specialized staff should be knowledgeable about cybersecurity best practices and compliance standards.

Cybersecurity Compliance Activities Yearly Cycle

The only way to quell the alarming rate at which cyberattacks are increasing is through enhanced protection. From malware to ransomware and beyond, data breaches take an average of 280 days to detect and contain and cost organizations an average of $3.86 million. Protect your organization’s revenue, relationships, and reputation from cyberthreats by ensuring your IT management services are bolstered by experienced, credentialed cybersecurity professionals.

 

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