This article was co-authored by Mike Wilfley, vcfo Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, and Shane Gronniger, CEO for GCS Technologies.

Ensuring IT Security in Small- to Medium-Sized Businesses

A decade ago, dealing with spam, avoiding worms and viruses, and keeping inappropriate images and websites out of the office environment are what held the attention of organizations and their IT departments when it came to cybersecurity. In the past, companies considered implementing basic protective measures and content filters as a minor check-the-box exercise that they could fund through their operational budget to safeguard themselves from bad actors.

Today, the range and complexity of cyber threats as well as concerns about their impact have grown exponentially. Organizations have introduced widespread vulnerabilities due to the lack of runway, teams, and other elements in place to manage the rise of work-from-home models and cloud adoption in a fully controlled manner. Fortunately, advances in cloud modernization have spawned a new era of tools to better protect organizations. The challenge is that it’s hard for most small- to medium-sized organizations to grasp and implement these measures when their primary IT focus is day-to-day attention to core systems and end users.

Small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) must take a different path compared to enterprise-level organizations with deep pockets, as the latter can afford to devote entire teams to protecting against threats. Here, we take a look at today’s IT risk environment for SMBs, as well as the tools, processes, and services that one organization (vcfo) counts on to ensure their systems and data remain secure.

Establishing an IT Security Baseline

Years ago, security concerns heightened for vcfo when a third-party hosting platform for an accounting application some of the team used was encrypted and therefore inaccessible to the team. Although it did not occur on any vcfo system or platform, and despite the protections vcfo had in place at the time, the attack impacted operations for nearly a week. For CFOs and other leaders, instances like these are often what pushes concerns to a point that warrants a thorough review of how their organization views and manages these threats. The first step? Truly understanding the current state of vulnerabilities and gaps across the organization.

To understand the state of IT security and areas that needed shoring up, vcfo turned to GCS Technologies, a managed IT services provider that delivers enterprise-level security to SMBs. As they do with other organizations, GCS undertook a diagnostic dive into vcfo’s systems and related processes and then delivered a report that detailed areas and degrees of vulnerability which set the stage for what to do next.

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