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Putting the Budget to Work: An Affordable Security Ecosystem

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By: Olivia

January 22, 2018

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As security professionals, you’re constantly being asked to evaluate your security posture. That is, to understand where the gaps are in your system and what is needed to fix them.Often, it is a matter of visibility. You know that there are threats to your network, but you can’t exactly pinpoint them, and this delays your response time in applying updates and patches. In business, the longer your data is vulnerable, the more costly it becomes.Your organization may already have safeguards in place, but a mixture of services from varying providers can leave holes you may not be aware of. This disjointed security approach is a growing problem many practitioners face in an evolving cyber landscape that requires continuous prioritization and automation.What security professionals need to keep their systems secure is unified, full coverage that offers complete visibility. This is what we like to call a security ecosystem.Like a natural ecosystem, the security ecosystem must be balanced with how you do your business to properly reduce the risk introduced by new technologies and threats. Understanding the complete security ecosystem and how its many components work together, is critical for visibility and protection.With looming threats like ransomware, we know that hackers never rest and the risks are always changing, so we need a system that adapts as the threats do. But how do you create a security ecosystem that is cost-effective and scalable?For this blog, we worked with Cisco to provide you an overview of how you can evaluate security services relative to working on a budget. The experts recommend weighing investment now with overall security, pointing out that a dollar saved upfront does not always mean a dollar saved later on.To get started, you will want to perform a security audit on existing systems, taking the time to remove or modify legacy systems, and consolidate those with overlapping capabilities and then work to fill in the gaps. You can dive deeper into security audits by reading Audit in Action: Your Blueprint for a Unified Security Approach.Once you’ve conducted a security audit, determine which systems need to be replaced or updated. Think through your business risks and what the implications of a minor intrusion or a major data theft and business stoppage would be.Work alongside your technology partner to perform the audit and assess the risks. They will be the gateway to providing the right technology needed to mitigate threats.Pro tip: Meet with your technology partners at the start of a new year to evaluate the current system and what needs to be improved on in 2018. Make sure they understand your needs and are respectful of your budget. Work with them closely to continuously build up your cyber security over time, scaling your security services appropriately, as you grow. Putting the Budget to WorkYou’ve gone through the audit and reviewed the potential risks with your technology partner. Now that you know what is in reason to spend, how do you continue to work through implementation? What changes to your systems are given priority? How do these changes to legacy systems affect the current constituents?Cisco offers a suite of offerings for any budget and has a series of videos chronicling how various businesses, from local dentists’ offices to government agencies, turned their legacy systems into a fully protected security ecosystem within their budget.In Season 2 of the Cisco IT Security Makeover series, we see the Macon Bibb Housing Authority had suffered multiple ransomware attacks and their lone IT professional, Brad Burnette, was struggling to keep up.Once Macon Bibb had completed their security audit, it was time to decide which products and services were needed. With the help of United Technology Group, their managed service provider and Ingram Micro, the Cisco Distributor, they implemented new hardware, layer protection, AMP for endpoint and network, and a firewall.During the implementation process, UTG and Ingram Micro worked closely together to get the right products at the right price, and the UTG team received hands-on training needed to implement and maintain the newly selected technology. With this dynamic relationship, Brad and Macon Bibb were given the expertise they needed to take this overhaul from start to finish.The cost savings, while not evident in the bottom line, were ultimately calculated by looking at the overall value and additional features, which led to more streamlined operations, cutting costs in the long run. Brad was given the visibility he so desperately needed and with the frequent security reports generated, was able to focus on what threats demanded his immediate attention. How you can Win with CiscoCisco integrates security across the network, endpoint, cloud, internet, and email for a more effective security posture that offers complete visibility. Their suite of products are designed to work in harmony, allowing them to respond faster and provide automation.Tell Cisco your story and why you deserve an IT Security Makeover for your chance to be the next Security Star. If you're selected, you'll receive a complete Cisco Security Solution that integrates your security across the network, endpoints, cloud, internet, and email to create the ultimate security ecosystem.The winner will get:
  • A Cisco NGFW (ASA 5506-X with FirePOWER services including a TAMC license with a one-year subscription*
  • Optional 90-day evaluation license for Cisco Umbrella, Cisco Cloud Email Security (up to 100 users), AMP for Endpoints (up to 50 users)
  • A chance to meet Mike Storm, Cisco Cybersecurity Principal Engineer, as he visits your office to share your Security Makeover with the world

You can enter HERE.

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