Staying vigilant about cybersecurity threats is a requirement for doing business today. The costs of data breaches are climbing sky-high, while AI is empowering criminals to devise ever more sophisticated schemes to steal from and defraud companies. That’s why businesses turn to IT security providers who offer services and expertise that their in-house IT teams lack.
But not all security service providers are the same; some provide more holistic and advanced support than others. If you’re deciding among supplemental IT security providers, here are some factors to consider to determine what type of provider and services are right for you.
Inventory Management and Patching
Before you look at what sort of cybersecurity protection you need, it’s important to understand what it is that you have to protect in the first place. That’s why inventory management is one of the most basic security services available and one you’ll find many providers offering: They keep updated records of all your software, hardware and everything else connected to your business’s network.
Patching is another basic service: Operating systems and software companies regularly roll out patches that protect against new security threats targeting their products. Missing just one patch can make a business vulnerable to cybercrime, so IT security providers help their clients stay up to date and, as a result, more secure.
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) vs. Extended Detection and Response (XDR)
Endpoint Detection and Response, or EDR, is also considered a basic security service — one that supplemental IT security providers manage through EDR software. Consider it the next step up from anti-virus software: It detects threats that can enter your network through the connected devices and machines your team uses, like computers and smartphones. EDR software can spot attacks that often evade traditional anti-virus software, including fileless malware attacks.
Supplemental IT security providers go beyond the basics when they provide Extended Detection and Response, or XDR. As with EDR, providers deliver XDR through specialized software. Unlike EDR, however, this software detects threats at endpoints and throughout your IT infrastructure, including apps, email, data storage and cloud-based workloads. Today’s most advanced EDR and XDR solutions leverage AI to detect and address sophisticated threats.
Managed Extended Detection and Response (MXDR)
Having state-of-the-art software to detect cybersecurity threats is great. Having an expert partner to manage it all for you is even better. Supplemental cybersecurity providers who offer Managed Extended Detection and Response, or MXDR, take a proactive role in monitoring data from XDR software and other tools, and responding to threats accordingly.
What MXDR looks like varies from provider to provider. At Xantrion, our approach to MXDR includes empowering our specialists with two advanced intelligence tools: a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platform and a Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) platform.
A SIEM platform collects and stores data on cybersecurity activity from across your network. A SOAR platform combines information from SIEM with real-time intelligence on cybersecurity threats and incidents happening around the world. The platform uses this data to identify simple threats and apply automated solutions. For more complicated issues, the platform alerts the Xantrion team, triggering intervention by human specialists. Our ability to rapidly respond to cyber threats helps our clients avoid the reputational damage and millions in financial losses that typically accompany successful cyberattacks.
Managed Security Awareness Training
While tech tools and IT security specialists provide critical protection against evolving cybersecurity threats, business leaders can’t afford to overlook one other key factor in securing their businesses: their own people. From the office manager to the CEO, everyone should have an understanding of how to best protect themselves and their companies from common threats, including business email compromise scams such as phishing and social engineering.
Security awareness programs can help, but the success of such programs can vary. Generally speaking, once-a-year training programs don’t have much of an impact. At Xantrion, we’ve found that ongoing testing and training is much more effective. In these programs, employees undergo training and then confront fake threats throughout the year; those who respond in ways that could expose the company to attacks receive additional training.
Businesses can buy subscriptions to ongoing testing and training programs on their own, or seek support from their IT security provider. At Xantrion we offer managed security awareness training, meaning we implement the training software and create reports to summarize the results of the testing, taking one more task off our client’s plates.
If your company and in-house IT team are ready to work with a supplemental IT security provider, Xantrion is here to help. Our IT experts have helped hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses reduce IT support costs, improve cybersecurity and increase productivity. Contact us today to learn more.