Every business is hacked. It is no longer a question of if, but when. As bold as that statement sounds, I notice that when executives talk about cybersecurity, the tone has changed; There is more and more dialogue, how ready are we? It’s a far more proactive stance. But even in Malta we compromised very high profile companies.
When COVID-19 hit, life as we knew it changed dramatically. Many people have faced health and personal difficulties and some companies have been forced to close their doors. At the same time, our lives became more networked and digital. Small and medium-sized businesses have gone online and launched new websites in hopes of keeping business going. But along with an increased online presence came an increased and invisible vulnerability to cyber-attacks, which made these companies a big target. 67 percent of small and medium-sized businesses have experienced a cyber attack, and in a world where small and medium-sized businesses make up 90% of all businesses and employ around 70% of the global workforce, security is no longer a nice-to-have issue, but it is an indispensable must.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, cybercrime reported to the FBI has increased 300% – cybercrime could cost $ 10.5 trillion by 2025, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. With cyber attacks on the rise, the first step in defending critical assets is to educate yourself about cyber threats. Next, you need to get the right tools to stay one step ahead of and even ward off cyber attacks. TriStratus has partnered with Trend Micro to protect businesses in Malta by assisting companies with security assessments and using Trend Micro’s security offerings to deter attacks while giving them access to new technology to improve their business.
We all have a role to play in how we protect our businesses from the ever-growing threat of cybercrime. Hackers targeting our businesses aren’t the only worries businesses face, however. Compliance will continue to be a driver of security in the years to come. For example the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which applies to everyone, literally every company in the world that receives data from the EU and the financial risk associated with non-compliance.
Organizations found to be non-compliant can be fined € 20 million or 4% of annual global sales, whichever is greater. Despite the warnings, we continue to see companies in Malta struggling to comply with regulations and, coupled with poor security, the threat to the company is increasing. This is a real directive with serious implications and businesses must comply.
How does TriStratus help companies?
I am asked again and again: what would you advise companies to do? And for me it keeps coming back to cybersecurity. Companies need to have a well-defined cybersecurity strategy in place and equip their employees with the right knowledge. Cyber defense must be discussed in the boardroom and must be a priority across the organization.
The alternative is to wait for the company to be compromised. At this point there is a discussion of mitigating financial and reputational damage. Organizations plan their strategy years in advance, and cybersecurity must be part of that planning.
Can you tell us a little about TriStratus?
TriStratus Ltd helps clients achieve real business value by adopting and optimizing private, hybrid and public cloud services. We focus on advising on the benefits of cloud services from the three global hyperscale providers – Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Each customer receives an individually designed cloud deployment strategy combined with a detailed cloud migration plan and continuously managed support. As we are manufacturer-neutral, our customers are guaranteed that the best solution is offered.
Eurostat statistics show that in 2020 only 53% of businesses in Malta were using cloud computing. While that’s a significant increase from the 35% seen in 2016, on-premises businesses that haven’t moved to the cloud have seen it because of several factors:
• Lack of knowledge – design, migration, management, etc.
• Security concerns – data sovereignty
• Lack of human resources – priority over innovation rather than innovation.
TriStratus is well positioned to help local businesses overcome these factors and improve their business operations by combining cloud and on-premises infrastructure with support and managed services.
Can you provide some information about this strategic cooperation with Trend Micro?
The most important point I can address is the most basic – it comes down to willingness. There should be governance around an organization’s cybersecurity readiness. In the event of a cyber attack, it is unacceptable for companies to be unprepared. Everyone within the organization needs to be aware of their role in the organization’s cyber readiness. Everyone within the organization needs to feel responsible and be accountable.
To be cyber-ready, it is critical that companies understand their own cybersecurity risks. This way, they gain valuable insight into the areas where they are most vulnerable. Our strategic joint venture with Trend Micro enables businesses of all sizes to automatically rate and prioritize the cyber health of their company and the third-party vendors they do business with.
TriStratus – together with Trend Micro – will help simplify security.
Cloud security is vital as most organizations are already using cloud computing in one form or another. Maintaining a strong cloud security position helps companies take advantage of today’s generally recognized benefits of cloud computing: lower up-front costs, lower ongoing operating and administrative costs, easy scalability, higher reliability and availability, and a completely new way of working.
Regardless of whether you use cloud providers such as AWS and Microsoft Azure to host your sensitive applications and data or use the speed offered by Microsoft Office 365, Dropbox and other cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers, You have a role to play in cloud security. Cloud service and SaaS providers work hard to provide a secure environment, but in the shared security responsibility model, you are ultimately responsible for the data and workloads you put in the cloud. Be it with additional security controls to meet internal or external compliance requirements or to protect against ransomware attacks, zero-day vulnerabilities and other sophisticated attacks.
While the security problems faced by a traditional corporate network are well known, the challenges of leveraging the cloud are more complex. Trend Micro offers workload security for AWS, Azure and other cloud environments, security for Microsoft Office 365 and other SaaS cloud applications, cloud-based security information and security as a service to help customers protect cloud workloads with advanced detection and to support prevention functions.
Trend Micro’s passion and forward thinking has resulted in several industry first and market-leading innovations in hybrid cloud security, network security, and user protection. Trend Micro wanted to capitalize on its leading solutions through a channel partner who shared the same passion for being part of customers’ journeys to the cloud. This partnership will better protect customers from the ever-evolving IT threat landscape.
The partnership between Trend Micro and TriStratus provides customers with security solutions through a professional team for Malta who can develop, deliver and support businesses.
Businesses are the heartbeat of our Maltese economy, and as the world continues to move further into digital space, we strive to enable businesses to survive and thrive stronger than ever. Contact us for a security assessment.
Kevin Abela is Managing Director – TriStratus Ltd.
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