In a world increasingly dominated by digital landscapes, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated. PivIT Strategy recently took the lead in addressing this critical concern by organizing a Cybersecurity Networking Event in Charlotte. Held at the vibrant Legion Brewing in South Park, the event featured Natalie Suarez, a distinguished Principal Solutions Advisor with over 25 years of experience in IT and Cybersecurity, including the 2023 CRN Channel Chief recognition.
What is Cybersecurity and Why is it Important
Natalie kicked off the presentation by first defining cybersecurity firstly breaking it down as “Cybersecurity is about managing risk. For businesses, security is often viewed as a cost center, making it important that security measures align with reducing business risk and saving costs. The presentation went into the everyday challenges faced by small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) in the realm of cybersecurity, touching on issues such as cybersecurity confusion, managing competing priorities, the complexity of remote workforce integration, lower cybersecurity skill sets, ad hoc business continuity and disaster recovery efforts.
The Current Landscape of Cyber Threats in Charlotte
Providing a snapshot of the cybersecurity landscape in Charlotte, Natalie shared alarming statics. Drawing from the Verizon 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report, she highlighted three primary paths leading to workplace compromise: credentials, phishing, and exploiting vulnerabilities.
Natalie also shed light on the aftermath of data breaches, emphasizing that paying ransoms does not guarantee data restoration, with only 61% of data recovered in 2022, incurring an average cost of $1.4 million.
Natalie then discussed notable cyberattacks in Charlotte that not only damaged companies’ reputations but also incurred significant financial losses. Among these were the Russian cyber-attacks targeting North Carolina Hospitals, the AvidXchange Cybersecurity Attack that exposed bank account numbers and pins, and a ransomware attack on Mecklenburg County.
The presentation transitioned into a proactive stance, outlining key technologies crucial for protecting businesses from cyber threats. These include:
- Incident response plan (Policy): Strategic approach to handling security incidents.
- Multi-factor authentication: Adding an extra layer of protection beyond passwords.
- Endpoint detection and response: Identifying and mitigating threats at endpoints.
- Security information and event management: Centralizing and analyzing security event data.
- Business continuity and disaster recovery: Ensuring operations can resume seamlessly after an incident.
- Privilege access management: restricting access to authorized individuals.
Lastly, Natalie closed by stating that all businesses need to have a Network Health Assessment every 6-8 months to ensure that their data is being well protected. If you need a health assessment, click here to sign up for one with PivIT Strategy.