Blog: Protecting your systems against the threat of cyber-attack

By Andy Haley, Director of Managed Services & Cyber Security, Meridian IT UK

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more of us are working from home—continuing a long-term trend for remote working that has been emerging for several years. In the decade from 2008 to 2018, the United Kingdom saw a 25% increase in remote working, and even before the coronavirus, half of all British workers were predicted to be working from home by 2020.

Cloud services such as the Meridian Power Cloud make it easier to provide your employees and partners with remote access to core business applications. But while many companies have pushed ahead with remote working, others worry about increasing their exposure to cyber-attack. So, how can you protect your systems at the same time as giving your workforce greater flexibility?

Assessing the risks

Of course, companies are absolutely right to be wary about data security, as a successful cyber-attack can cause lasting damage. According to a 2019 IBM report, the average data breach costs a business $3.92 million to identify, contain, and finally rectify. And in the coming years, experts predict cyber-attacks will cost global businesses around $6 trillion every year.

Not only are attacks increasing in number, they are growing more sophisticated. Today’s threats range from hackers, malware and ransomware, and targeted denial-of-service attacks, to phishing scams and data theft. Those that succeed tend to seize on weak or stolen passwords, poorly configured security settings, and other vulnerabilities that go unnoticed by company staff.

Another point to remember is that implementing a robust security policy isn’t just a smart move in case you face an actual attack; rather, regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) require you to take proactive steps against internal and external threats—or face significant financial penalties. In 2019, for example, Google faced a fine of $57 million for GDPR non-compliance in France.

Engaging the experts

The other major headache for companies is that finding the right security expertise is becoming increasingly difficult. In fact, research shows that 40% of IT leaders believe cyber-security roles are the most difficult to fill. The good news is that at Meridian, we can provide the full spectrum of cybersecurity services—both for users of the Meridian Power Cloud and for clients who still want to maintain on-premises infrastructure.

Our experts are based at our Global Security Operations Centres (SOC) in the UK, Germany, and the United States, and we have been providing data center security solutions for 30 years—including antivirus and firewall management, network protection, and comprehensive security information and event management (SIEM).

As an IBM Platinum Business Partner, we offer specialist cybersecurity services for users of the IBM i and AIX operating systems, either on cloud or on-premise. That means we can handle everything from threat detection and removal and ongoing systems monitoring, to data-at-rest encryption, policy development and access management. From the compliance standpoint, we can also provide gap analysis and vulnerability assessments, and prepare full audit reporting.

To learn more about how Meridian can help to secure your systems against the threat of cyberattack, take a look at our website, or reach out to us today on 01564 330650.

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