Our podcasts will cover a wide range of topics from cybersecurity solutions, ransomware, data breaches and interviews with key opinion leaders and industry insiders.

In today’s episode of the Black Talon Podcast, our CEO Gary Salman speaks with the CEO of Advantage Technologies, Bryan Currier, about the advantages of a robust cybersecurity plan for companies of all sizes. Here are some of the highlights from the episode.

 

About Gary Salman

Gary has a unique background after having been a database developer and working in law enforcement for 15 years. He also built and sold his first technology business, which built and deployed one of the first cloud based healthcare systems, at 30 years old to a publicly traded company. A thought leader, speaker, and writer, he leads Black Talon Security with cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions for businesses of all sizes.

 

About Bryan Currier

Bryan began what is now Advantage Technologies in his sophomore year of college from his parents’ basement. Twenty years later, the company has grown to become a leader in the IT industry. With over 85 employees, they provide IT services to over 800 customers every day across a variety of industries, including dental, medical, and legal practices.

How to Prevent Ransomware - The Basics

Bryan used a clever African proverb to illustrate the idea that your company doesn’t have to be the best at cybersecurity. You simply have to be better than two thirds of other companies. Essentially, you want to make yourself a more difficult target. To do this, he suggests a layered approach.

  1. Make sure you have a next generation firewall security appliance that does a variety of things.

  2. Make sure every workstation has antivirus that’s updated, current, and managed.

  3. Make sure that you have secured WiFi.

  4. Make sure you have a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) system. This should be a standby server that can be activated as soon as you get ransomware attacks to have you back up and running in minutes.

According to Bryan, these are the basic steps that every company should take, regardless of size or perceived risk.

How to Prevent Ransomware - Advanced Strategies

Some more advanced cybersecurity features that Bryan recommends are:

  1. Penetration testing on the network

  2. Advanced analytics of your internal network

  3. Trying to get in from the outside.

 

Bryan states that a reputable IT company will not run their own cybersecurity audits. They will look to a third party, such as Black Talon Security to check their work. Essentially, an IT company like Advantage Technologies will set up the security, but someone like Black Talon will come in and double check the work by trying to get in to the client’s information. One can not know their own blindspots. It’s similar to having someone else proofread your papers in school. You might not notice a misspelling or inconsistency in your work the way someone else will.

What Every IT Provider Should Have

When evaluating an IT provider, Bryan gave us a few things to look out for. To know that your IT company is pointing you in the right direction, they should have all of the following:

  1. A Business Associate Agreement that reflects what they do for you. Without this, you can’t be certain that they understand HIPAA, HITECH, and other compliance issues.

  2. A cyber insurance policy that names you as the beneficiary if the IT provider fails.

  3. A report or endorsement from a third party cybersecurity company like Black Talon that says BTS has audited the IT provider and they have passed the assessment.

  4. A Master Services Agreement that points out exactly what the provider is doing for you. You should not assume that the company is handling everything for you, and the ambiguity is what can hurt you in the event of an attack.

If these four items are readily available, you know that they are ready to have a conversation with you.

 

The Cost of Cybersecurity

One point that Bryan wanted to stress for listeners is that the level of security you need is not financially unattainable for most practices. Many people think they can’t afford cybersecurity, but that’s simply not true. And consider that a breach can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars to rectify, as well as money lost when you have to shut your doors for four to five weeks. These preventative measures are just a fraction of that cost.

 

A Cautionary Tale of Data Breach Prevention

To show the value of a solid cybersecurity strategy, Bryan shared the following story about one of his clients.

A multi location oral surgery practice had been with Advantage Technologies for seven years with zero down time. Another provider came to them and said they didn’t need all the stuff Advantage Technologies was providing, so the practice switched. Just one week later, they got ransomware attacks. This shut them down for five days across all locations of their practice. With the proper security implementations, their downtime could have been just minutes.

 

Learn More About Preventing Cyber Threats

You can listen to the entire episode with the video above. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your cybersecurity needs with us, please contact us by calling 800-683-3797 or send a message online

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