Strong Cyber Perimeters Key to Reducing Breaches, Cybersecurity Expert Says

Security is not an add-on and should be thought of as a foundation; all technology should be made secure.

(TNS) -- Small businesses should take the important step of making sure their cybersecurity perimeter is strong.

Andrew Bargin, My Digital Shield chief executive officer, spoke to more than 100 small business owners and leaders about how to make their businesses secure at the Small Business-Centric Cybersecurity Summit on Tuesday.

A cybersecurity perimeter is the boundary between the private and public side of a network, Bargin said.

"If you make sure your perimeter is secure, it really drives down the amount of breaches drastically," he said. "It's like having walls around your building, the door, lock."

Ever since the creation of the internet, cybersecurity has been an issue, Bargin said.

"Now we all use internet as a way of life, as part of our business," he said. "The bad guys went, 'Wow, everyone is connected. We can use this to steal stuff.'

Business leaders and owners have to adapt to the evolution of technology and figure out how to protect their businesses, Bargin said.

Security is not an add-on and should be thought of as a foundation, Bargin said. All technology should be made secure.

"Let's change our mindset and not look at security as an add-on or an additional function," he said.

Physical security has many parts, and cybersecurity is no different, Bargin said. Just because someone has security cameras, it doesn't mean he or she doesn't need locks on their doors.

"You need all of those pieces," he said. "They all work together harmoniously to create a way of life."

It took generations for physical security to evolve, but cybersecurity evolves daily, Bargin said.

Because cybersecurity is constantly evolving, small business owners and leaders need to rely on their IT expert and make sure they have one they can trust, Bargin said.

In the 1980s, when the internet first emerged, the cybersecurity perimeter was an individual's computer. In the 1990s, local area networks were created, and the perimeter was a firewall with the trusted local network, Bargin said.

Today, the local area network has vanished, Bargin said. Devices are used to connect to the internet in multiple locations.

"You have all these other devices just floating around out there," Bargin said. "They're all part of your network you're supposed to control and protect, but they're not behind your perimeter."

Because cost is an important factor for most small businesses, many have perimeters that are fast but are stripped of all security, Bargin said.

"This is why we have those stats that most breaches are in the small business world," he said.

Even though most small businesses do not report cybersecurity breaches, 81 percent of the breaches are from attacks small businesses, Bargin said.

Defenses available could have prevented 97 percent of these breaches, Bargin said. More than 50 percent of the next-generation firewalls are set up wrong, making them not as secure.

"You could have stopped that from happening," he said.

My Digital Shield offers a solution to keep all devices secured behind a perimeter regardless of where they are, Bargin said.

"We removed that physical restriction that it always had," he said. "We moved it and virtualized it to where it's in the cloud. It's like making a private network with a solid perimeter all over the country."

My Digital Shield has 12 data centers across the U.S., Canada and Western Europe that the virtualized perimeter covers.

This provides unlimited processing resources, so security doesn't have to be sacrificed for performance, Bargin said.

"We're blocking all the threats way up there before they pollute your bandwidth," he said.

The My Digital Shield system is backed with a $50,000 cyber breach guarantee, Bargin said.

©2016 Victoria Advocate (Victoria, Texas) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.