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VersaTrust has been serving the Texas area since 1997 , providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

How to Achieve Texas-Sized Growth with Network Security

building a home, you lay the electrical wiring before installing and painting the drywall. Going in reverse order is illogical and would create unnecessary complications. Similarly, when growing your business, you want to have processes in place that prevent extra work and mitigate risk, especially when it comes to IT.

With a blueprint it’s much clearer what you need to do first. As your business grows, you need a plan that lays out the foundations of your growth and addresses new requirements, risks, challenges and opportunities. Without network security and IT built-in, your growth fizzles out like a dust devil.

I offer up two client cases as examples. Each illustrates the challenges and opportunities they faced with growth and underscores why using the 3 pillars of security early in their plans was key to their success.

Improved Security Empowered a Defense Contractor to Seek Bigger Contracts

We started working with a defense contractor in 2014, ensuring the company was compliant with the government’s rigorous data security requirements. As a direct result of our work together, the company had the confidence to bid on and win big contracts that were once out of their league, fueling their growth. In the past year, the contractor has grown from 35 to 50 employees, is opening a second location and further growth is projected.

Failure to meet ever-evolving regulatory requirements would quickly result in a suspension of their Authorization to Operate (ATO), which means forfeiting their existing contracts and exclusion from bidding on future ones.

To ensure the contractor maintains compliance, we:

  1. Conducted a point-by-point evaluation of the government’s data security requirements
  2. Met with our client to explain the implications, costs and risks
  3. Developed appropriate solutions while our client remained focused on fulfilling the contract and growing the organization

Our strategic role as their managed security provider has empowered the company to bid on ambitious contracts without worrying about how they will scale up their IT and network security.

Doubling in Size Increased this Insurance Company’s Exposure Risk

Since 2006 we have supported the continual growth of a home insurer. In 2016 they reached a milestone of 50 employees, and since then they have doubled in size.

Due to the rapid growth, they quickly realized their success required them to re-evaluate their network security and they worked with VersaTrust to do it. Specific concerns included:

  1. Greater exposure to cyberattacks as a result of increased size and visibility
  2. More scrutiny from the Texas Department of Insurance, provoked by their larger portfolio
  3. IT disruption posing increased threats to their brand and reputation

Likewise, as they surveyed the regulatory landscape, they recognized that government guidelines would evolve into compliance requirements over the next 24 months.

We recommended managed security services. This helped them quickly double down on their risks with the confidence that, not only did they have tighter security, but they had access to ongoing strategic advice based entirely on our objective evaluation of their costs, risks and benefits. That’s why, when we determined that the on-premises location of their servers was their highest risk factor, the conversation was immediately a trust-based discussion about budgeting, timelines and logistics to move them to a more secure solution.

An Easy Way to Include Security in Your Growth? An Assessment

Remember, it’s ideal to wire a home before you install the drywall. Your home needs electricity, and if it doesn’t have wiring, the sooner you address it, the better. The same goes with whatever network security needs you have for your growth. Sooner is better than later; later is better than never.

Understanding how your network security and IT can impact your company’s growth starts with a comprehensive assessment from a trusted IT partner – one who brings knowledge of the advantages you can gain through IT security and how to leverage those as part of your growth strategy.

VersaTrust has the expertise of an on-staff Certified Information Systems Security Professional  (CISSP) and the depth and experience to identify your vulnerabilities and devise cost-effective solutions to secure your company’s future and growth.

How is your IT security going to foster or hinder your growth? Find out with an assessment from the experts. Contact us at (817) 595-0111 or online today to get started on your security assessment.

VersaTrust Blog Categories Tags  Subscribe to this blog post Buckle Up: How to Securely Drive Business Growth

is a lot like airbags and seat belts. They used to be optional but nowadays you probably wouldn’t drive a car without them. So, if a seat belt is an essential everyday safety measure, what about when you’re in a hurry and distracted?

The same is true of network security and your business. It’s important for doing business as usual but it’s vital when you’re growing and expanding. That’s because growth creates the kind of disruptions that are like a flashing neon sign to opportunistic hackers.

The Risks Grow as Your Business Grows

As you grow your sales, increase production and deliver more services, you need more employees and technology to enable the expansion. This means more computers, tablets and smartphones; new user accounts; faster servers; larger data storage and maybe even additional office locations or remote work opportunities.

Unfortunately, each additional device, application and user – each new node in your network – increases your vulnerability to viruses, ransomware and phishing attacks. But it’s your people who are actually your greatest security vulnerability.
Even if you can afford all the top-shelf security solutions, not incorporating security into your business plan will leave you incredibly vulnerable to the preventable threats most likely to get you:

  • An employee who clicks an insecure email link
  • A vendor who was gets hacked and infects your system
  • A consultant who logs in without encryption or has unneeded administrative permissions

These are common situations and can easily result in an IT disruption such as network downtime or the theft and ransom of your valuable, confidential data. In both cases, the cost to your business includes lost sales and revenue, major delays, IT expenses and lasting damage to your reputation.

How to Plan for Growth and Security

As a business owner, you try to plan for changes in market conditions, the actions of your competitors and other possible factors that might impact your growth plans. Often, those “possible factors” don’t include security threats. If they do, most businesses only insert a budget line and some generic text about the threats.

Incorporating security throughout your business and growth plans is the key to avoiding these nightmare scenarios. One practical, specific way to incorporate security is to address the 3 tenets of network security – confidentiality, integrity and availability.

For example, your sales team certainly needs read & write access to your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform but maybe your marketing vendor can do with read only access.

Or, shifting responsibilities among team members may require revising user authorizations so each individual has the appropriate level of access. Likewise, whenever individuals leave your employment, access to company accounts and shared digital spaces like Google Hangouts, OneDrive and Slack must be frozen immediately.

These are just a few of the many daily changes that increase risk and create new vulnerabilities for a business experiencing growth. Each must be continually monitored to vet for risks and take the appropriate security measures.

Use a Risk Assessment to Create a Security Plan

You can’t buckle your seat belt or install an airbag after you have a crash, and you can’t secure your network after an attack. Instead, the best and only practice you should follow is to incorporate security in your business plan and then budget accordingly.

Start with a security assessment. It’s a critical first step that identifies your needs and vulnerabilities and ensures a secure operating environment. Security is vital for your business, and the assessment should be conducted by a qualified, experienced expert.

Don’t Trust Just Any IT Provider With Your Network Security

Look for Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). VersaTrust has a CISSP on staff, who went through extensive training and testing to prove an in-depth understanding of cybersecurity strategy and an ability to design and implement solutions that improve the security posture of an organization.

Reach out to us with a call (817) 595-0111 or email to get started with your assessment today.