Making security a matter of undivided attention

Dan Hegarty of HCS Business Solutions says his company’s primary weapon is its depth and range of IT security expertise

27th September, 2020
Making security a matter of undivided attention
Dan Hegarty director of HCS Business Solutions

In a time of fear and uncertainty in our work environments, organisations which offer managed cyber security services remain cool-headed. Offering a holistic approach from protecting the daily workday to high-level organisational security, they use sophisticated management tools to provide continuous threat oversight and rapid threat response.

Their expertise in monitoring, analysis and reporting is affordably adaptable to an organisation’s immediate needs, rather than an entire organisation needing to adapt to address every evolving threat.

For Dan Hegarty, director of HCS Business Solutions, a core enabler of this adaptation is to have a broad base of IT experts who can make the most of the right technologies, for different situations.

“Most organisations need a fully integrated system of service. Rather than [dealing with] multiple vendors [and] reporting methods, our largest advantage is our IT security expertise and sophisticated management technologies, Soar [Security Orchestration, Automation & Response], which allow a continuous analysis of all the threats companies face, rather than having to invest in each one internally,” he said.

Hegarty suggests that for organisations looking to respond to evolving challenges effectively, there can be a financial barrier to invest in professionals with security skillsets. Managed services can offer an alternative route to achieving comprehensive security, compared with the need to invest in individuals.

“You’re reliant on one individual, even if you have somebody skilled in-house, keeping pace with the industry. Certainly, you would be adding external consultancy, either way. In that case, you might be better served with an organisation specialising in security, which has technology and multiple qualified experts to manage your challenges.”

Covid-19 has seen businesses face a steep learning curve to secure productivity and that extends to providing scalability for growth in an unusual time. Providers like HCS are well-positioned in the industry to address these evolving needs.

“Covid-19, and the speed with which companies have had to adapt, likely introduced some gaps in IT security. One of the weakest links now is the user. Anything that the user has to decipher, be it phishing attacks, anything on their device to click on, is where most threats are directed. Users on their own at home may be likelier to take digital risks they wouldn’t in the formal office,” said Hegarty.

To bring users on a secure digital transformation journey, HCS provides additional digital education for organisations. It is important to gauge their need for security, matching an absolute need for safety with the feasibility of security measures for users, and scalability for organisations.

“We provide Cyber Security training annually. For onboarding staff, this would be part of their induction. We would also conduct frequent phishing training. Little things like that keep users on their toes, knowing they’ll periodically be tested, thinking twice [before] clicking on malware they didn’t ask for.

“For users of managed services, staff and devices will be complying with enforced security policies, wherever they were operating from. But it’s pointless implementing a policy defined by its exceptions, because the more of those, the more vulnerable your overall solution,” he said.

“We create policies under discussion of [their] impact, whether it’s very strict, or whether it’s better to follow a business-specific, business-first approach. For instance, if it’s a financial house, there is data that will be more important to secure for them than others, and it’s about striking a balance of access and scale within that.

“Generally, in terms of management, these solutions are scalable, and organisations need in-house equipment less and less. Most are going for Cloud-based solutions, and once you’ve set, measured and reported these policies, they are particularly useful for scaling.”

Ultimately, HCS collaborates with organisations to solve problems and facilitate a more secure path, for their future growth.

“For example, every company is familiar with the threat, the feeling of a ransomware attack,” said Hegarty. “When we can demonstrate that attack being reversed in real-time it becomes easier, from anti-virus to AI in EDR technology, to use our skills with them, to identify and secure them against external threats.”

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