Nostra: offering robust protection against growing cyber threats

Nostra’s Cloud Shield 365 offers ten layers of protection, making it the most comprehensive security solution out there

Nostra is one of Ireland’s leading IT solutions providers, offering many products and services designed to meet the evolving needs of the modern business landscape

It’s no secret just how devastating cyberattacks can be for an organisation. Attacks from bad actors are only increasing in volume and sophistication, with DDoS attacks, malware and ransomware only getting worse.

This is all for good reason. Attackers are constantly probing businesses to identify weaknesses in their defences, be it an unpatched operating system, legacy software, an open port on your firewall or poorly configured settings for services like Microsoft 365.

Successful attacks are big moneymakers, as the data accessed can be sold off to the highest bidder, or force companies to pay them to return access to sensitive data.

Not to mention that attacks such as DoS are now easier and cheaper than ever to deploy. The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) has recently warned of evolving threats like abusing cloud misconfigurations, where they can access not only an organisation’s systems, storage, and network running in the cloud but also the management consoles of cloud infrastructures.

It also found that ransomware is the top threat in the EU, making up 34 per cent of threats, while DDoS accounted for 28 per cent. Even areas like Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) poisoning and malvertising have sparked new interest among cyber criminals.

Ireland has been seen as slow to adapt and upgrade its security controls in the wake of cyber threats. However, cyber-attacks have cost the economy more than €2.6 billion over the last three years.

With ransomware attacks alone, Check Point Research found a 413 per cent increase between 2020 and 2022, with a similar growth rate in the last two years. The average cost to a business after a ransomware attack is €1.5 million.

Alongside that, there is a well-documented shortage on cybersecurity skills globally which puts greater pressure on organisations to stay safe. As they cannot hire security in-team, as the costs are prohibited to all but the biggest corporations, they must rely on Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to help them navigate.

And that’s all before you factor in new regulations like DORA (the Digital Operational Resilience Act), which will come into effect in January 2025. What it means is that businesses are now mandated to disclose cyber breaches and follow robust cybersecurity standards to ensure the protection of their data and third-party data.

This is where Nostra’s Cloud Shield 365 comes into play. It’s a comprehensive, multilayered approach to cyber security and risk management for a modern, cloud-first company, preventing devastating attacks and ensuring swift recovery if one succeeds.

Ireland has been seen as slow to adapt and upgrade its security controls in the wake of cyber threats. However, cyber-attacks have cost the economy more than €2.6 billion over the last three years

Nostra is one of Ireland’s leading IT solutions providers, offering many products and services designed to meet the evolving needs of the modern business landscape.

Senan Finucane, chief technology officer and co-founder of Nostra, said the introduction of Cloud Shield 365 highlights the company’s dedication to eradicate the threat of ransomware for its clients.

“We understand the critical importance of maintaining both financial stability and brand reputation in today’s digital world,” he said. “Particularly with the rapid developments in AI and DORA coming into effect early next year, compelling businesses to disclose cyber breaches.

“With Nostra Cloud Shield 365’s multi-layered protection, which we believe is the most comprehensive offering available, businesses can confidently focus on growth and innovation, knowing they are shielded from even the most sophisticated cyber threats”.

It is accompanied by Microsoft Secure Score which demonstrates how secure your users, data and devices are within the Microsoft ecosystem.

The key part of it is that it offers ten layers of security protection to ensure users and digital assets are protected no matter what. It’s unparalleled security for businesses that are now more concerned than ever about how attacks impact financial stability and brand reputation.

Much like a castle, it has multiple layers of defences like a moat, limited entry points, watch towers, drawbridge, bastions and a keep as the last stronghold.

The philosophy powering this solution ensures that protection, backing up, monitoring and managing are key tenants, ensuring all ten layers work together.

The ten layers

The ten layers are comprehensive, protecting all areas an organisation can think of and all work in tandem. Communicating with each other ensures multiple ways to detect attacks and abnormalities, even if attackers manage to break through one of the layers. The first security layer focuses on the CIS/Microsoft Security Framework, which helps maintain a 75 per cent Microsoft Secure Score.

It does this through a robust 20-point framework combining Multi-Factor Authentication and Conditional Access for top-tier security.

The second is Endpoint Protection through Microsoft 365 Business Premium. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Protection provides advanced threat detection, vulnerability management, and integrated monitoring across all your devices.

The third and fourth layers are on collaboration protection, split into two parts.

The first part places a managed anti-virus solution on each endpoint, ensuring that no device can be added to your domain moving forward without automatically deploying this protection.

The second part bakes in Datto SaaS Defence, which provides advanced threat protection and spam filtering, helping organisations defend against zero-day threats in all Microsoft 365 products.

Next up is Infinite 365 Backup, provided by Datto SaaS Protection. This offers infinite cloud retention and ensures continuous, automatic backups, guaranteeing data recovery beyond Microsoft’s 30-day limit.

Accompanying that layer is endpoint management using Entra ID (Azure ID) and Microsoft Intune to provide cloud-based management. This includes features like zero-touch provisioning, over-the-air updates, and endpoint analytics.

The next layer is ransomware protection, which notifies and isolates affected devices instantly, allowing technicians to resolve issues remotely and prevent the infection from spreading.

Following that is third-party software patching, which ensures the regular update of security patches and addresses any vulnerabilities. Not only does this help protect against cyberattacks, but it also helps improve compliance and performance, save on costs, and maintain vendor support.

The ninth layer introduces immutable endpoint backups, which ensure data recovery and protection against cyber threats while supporting business continuity and regulatory compliance.

The last layer is Managed Detection and Response (MDR), which provides 24/7 monitoring service and responds to threats across endpoints. This combines MDR and Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) for comprehensive, proactive security management.

The backbone of Cloud Shield 365 is Microsoft 365 Business Premium. The vast majority of Irish SMEs and mid-sized companies choose Microsoft 365 to power their business, yet many end up with a mix of products from its Business Basic and Standard Licenses.

Those who are serious about cyber security should be using the best of what the Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscription has to offer, for both security and productivity.

Those ten layers, accompanied by expert management provided by Nostra, result in an evolved standard in cybersecurity. This will be crucial as attacks become more complex and threaten to overwhelm companies, in an attempt to find weaknesses.

To find out more about Nostra Cloud Shield 365 – the ten-layer solution that eradicates the threat of ransomware, get in touch with Nostra by emailing: mission365@nostra.ie or visit nostra.ie