Deciding what to cut from your budget is a difficult decision. We understand no business owner, ourselves included, wants to go through the process. But, as the coronavirus continues to cause severe health and economic distress, business leaders throughout California will need to decide what they can live without. At DiamondIT, we don’t want to see any business owner lose $600,000 because they eliminated or drastically reduced IT security services.

Hackers are Banking on Small Businesses and Municipalities Cutting Cybersecurity

Before the pandemic, hackers set their sights on 2 key targets: schools and local governments. In the past year, we’ve seen cities across the country, including right here in Bakersfield, affected by the Click2Gov breaches. Collectively, the first round of attacks netted cybercriminals nearly $2 million.

Local schools haven’t been immune either. It seems like a lifetime ago, but it was only January when ransomware shut down the phone system and Windows computers at Panama-Buena Vista Union School District. Hacking school networks can expose sensitive student information, like social security numbers, home addresses, dates of birth and parent contact information. It also put the communications system out of commission and, had there been an emergency, parents would not have been notified.

These attacks predate COVID-19, and similar threats will continue to emerge. To mitigate risks and prevent hacks, you need to continue prioritizing cybersecurity.

Easily Outsmart Cybercriminals

You’re hit with phishing emails every day, and it only takes one click by one employee to introduce malware to your network and shut down your ability to work. One of the places you shouldn’t cut from the budget is Cybersecurity awareness training. It’s highly effective and affordable but, according to a 2019 cyber report, only one-third of businesses conduct yearly trainings. This is alarming. Hackers constantly create new schemes to dupe users. If you really want to safeguard your business, your employees need training throughout the year to stay current on the latest threats.

How to Save on Cybersecurity

Bundling to save on cybersecurity isn’t like throwing in a phone line to save a few bucks each month on your internet. When you consolidate solutions into a single package from a trusted advisor, like Microsoft, you save money and get industry-leading tools, such as Identity and Access Management, Advanced Threat Protection and Information Protection.

Upgrade and save

Microsoft 365 Business Basic is $5 per user per month, but it doesn’t include advanced security tools modern businesses need, like mobile device management and malware protection. Organizations using Business Basic often layer on security from other vendors. The additional subscriptions create extra accounts to manage and increase costs.

Often, it makes more sense for the business to upgrade to Microsoft 365 Business Premium. For $20 per user per month, you unify your security and business applications under one subscription. These available solutions are likely more robust than what you had before. Microsoft Security is a Leader in Gartner ‘s 5 Magic Quadrants. To be classified as a Leader, vendors need to demonstrate they can deliver strong solutions right now and have a strategy to meet future client needs.

We’ll Help You Find the Funding to Bolster Your IT Security

When the CARES Act passed, we reviewed what assistance was available for small businesses and local governments. We reached out to clients and discussed strategic ways to use funding, pivot IT resources and maintain security. One client, the City of Tehachapi, got additional CARES Act funding approved to bolster their cybersecurity. We are working closely with the city to better safeguard their network. We can help you find the funding you need to bolster your IT security posture. Contact us today: (877) 716-8324.