ARTICLES

Purpose-built Security for Small Businesses

Small businesses have a lot to focus on and many decisions to make to stay productive and operational. While decisions around marketing, payroll, and product are typically given the most attention, cyber security is quickly becoming a major challenge. Many attackers see small businesses as easy targets because while large enterprises have sophisticated security teams and large security budgets, small businesses typically do not have sufficient, if any, security tools, budget, or expertise. Large enterprises are also increasingly concerned with the security of their partner system and supply chain which means small businesses are being required to meet stricter security standards. It’s also not just companies with an online presence that are facing this challenge, as even companies without an online presence are vulnerable to cyber security threats such as phishing attacks, malware, and ransomware.

Many small businesses can’t afford professional IT security solutions, don’t have a dedicated security employee, and often perceive the topic of cyber security as being overwhelmingly complex. These issues combined with the constant headlines about sophisticated data breaches at very large enterprises leave small businesses worried but unsure where to start. Common security frameworks like NIST or privacy/compliance regulations like HIPAA, GDPR, or FTC Safeguard Rule don’t offer much reprieve. NIST defines over 200 controls that a small business won’t be able to address without professional help, and compliance regulations only define what is required, not how to meet the requirements.

Solution Born from the Challenge

With the stakes of getting cyber security correct so high, where do small businesses turn for solutions? TAG Cyber recently sat down with Havoc Shield to discuss how small businesses can be secure with the right products and partners. CEO and co-founder Brian Fritton recounted how he experienced the very same cyber security dilemma when he led engineering at Civis Analytics during the 2018 midterm election and struggled to meet the cyber security requirements of major campaigns and political organizations.

Not having a security background Fritton likes to say he is a steward of security more than a security practitioner, “I had many responsibilities during the day and security was just one of them. I did not come from a security background but had the responsibility to ensure our company wasn’t breached.” He also found that the NIST framework and top 10 lists didn’t work for him. “Most of the controls were areas we would never get to as a small company and the top ten lists didn’t address my specific needs.” The need to improve the security posture at Civis Analytics under these conditions led Fritton and his team to develop the first draft of what Havoc Shield has become today.

Security for Small Businesses

Havoc Shield is a cyber security platform built specifically for small businesses that are looking to strengthen their security posture but don’t currently have the security expertise required to do so. It integrates services, policies, tools, and infrastructure all into one offering that allows business to be secure while maintaining productivity.

Havoc Shield provides the protection small businesses need with security controls for remote work, email, antivirus software, password management, network scanning, and more. Users define business-level policies they want to enforce, and Havoc Shield uses automation to translate them to configurations and enforcements that are applied to the IT infrastructure of the business. Havoc Shield also provides a guidance assistant in the form of a browser extension that overlays suggestions for configurations in SaaS platforms like Google Suite and Microsoft Office 365 to ensure security best practice is configured even when the business doesn’t control the software deployment.

The small business market is often underserved by the cyber security industry. It is not just large enterprises that need to be concerned about cyber security attacks, as small businesses are often targeted by attackers looking for an easy target or looking to test new attack methods. There are also increasing concerns from large enterprises about being compromised through their small business partners which is putting pressure on small business to shore up their security posture. Havoc Shield provides a comprehensive platform that allows small business to establish a strong security posture and avoid the potentially devastating monetary and reputational consequences of a data breach.