*This blog is part of the July 2023 Thought Leader newsletter
This column covers cybersecurity every month. At Right Networks and Rootworks, we write about cybersecurity all the time. Our developers and product managers obsess over it. It’s a gigantic preoccupation.
If you get tired of reading about it, please believe that we also get tired of writing about it. But we can’t stop because it’s still a massive threat to accounting firms and all other businesses.
With all the attention cybersecurity gets, you’d think cybercrime would ease at some point. Unfortunately, it just keeps getting worse.
One reason for the unbridled growth of cybercrime is that it pays. Small-time hackers, big crime syndicates and even foreign governments all make money and gain influence by stealing data from firms like yours, as well as from other businesses.
But there are other reasons why cybercrime continues unabated. It’s not like a “normal” crime. Changing the number of police on the streets doesn’t affect it. Fluctuations in the economy or employment market have little impact on it. Cybercrime just keeps going because it works for those who profit from it.
You’ll never win the war on cybercrime because there is no war. It’s more like a baseball game—a really unfair one.
In baseball—or softball or even cricket, if you prefer—only the team that’s batting can score. The team in the field can only try to stop the team that’s up to bat from putting runs on the board. Most other sports aren’t like that. In football or soccer, for instance, either team can score at any time, for the most part.
Even in war, there are counterattacks. Not in baseball. If you’re not batting, you’re defending. That’s a pretty good metaphor for cybersecurity. There’s really nothing your firm can do to shut down cybercrime—to score “runs” against cybercriminals by disabling their networks. Government agencies can do that, but businesses can’t.
All you can do is play in the field and try to keep cybercriminals from scoring metaphorical runs by stealing data from your firm. If the cybercriminals’ score reads zero, you’re doing your job. The problem is that three outs—or 10 wickets in cricket—isn’t enough to end an inning. In fact, the inning never ends, and you never get to bat. You just have to keep making play after play after play to get the opponent out over and over again.
Sound exhausting? Oh, it is. Substitute server maintenance, application upgrades, antivirus updates and keeping an eye on vulnerable users for pitching, throwing and catching, and you get the idea. You’ll be doing a lot of figurative—and maybe literal—running as well.
Now, imagine you’re a baseball team with just a pitcher and maybe one or two other players in the field trying to defend an endless inning. You’re going to give up a lot of runs. That’s basically what you’re doing when you try to handle cybersecurity in your firm without help. When you leave it to your own staff or to yourself, you’re playing at a huge disadvantage. Even the greatest pitchers can’t strike out every batter.
You need a partner to help you catch fly balls and turn double plays. That’s what you get when you run critical applications, including QuickBooks® Desktop, in the cloud with a trusted cloud provider. Your provider plays defense for you, maintaining servers, updating applications and making sure antivirus is current.
You can even upgrade your defense with device protection and security awareness training for your employees. Or you can step out of the IT game altogether and let a managed IT provider, such as Cloud Premier from Right Networks, run your whole operation for you.
Whatever you do, though, don’t try to manage cybersecurity without help. Cybercriminals are swinging for the fences literally every minute of every day. And they’re as obsessed with cybersecurity as anyone because they’re constantly trying to break through it. Don’t just worry about cybersecurity the way we all do—find a cloud provider or managed IT partner to even up the game.
You can’t win a war on cybercrime because you can’t really fight one. Like everyone else, you’re stuck in a game you can’t win but can’t afford to lose. Consider having a team behind you that thinks constantly about cybersecurity, so you don’t have to.
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