Author Archives: Sydney Pujadas

Streamlining Your Journey to Compliance

Ensuring that your business is safeguarded from cyber attacks and maintaining regulatory compliance is an ongoing process for business leaders and IT specialists. Making sure your business has a well thought out plan of attack for when breaches arise, and a strategy for risk mitigation that is easily adaptable to the agile landscape of cybersecurity compliance, will put your business in a strong position against data breaches. Furthermore, understanding which regulations are applicable to your organization is a significant first step, as this will form the foundation of your compliance efforts.

Depending on your industry and geographical location, you may need to comply with various regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and more. Understanding which regulations are applicable to your organization is a significant first step, as this will form the foundation of your compliance efforts.

Conduct a Comprehensive Risk Assessment

The first step towards cybersecurity compliance is to conduct a thorough risk assessment. This involves identifying potential vulnerabilities and threats within your business’s infrastructure, applications, processes, and data management practices. Understanding your risks will allow you to prioritize your efforts and allocate resources effectively. A risk assessment also helps in tailoring your compliance strategy to address your organization’s unique needs.

Implement a Robust Cybersecurity Framework

A resilient cybersecurity framework can act as a foundation for your compliance journey. Consider adopting an established framework, like the CIS Critical Security Controls Implementation Group 2 that we leverage at Thrive. A framework helps provide a structured approach to implementing cybersecurity controls and best practices, helping you establish a strong foundation for your IT infrastructure and compliance. These frameworks also provide guidance to achieving a comprehensive approach to addressing the many facets of cyber risk.

Continuous Monitoring and Improvement

Cybersecurity compliance is a fast-changing and evolving process. Implementing continuous monitoring practices helps your business detect and respond to emerging threats in real time. Regularly assess and update your security measures to align with the evolving threat landscape and changing compliance requirements.

Leverage Technology Solutions

Technology can be a powerful tool in your IT toolbox to help achieve compliance. Investing in cybersecurity tools, such as intrusion detection systems, firewall solutions, security information and event management (SIEM) platforms, and vulnerability assessment tools can help you build out a robust cybersecurity framework. These technologies can help automate security tasks, provide visibility into your network, and facilitate compliance reporting.

Employee Training and Awareness

Human error remains one of the biggest cybersecurity risks. Conducting regular training sessions to educate your employees about cybersecurity best practices, data handling procedures, and the potential consequences of non-compliance will help mitigate haphazard risk. When your entire team is aligned with the importance of cybersecurity, the compliance journey becomes smoother and more efficient.

Achieving cybersecurity compliance is not just a regulatory requirement—it’s a crucial step in protecting your business and its stakeholders. Conducting thorough risk assessments, adopting a robust framework, continually monitoring for risk, leveraging technology solutions, and investing in employee training, can help streamline your journey to cybersecurity compliance. Thrive’s IT Compliance and Regulatory Consulting Services can help you reach and maintain these compliance goals with ease. Remember, staying proactive and adaptive is key to maintaining a strong cybersecurity posture.

A Strategic Cybersecurity Checklist for Your Business

Taking control of your IT infrastructure and ensuring that it has a strong foundation can be hard to get started. Making sure that your organization’s data and systems are protected from cybersecurity threats requires thoughtful planning and consideration. 

To get started on locking down your data and securing your organization, here’s a cybersecurity checklist to ensure control of your IT stack:

  1. Perform a Risk Assessment: Identify and evaluate potential security risks in your organization. Understand the critical assets, vulnerabilities, and the potential business impact of security incidents.
  2. Create a Sound Security Policy: Develop a comprehensive security policy that outlines the rules, guidelines, and procedures for securing your organization’s data and other information. This policy should be regularly communicated to all employees and stakeholders.
  3. Inventory and Regularly Update Your Software: Document all software and applications in your organization and keep them up-to-date with the latest security patches and version updates to protect against known vulnerabilities.
  4. Use Strong Passwords and Setup a Strong Network Security System: Enforce the use of strong, complex passwords and encourage the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) where possible. Set up firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS/IPS) to monitor and protect your network from unauthorized access. Consider Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) for remote employees.
  5. Train Your Employees: Conduct regular cybersecurity awareness training for all employees so they are educated about the latest threats and best practices for online security.
  6. Monitor and Conduct Security Audits: Set up monitoring and auditing tools to detect and investigate any suspicious activities on your network and systems. Also, conduct periodic security audits to assess the effectiveness of your security measures and identify areas for improvement.
  7. Implement Secure Cloud Services: If you use cloud services, ensure proper configurations and access controls are in place to protect your data.
  8. Create an Incident Response Plan: Develop a detailed incident response plan outlining the steps that should be taken in the event of a security breach. Test the plan through simulated exercises.
  9. Have Physical Security at Your Office: Install and implement physical security measures, like access control systems, CCTV, and secure facility design, to protect against unauthorized physical access.
  10. Ensure Regulatory Compliance: Ensure that your IT stack adheres to relevant industry standards and compliance regulations.

Following this checklist will help ensure that your organization is better protected from any security threats that may pop up and more prepared to deal with breaches when they occur.

If you have questions or need assistance with any or all of the steps within this checklist, reach out to the Thrive team today. From our cybersecurity risk assessments to our virtual CISO (vCISO) consultants to our industry-leading managed cybersecurity platform, we can help you check all the right boxes in your cybersecurity strategy.  

Cybersecurity for Hedge Funds: Safeguarding the Technology Stack

In recent years, technology has completely transformed the investment landscape and process, reshaping how financial firms approach investing. Technology has greatly impacted how hedge funds operate, creating easier access to information and automating trading decisions. These advancements also come with great challenges, particularly when it comes to cybersecurity. 

Using data-driven insights has allowed traders to quickly analyze potential investments. New algorithmic trading systems are able to analyze large quantities of data in just seconds, allowing investors to react to fast-paced market events and take advantage of short-term opportunities. 

Another aspect in which technology has improved the investment process is with financial planning software which allows companies to monitor and analyze their financial data and look at cash flows with a click of a button. Simplifying how we can access our financial data has also allowed financial firms to work outside the office, especially post-pandemic.

Research from Deloitte suggests that 92% of investment management firms are implementing, or are planning to implement technologies that enable their people to work from anywhere. Social distancing and remote working environments increase the need for seamless two-way communication across multiple digital channels. 

Having your financial data uploaded and readily available does come at a significant cost to your private data security.

Now, more than ever, financial institutions have to ensure that their IT infrastructure can handle the changing requirements and regulations for the industry, but also bolster their systems with proactive and agile platforms that can respond to threats quickly and efficiently. Having a trusted managed service provider (MSP), like Thrive, can help keep all of your data secure and keep your firm up to date with ongoing training and compliance.  

Thrive’s Financial Operations Platform manages the full investment lifecycle through front, middle, and back office via our single custody private Cloud. Our Financial Operations Platform enables organizations to put investors at ease, as well as serves as a comprehensive tool during a potential regulatory or registration process with the SEC, FINRA, SIPC, MSRB and NFA.

Implementing robust cybersecurity practices, staying informed about emerging threats and creating a risk mitigation plan, and fostering a culture of security awareness amongst your firm, are essential for navigating this evolving tech landscape safely. Striking a delicate balance between technological innovation and a safeguarded cybersecurity plan, the financial industry can continue to thrive in this digital era.


Where CISOs are Investing and Why

Ensuring that your security budget is well managed and is going towards the right channels to protect and maintain the integrity of your company’s data is a key part of a CISO’s job. But knowing how and where to spend your budget can be a daunting task with today’s ever-changing security and compliance landscape. Because of these swift changes and growing cybersecurity threats, CISOs have been spending more on security than ever before.

“The average budget increase from 2022 to 2023 is 11%, with a further average increase of 19% forecast for the 2023 to 2024 budget cycle” according to a survey from Osterman Research of CISO and CIO respondents at 284 organizations in the United States with more than 1,000 employees.

CISOs are reporting that their top priority is cloud security, strategy and architecture[1].

Due to the increase in cyber crime and security threats year over year, CISOs are investing resources in the following areas:

  • Automation/AI
  • Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services
  • Shifting from legacy cybersecurity platforms to cloud-native platforms

These key areas of investment are helping firms stay on top of their individual compliance requirements and cybersecurity needs. Additionally, these shifts will save cybersecurity teams time, money, and talent, which are all frequent pain points that CISOs need to address.

Making technology advancements and moving to the cloud is a priority in CISO’s security budgets allowing their company to stay on top of changing compliance requirements and pivot in a moment of crisis and prevent future risk. Having a solid plan of action to stop an attack before it even happens is critical to your security plan and the safety of your data and your customers’ data. Thrive’s ThriveCloud is an enterprise-grade, VMware platform offering the highest performance in security and efficiencies that mid-market businesses need and deserve.

Implementing an MDR solution provides companies with 24/7 protection against potential cyber attacks and security breaches. Having a complex network of resources, end-user applications, and IT infrastructure can ensure safety from all possible threats.

Thrive’s platform delivers a suite of solutions that can help CISOs outfit the best plan for risk mitigation and agility for their companies, including its MDR solution. With Thrive, you can take advantage of NextGen security measures that integrate an automated AI platform and proactive oversight by an in-house team of experts. Outsourcing your IT infrastructure to Thrive will optimize your business performance, maintain infrastructure integrity, and enable scalability for all your data protection and IT needs.


Thrive’s Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture: Redefining Network Security in the Digital Age

IT teams are constantly looking for ways to close the gaps between their systems and security measures – gaps that threats are typically looking to exploit. That is why Thrive has developed its Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture (CSMA). This comprehensive architecture provides businesses with a solution that effectively reduces gaps in security by connecting siloed solutions via two-way integrations, pulling data into the mesh, and pushing actions out to a wide range of tools. 

At its core, cyber mesh refers to a dynamic network architecture that enables secure communication and data exchange across various endpoints. Thrive’s CSMA seamlessly integrates into existing infrastructures and leverages advanced encryption and authentication protocols. It simply acts as a protective web; protecting devices, users, and applications, ensuring your business a comprehensive defense against cyber threats.

Key Benefits for Businesses:

  • Enhanced Network Visibility: CSMA provides businesses with unparalleled visibility into their network, allowing them to identify potential vulnerabilities and anomalies in real time. This visibility enables proactive threat detection and response, minimizing gaps for data breaches.
  • Eliminated Siloed Security Operations: Thrive’s CSMA delegates ongoing and incoming security challenges that threaten your business across existing tools like zero-trust, MFA, MDR, pen testing, vulnerability management, and more. 
  • Seamless Scalability: As your business grows, your network infrastructure must adapt to accommodate increased demands. CSMA is built for seamless scalability, enabling organizations to add new devices and applications to their network without compromising security. Thrive’s solution ensures that every new addition integrates seamlessly into the mesh, maintaining a strong security posture.
  • Resilience Against Advanced Threats: With the rise of sophisticated cyber threats like ransomware and advanced persistent threats (APTs), businesses need robust defenses. Thrive’s Cyber Mesh employs advanced encryption, anomaly detection, and behavior analysis to thwart even the most advanced attacks. By fortifying their networks with this technology, businesses gain the confidence to operate securely in a threat-ridden landscape.

In a world where cyber threats continue to grow in complexity and frequency, businesses must adapt to new approaches to protect their valuable data. Thrive’s Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture presents a paradigm shift in network security, enabling organizations to obtain and maintain a secure network environment. By embracing this revolutionary technology, your business can enhance network visibility, eliminate security gaps, achieve seamless scalability, and fortify its defenses against advanced threats. Thrive’s Cyber Mesh is an invaluable tool in the battle against cybercrime, empowering businesses to move securely through the digital age. Contact Thrive to learn more about CSMA and how it fits into your business’ security strategy.

The Two Biggest Trends from the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit

The Thrive team had the privilege of attending the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit, where we discussed the latest trends and challenges in cybersecurity with other industry leaders. The two most significant trends at the conference were vendor consolidation and AI-powered Cybersecurity Mesh Architectures – ideas that, as a comprehensive MSP & MSSP, Thrive is well equipped to address while managing our customers’ evolving cybersecurity needs. 

Vendor Consolidation: Streamlining Security Solutions

One prevailing trend that stood out at the conference was the increasing emphasis on vendor consolidation. Enterprises across the board, from large organizations to mid-market businesses, are facing budgetary constraints and resource limitations. As a result, they find themselves procuring multiple security tools from various vendors, leading to tool sprawl and operational inefficiencies.

At Thrive, we recognize the challenges posed by vendor fragmentation and understand the need to simplify and streamline security operations. Our comprehensive suite of cybersecurity services enables us to serve as a single partner that manages multiple vendor solutions through our platform with support from our 24x7x365 SOC. By consolidating security solutions, enterprises can reduce complexity, enhance operational efficiency, and optimize their security budgets. Thrive’s expertise in managing Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), Managed Detection and Response (MDR), vulnerability management, and penetration testing services while delivering high-level strategy and guidance through our vCISOs makes us the ideal partner for organizations looking to consolidate their security vendors.


Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture: Harnessing the Power of Artificial Intelligence

Another heavily discussed trend at the conference was the growing intersection between artificial intelligence (AI) and a holistic cybersecurity mesh architecture (CSMA). The use of AI in cybersecurity has gained significant traction, as organizations seek innovative ways to detect and respond to individual evolving threats in real-time as workforces are increasingly dispersed by remote work.

Cybersecurity Mesh 1536x1214

Thrive has long recognized the transformative potential of AI in the cybersecurity domain. As the world works towards developing advanced AI-powered solutions that enable proactive threat detection, automated incident response, and predictive analytics, we are too. By leveraging our vast information base, we are poised to provide organizations with unparalleled defense against sophisticated cyber threats. Our cyber mesh approach ensures seamless integration between our clients’ existing infrastructure and AI-powered security systems, enabling organizations to advance their holistic security approach without disrupting their operations.


At Thrive, We’re Here to Help

At Thrive, we distinguish ourselves by offering a comprehensive suite of cybersecurity services tailored to the needs of mid-market and enterprise clients. Our track record and expertise in handling end-to-end security operations position us as a trusted partner for organizations seeking a more modern cybersecurity solution that fits the reality of their staffing and their budgets. 

At the end of the day, our goal is to help identify our client’s pain points, align their cybersecurity strategy with business goals, and bridge any gaps in their existing security posture. We aim to empower internal IT teams by making their operations more efficient and effective via cybersecurity assessments, identifying overlaps and vulnerabilities, and recommending tailored solutions that optimize security resources and close critical gaps.

Our time at the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit reinforced our belief that streamlining and strengthening our client’s security experience through consolidation is going to be critical in the months ahead. When you combine this with our investments in our Thrive Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture, Thrive clients are going to be proactively protected against cyber threats like never before. Contact our team today to learn more and schedule a consultation.

Navigating Federal Funding Sources to Modernize Cybersecurity

The landscape of cybersecurity threats is undergoing swift and continuous transformation. State and local governments, as well as federal agencies, face increasing pressure to enhance their cybersecurity programs under frameworks such as FedRAMP, StateRAMP, Zero Trust, NIST 800-53, and others. 

In order to meet these standards and those still to come, various government funding programs have been put in place to offer organizations the opportunity to modernize their cybersecurity practices and mitigate incoming threats as effectively as possible. 

How can you navigate the funding opportunities available to you? Leverage Thrive’s services to help break down the complexity of this process and help you find the programs that best fit your organization. 

For State and Local Governments

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

  • Thrive understands that state and local governments require robust cybersecurity solutions to protect their critical infrastructure as well as civilian and government data. Through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), significant federal aid is available to support cybersecurity investments such as leveraging big-data analytics and around-the-clock insights to prove cybersecurity compliance across all major frameworks and strategies. By leveraging Thrive’s expertise in software and critical infrastructure protection, organizations can modernize their cybersecurity programs and effectively secure their assets.

State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP)

  • Another vital funding source for state and local governments is the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP). Comprehensive cybersecurity planning is essential for addressing risks and threats effectively. Thrive can collaborate with organizations to develop a robust cybersecurity plan that aligns with the requirements of the SLCGP. With Thrive’s support, governments can leverage applicable security programs within the Department of Homeland Security, ensuring compliance and proactive security measures.

For Federal Agencies 

Technology Modernization Fund (TMF)

  • For federal agencies, it is a top priority to enhance cybersecurity across government networks to ensure the safety of critical systems as well as the protection of Personal Identifiable Information (PII). The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) serves as a valuable resource to address urgent IT modernization challenges and bolster cybersecurity measures. By leveraging TMF funding, agencies can accelerate information technology-related projects that improve cybersecurity and secure sensitive government systems. Agencies can work with Thrive to take advantage of such funding opportunities, ensuring the adoption of the proper frameworks to transform reactive cybersecurity practices into a proactive cybersecurity strategy that ensures ongoing protection. 


Leverage Thrive to Meet Your Needs

At Thrive, we understand the significance of federal funding sources in modernizing cybersecurity practices for state and local governments, as well as federal agencies. By leveraging ARPA, SLCGP, and TMF, organizations can close their budgetary gaps and meet today’s threat management challenges, adhere to increasingly complex compliance obligations, and strengthen risk mitigation long-term.

Thrive encourages organizations to maximize the benefits of these funding opportunities. By partnering with Thrive, specifically our vCISO and vCIO services, government entities can navigate the federal funding landscape with confidence, effectively modernize their cybersecurity programs, and ensure the protection of critical infrastructure. Together, we can maximize your security potential, contact Thrive and book a consultation to learn more.

Fractional vs. Virtual CISOs – How Leading Companies Are Upping Their Security Strategy

Cybercriminals have upped their game as security teams look to meet new challenges. Oftentimes, these teams are led by a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), but finding the right person to fill that role has been a challenge.

We saw a rise in the need for CISOs as COVID-19 introduced a sharp increase in cybercrime. In a 2021 IDG report, it was reported 78% of executives expressed a lack of confidence in their organization’s ability to deal with cyber risk. This confidence gap highlighted the need to have the right expertise in place to maintain a strong security posture in a world with unexpected and increasing cyber-attacks accompanied by constantly changing regulations.

No matter the size of your business, it’s imperative that cyber threats aren’t ignored. From large corporations to start-up businesses, there is vital information in play that can be hacked at any moment. For mid-market enterprises that need a strategic vision behind their cybersecurity efforts, it’s often impossible to find and/or afford a CISO, leaving them directionless in a fast-moving threat environment.  

To combat the CISO shortage, many companies have tapped into outsourced CISO services. It’s important to know the difference between your options, and what they can do for you. Fractional CISOs are part-time, on-site chief information security officers there to maintain a company’s cybersecurity as well as other IT roles within and/or outside the company. Virtual CISOs (vCISO) are outsourced, off-site security resources for businesses that can’t/don’t want to hire cybersecurity personnel as payroll employees or do not require a full-time, dedicated resource based on the needs of their organization. They collaborate with key organizational leadership to formalize cybersecurity policy, mitigate cyber risk through technical solution, and ongoing validation and improvement of cybersecurity programs.

 A fractional CISO might be more equipped to handle low cyber risk organizations while vCISOs have a wide breadth of expertise from a variety of mature clients. This results in vCISOs having access to the latest resources and their ability to deliver increased knowledge regarding current industry trends and regulations.

It’s important to consider which CISO service is best for your business, but in our eyes, the obvious choice is to engage in a vCISO service that offers exceptional benefits: promised cost savings, access to the latest and greatest technology and resources, and unmatched expertise in industry regulations (healthcare, financial services, legal, etc.).  Most importantly, a qualified cybersecurity resource like a vCISO will guarantee a proactive approach to cyber risk mitigation and provide your organization with the appropriate level of protection in today’s cyber landscape.

At Thrive, we emphasize the importance of maintaining a security posture through our comprehensive vCISO services

  • Industry-leading information security program management
  • Thrive’s vCISO serves as a trusted security advisor
  • Information security governance and compliance oversight
  • Information security program reviews
  • Review of existing policies, controls, and security toolsets
  • IT Management remediation plans
  • Prioritized improvements for IT Management
  • Incident response preparedness and annual incident response table-top exercise
  • Center for Internet Security (CIS) framework implementation

Consider Thrive for your vCISO needs and learn more about our vCISO service and how our security-first NextGen Managed Services can help your organization.

How New Technologies Jeopardize Student Data Privacy

Every day, students are busy learning new subjects and should be focused on achieving their academic goals, not worrying about their data privacy. School districts and private educational institutions have been making the switch to Cloud platforms as a way to keep up with the ever-evolving tech landscape students are facing. A key component in adding these new Cloud-based applications and services is the protection of student data from an increasing number of targeted attacks from cybercriminals. 

However, with the rise of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and other generative AI tools, schools have a new set of vulnerabilities to be concerned about. Currently, there is no way to determine whether or not students’ personal information is being used in a ChatGPT algorithm or other apps that may be used in a classroom setting that require access to different data on school computers or personal computers owned by students. It was also discovered that a majority of educational institutions use various tracking technologies and share students’ personal information with third parties, which could include generative AI tools, increasing a potential privacy breach. 

In the U.S., students’ information is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and educational institutions have a duty to protect students’ personally identifiable information (PII). Federal funding is available to help support these initiatives as well. 

Having a fail-safe approach to protecting students’ privacy is the best way educational institutions can mitigate cybersecurity risk and eliminate threats. Understanding students’ risk exposure and proactively scanning for threats and vulnerabilities can help K-12 schools remain in compliance with FERPA and other privacy standards.

Finding a Privacy Protection Partner for Your School

Thrive’s Managed Security Information and Event Management allows schools to meet stringent compliance thresholds, and have security threat detection without the need for specialized security staff or costly dedicated hardware.

Keeping students and their data safe is a top priority, and with Thrive, you can assess your vulnerabilities and plan for the future. Hybrid and remote learning will continue to be a major part of the learning environment, along with the increased use of apps in the classroom or to assist with homework and projects.

Take the next steps to equip your school with the latest technology, software, and training towards protecting your students and their data, as well as be an active collaborator capable of adding value to your school’s IT department. Contact Thrive to learn more.