Cybersecurity in the White Space

Cybersecurity White Space

A recent online post pointed out that the white space in the FedEx logo, between the “E” and “x”, creates an arrow. 

FedEx Logo

Once you see the arrow, you cannot miss it. You will see it every time you look at the logo.

The subtle, almost subliminal, arrow symbolizes a sense of forward motion and subconsciously reinforces the FedEx brand message of on-time delivery.

The power of the logo is not just the name, it is in the symbolism. The same is true for your cybersecurity.

The power of your cybersecurity is not just in the overt actions, success is in the white space.


Our cybersecurity efforts often focus on the concrete measures we can take to protect ourselves and prevent attacks. We deploy hardware, install software, and configure settings to both passively and actively protect our systems, data, and people. These actions are tangible and visible. 

Cybersecurity White Space

Equally important, if not more so, are the less visible cybersecurity efforts– your cybersecurity white space. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is cybersecurity awareness a deliberate part of your culture?
    • Do you educate your team on their role in cybersecurity?
    • Do employees and contractors understand which behaviors help security and which can harm it?
    • Does your team understand how to recognize, report, and respond to security risks and attacks?
  • Do you have policies and procedures in place that set expectations for maintaining appropriate cybersecurity?
    • Do these policies and procedures include guidance and limits on human behaviors and actions that can pose or elevate risks?
    • Do you have consequences for negligent or deliberate non-compliance?
  • Do you understand the risks should a cyber attacker gain access to your systems?
    • Do you understand the protections you need in place to limit attacker access to identities and sensitive information?
    • Can you isolate attacks and prevent them from spreading across your environment?
  • Do you have plans in place to not only restore damaged or lost data, but to recover your business from a successful cyber attack?
    • Do you have cyber insurance?
    • Do you have clear action plans for how your business will respond to a successful cyber attack?
    • Will you be able to run your business while you recover your systems and data (and/or while computers are held as evidence)?
    • Do you have plans and resources in place to:
      • Comply with state and regulatory reporting requirements?
      • Communicate effectively with customers, vendors, and partners?
      • Manage your legal and financial liability?

Model for Success

Successful cybersecurity includes the visible and the white space. Our Security CPR model and managed security services include all three best-practice pillars:

  • Communication and education
    • Security awareness focused on human behaviors, risk recognition, and responding to suspicious acts.
    • Policies and procedures that guide and protect your business in line with compliance requirements.
  • Prevention and protection
    • Expertise, tools, and services to prevent cyberattacks and protect your business, data, and team.
    • Compliance assessment and management services to benchmark and certify to appropriate industry and regulatory standards.
  • Recovery and response
    • Business continuity services to keep your business running during forensic investigations and data/system recovery and restoration efforts.
    • Data restoration and disaster recovery plans and resources to return your business to normal operations as quickly and effectively as possible.
    • Cyber insurance brokerage partnerships to ensure your business is properly covered within your budget.

Call to Action

If you have not done so recently, now is a great time to step back and assess your IT services and solutions. Our Cloud Advisors are ready to help and assist with any questions or concerns. Start with a complimentary Rapid Security Assessment, contact us, or schedule time with one of our Cloud Advisors

About the Author

Allen Falcon is the co-founder and CEO of Cumulus Global.  Allen co-founded Cumulus Global in 2006 to offer small businesses enterprise-grade email security and compliance using emerging cloud solutions. He has led the company’s growth into a managed cloud service provider with over 1,000 customers throughout North America. Starting his first business at age 12, Allen is a serial entrepreneur. He has launched strategic IT consulting, software, and service companies. An advocate for small and midsize businesses, Allen served on the board of the former Smaller Business Association of New England, local economic development committees, and industry advisory boards.

Best Practice – Completing Security Surveys and Questionnaires

Data Protection & Security

In our recent Security Update Series blog post, New Security Demands & Requirements for Small and Midsize Businesses, we discussed three drivers for increased business security. We noted that expectations will often be expressed in security surveys and questionnaires you are asked to complete. Providing incorrect, incomplete, or misleading answers, whether intentional or not, can impact premiums and your available coverage.

To minimize the risks and potential pitfalls, here are five best practices to follow:

1 Know the Process

Before starting your response, have the broker or agent walk you through the process in detail. What role do the security surveys or questionnaires play in the underwriting process? While some carriers only use a single survey, others will ask for follow-up information and/or request evidence supporting your answers.

Understanding the process will guide how you answer questions and the nature and amount of information you provide.

2 Follow the Rule of Absolutes

Following the “Rule of Absolutes,” answering “yes” or “no” to a question means “yes” or “no” everywhere and in every instance. 

For example, if you answer “yes” to the question, “Do you require multi-factor authentication for user login?”, you are stating that MFA is in place for every possible user login for every system or service. Answering “yes” if this is not the case will be considered a misleading or deceptive response.

The better approach is to answer with commentary that accurately responds to the intended questions without absolutes. Using the above example, provide a list of systems for which MFA is required, optional but recommended, and/or not available. In addition to being a more accurate response, the information will better inform the underwriting risk assessment.

3 Understand the Questions

Not all questions may be clear. Some questions will focus on technology. Others will focus on policies, processes, and procedures. Still others will focus on outcomes.

For example, these three questions:

  1. What security incident and event management (SIEM) system is in place?
  2. Do you have security incident and event management?
  3. Do you monitor, save, and analyze security event logs to identify alerts and conditions that require responsive action?

Question 1 appears to be asking about specific software or tools. The second Question asks about capability; the software tools and operational resources may be implied or assumed with a “yes” answer. Question 3 probes procedures, possibly independent of the supporting technology and/or existence or use of a security operations center (SOC).

If you are not sure how to best answer the questions, consult with the broker or agent for guidance.

4 Pause and Implement

In reviewing the security surveys or questionnaires, you may notice an emphasis on certain aspects of your security systems, solutions, policies, and processes. 

If your answers appear to indicate weakness in these areas, consult with the broker or agent for guidance. You may benefit from pausing the effort until you can update or implement expected services and solutions.

In some cases, indicating that an improvement is in process may be sufficient to move forward.

5 Get Legal Advice

You own and are legally bound by the survey and questionnaire responses you provided. This holds true even if IT providers, vendors, and others have drafted portions of your response.

Before submitting your responses, review the surveys or questionnaires and your responses with qualified legal counsel familiar with cyber security. Understand if answers provided by third parties may create issues or liabilities. Understand any and all commitments expressed and implied in your responses.

What to Do:

The best course of action is to assess and, if appropriate, adjust your security services before you face a survey, questionnaire, or audit. Our Rapid Security Assessment provides a quick review of core security services. Our Cloud Advisors are ready to assist with any questions or concerns.

Contact us or schedule time with one of our Cloud Advisors

About the Author

Bill Seybolt bio pictureBill is a Senior Cloud Advisor responsible for helping small and midsize organizations with cloud forward solutions that meet their business needs, priorities, and budgets. Bill works with executives, leaders, and team members to understand workflows, identify strategic goals and tactical requirements, and design solutions and implementation phases. Having helped over 200 organizations successfully adopt cloud solutions, his expertise and working style ensure a comfortable experience effective change management. 


3 Questions – About Cyber Security

Data Protection & SecurityShare your answers to our 3 Questions and, in exchange, we will

  • Schedule time (no cost / no obligation) with one of our Cloud Advisors to discuss why the questions are important and to review your answers
  • Provide our Rapid Security Assessment at no cost to you.
3 Questions about Cyber Security:

1) How do you protect your user devices?

  • Anti-virus, next-gen endpoint protection, managed event detection and response, other …

2) Do you require that employees multi-factor authentication (MFA) when connecting to online services?

  • For all services, some services, other …

3) Do you perform backups of critical systems and data?

  • weekly, daily, hourly, other …
Why and How:

These 3 Questions about Cyber Security indicate how well you may be protected, and your ability to recover, from the most common and most costly types of Cyber Attacks on small businesses.

Related Resources

About 3 Questions:

3 Questions is a new program we are launching to help small business owners and IT leaders think about the issues facing their businesses in new ways.

About the Author

Allen Falcon is the co-founder and CEO of Cumulus Global.  Founded in 2006 to offer small businesses enterprise-grade email security and compliance using emerging cloud solutions, Allen has led the company’s growth into a managed cloud service provider with over 1,000 customers throughout North America.  Having started his first business at age 12, Allen is a serial entrepreneur having started strategic IT consulting, software, and service companies. An advocate for small and midsize businesses, Allen served on the board of the former Smaller Business Association of New England, local economic development committees, and industry advisory boards.


Debunking 5 Cyber Security Myths for SMBs

Data Protection & SecurityAs owners and leaders of small and midsize businesses (SMBs), we have limited resources for IT and cybersecurity.  We should not be surprised, therefore, that SMBs face the biggest threat from ransomware and other cyber attacks.  Beyond the cost and risk of ransomware and encryption attacks, SMBs face business email compromise (BEC) attacks and threats to disclose regulated information.  Recovery costs, fines, and legal actions resulting from a successful attack can destroy your business. And yet, many SMBs remain unaware of the risk and/or lacking reasonable data protections and security.  This post intends to debunk five (5) cyber security myths for SMBs.

1My company is too
small to be a target

While note every attack is successful, one global report states that 86% of SMBs have been hit by ransomware attacks, with 20% attacked more than six times. With fewer resources and less focus on cyber security, SMBs represent an attractive target for attackers.  The increase in remote work and use of remote desktop protocols creates additional opportunities for attackers. Securing and managing these services requires time and attention.

The impact of a successful ransomware attack continues to increase.  According to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, the average cost of a successful ransomware attack grew from an average of $34,000 to just under $200,000.

2I cannot afford to protect
against cyber attacks

Cyber attacks are inevitable. Protecting your business does not require expensive solutions.  Your cost for endpoint protection for your devices, advanced threat protection for email, and security awareness training is pennies per day per person.  You can deploy multi-factor authentication (MFA), local disk encryption, and the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) protocols for free. You can deploy cloud-based business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) for less than traditional backup/recovery solutions.

3I have backups,
so I am safe

Not all backup solutions are equal.  Many backup/recovery solutions for SMBs run on the same servers and networks as your business systems. Ransomware and other cyber attacks will seek out and encrypt/damage backup servers to render your backups useless.  Your backup/recovery solutions should be segregated from your production network and systems to shield them from attack.  Business Continuity/DR solutions offer the additional ability to bring systems back on line in an alternate cloud data center while you recover your primary systems.

4Technology alone
will save me

As with most security protocols, people are your first line of defense.  As many as 93% of cyber attacks begin with a phishing attack. People click on links, unwittingly downloading malware or sharing usernames and passwords.

Security awareness training should be a standard practice within your business.  The training is a proven way to reduce risk, decrease infections and help desk requests, reduce the chances of a security breach and strengthen the overall security posture.

5Cyber resiliency is
too hard to achieve

Cyber Resilience is the ability to withstand security attacks and land on your feet, no matter what happens. Cyber resilience protects your business, customers, and employees from ransomware, business email compromise, and other potential issues and attacks.

While some gaps in security will always remain, you can affordably improve your cyber resiliency.

To overcome these 5 small business cyber security myths, review your security footprint, and improve your resilience, please contact us by email, via our website, or by scheduling time directly with one of our Cloud advisors, with any questions or concerns regarding this service update.

9 Cyber Security Tips for Small Businesses

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber threats and ransomware attacks have accelerated, exceeding 30,000 attacks per day in the US. Cybersecurity measures have never been more important. The move to remote working environments as well as the vulnerability of global economies in crisis has created an open-season for cybercriminals. No business—big or small—is safe.

Small and medium businesses (SMBs) seemingly have a target on their backs, so strengthening your SMB security posture is essential right now. The good news: There are ways to protect your business against ransomware attacks. Read on below to learn about our top nine cyber security tips and best practices to keep your small business safe.

Here are nine tips you that boost your business’ resilience to cyber attacks:

Communicate & Educate

1. Conduct a security risk assessment

Understand potential security threats (e.g., downtime from ransomware) and the impact they may have on your business (lost revenue). Use this information to shape a security strategy that meets your specific needs.

2. Create straightforward cybersecurity policies

Write and distribute a clear set of rules and instructions on cybersecurity practices for employees. This will vary from business to business but may include policies on social media use, bring your own device, authentication requirements, etc.

3. Train your employees

Because cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, an ongoing training plan should be implemented for all employees. This should include examples of threats, as well as instruction on security best practices, and periodic testing.

Prevent & Protect

4. Protect your network and devices

Implement a password policy that requires strong passwords and monitor your employee accounts for breach intel through dark web monitoring. Deploy firewall, VPN, and next-gen antivirus technologies with advanced threat protection. Ensure your network and endpoints are not vulnerable to attacks. Implement mandatory multi-factor authentication. Ongoing network monitoring is essential, as is encrypting hard drives.

5. Keep software up to date

This cyber security tip involves being vigilant about patch management. Cyber criminals exploit software vulnerabilities using a variety of tactics to gain access to computers and data. Your IT provider should automate this for your businesses with a remote monitoring and management. Keep your mobile phones up to date as well.

6. Back up your data

Daily (or more frequent) backups are a requirement to recover from data corruption or loss resulting from security breaches. Consider using a data protection tools that take incremental backups of data periodically throughout the day to prevent data loss. Remember that you need to protect your data in the cloud as well as you protect your data on local servers and workstations.

7. Know where your data resides

The more places data exists, the more likely it is that unauthorized individuals will be able to access it. Use data discovery tools to find and appropriately secure data along with business-class Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications that allow for corporate control of data. Eliminate redundant and “Shadow IT” services.

8. Control access to computers

Use key cards or similar security measures to control access to facilities. Ensure that employees use strong passwords for laptops and desktops. Give administrative privileges only to trusted staff as needed.

Respond & Recover

9. Enable uptime

Our final cyber security tip dives into responding and recover. Here, it’s vital to choose a powerful data protection solution that enables “instant recovery” of data and applications. In fact, 92% of managed IT service providers report that companies with business continuity disaster recovery (BCDR) products in place are less likely to experience significant downtime from ransomware and are back up and running quickly. Application downtime can significantly impact a business’ ability to generate revenue. Can your business afford downtime costs that are 23X greater (up by 200% year-over-year) than the average ransom requested in 2019?

Get In Touch To Learn More About Cyber Security Tips and Best Practices

The best defense is a good offense. A robust, multi-layered cybersecurity strategy can save your business. Contact us to learn more and for a free Cyber Security Assessment.


2023 OpenText Cybersecurity Email Threat Report

eBook | Source: OpenText Security — Attackers persistently adapted their email-based techniques throughout 2022, introducing more nuances into their methods. This eBook shares current information about Phishing, Business Email Compromise, Cryptocurrency Scams; and the Top Malware Threats. The report provides examples of attacks as a learning tool for understanding attacks, how to prevent them, and how to respond.