Managed Services

The 5 solutions your business should have managed

In a world that’s becoming increasingly digital, many businesses rely heavily on their IT systems. If yours is one of these businesses, you need to ask yourself whether you currently take your IT processes as seriously as you should. Unless you have a dedicated in-house team, there’s a chance you may be missing something. Because of this, you need to consider using a Managed Services Provider (MSP).

Managed services are services that you outsource to another organization. The general idea is that they have the resources and staff you need to achieve the levels of excellence you want. If you’re yet to use an MSP, here are five of the solutions your business should have managed.

Employee education

Employee education

Your employees will either be your biggest asset in protecting your IT systems or your biggest threat. Although you can’t prevent them from causing problems altogether, you can use employee education to significantly decrease the risk.

Unless you’re well-versed in the world of technology and the latest security threats, it’s always better to use an MSP for employee education. An MSP will already be aware of the types of threats your employees need to look out for. Some may also perform an assessment that identifies gaps in their knowledge.

For example, phishing is an ongoing threat that most businesses face. Around three-quarters of businesses questioned for one survey reported experiencing an attack. Unless your employees know what some of the more sophisticated forms of phishing attacks look like, they may fall victim to one. Because of this, it’s better to call in a team of experts to do the work for you.

data center

Data backup

If your business relies on data, suddenly losing it places you in a precarious position. Depending on how much you lose, you may incur financial losses. You might also experience a loss of trust from your clients and customers. 

As a rule, you should keep at least three copies of your data, in two separate locations, and one of them should be located offsite. It’s the offsite data source that you can turn to if you experience a sudden loss of data. Sudden losses of data can arise from disasters, such as your building burning down or events such as hurricanes. And in some cases, sudden data loss occurs due to outside attacks.

Ransomware is a particularly big threat to your data. It involves a cybercriminal attaching malware to your system with the aim of wiping it if you don’t pay a ransom. In 2018 alone, businesses lost $8 billion as a result of ransomware attacks.

If your business falls vulnerable to a ransomware attack, you need an offsite source of data to turn to. By outsourcing your backup to an MSP, you’ll have a place of data refuge in the event that someone holds yours hostage.

Vulnerability assessments

Vulnerability assessments

Cybercrime is on the rise and there’s a good reason for that. For those who successfully breach a business’s barriers, there’s a lot of money to be made. That means cybercriminals don’t rest and they’re always thinking of new and inventive ways to breach your defenses.

In 2018, more than 450 million records were exposed in the United States. How bad those exposures were will depend on the type of information that’s revealed. According to the University of Maryland, at least one attack occurs every 39 seconds. With that in mind, it’s possible to assume that someone has tried to attack your business, but they haven’t been successful yet. 

In addition to using the usual defenses, you should consider outsourcing your vulnerability assessments to an MSP. Vulnerability assessments look at ongoing threats to your business and flaws in your system that have the potential to let them in. By identifying those flaws ahead of an attack, it’s possible to stop cybercriminals from being successful. 

You may also want to add real-time threat management to your vulnerability assessments. By doing so, you can make sure that all responses to ongoing threats are timely and effective.

help desk

Help desk support

If you already have an IT team member, they’ll be able to tell you how tiring it is to be everyone’s personal help desk. In-house IT staff are usually there to manage your day-to-day needs. But because they hold a different type of knowledge than your other employees, they may often find themselves responding to the smallest IT requests.

From helping people gain access to their accounts when they’ve lost their passwords to performing software installations, every small task can become a big drain on their time. If they do manage to fit everything in, there’s a chance they’re not performing as well as they should in their primary role. That in itself can be concerning, especially when they play a part in keeping your business secure.

To make sure your existing IT staff doesn’t fold under the pressure, you can outsource part of your support to an MSP. Outsourcing such tasks means that someone is always on hand to deliver dedicated advice. Additionally, when you use an MSP, there’s a chance you’ll access a better pool of knowledge than when you rely on one person alone. Being able to access professionals who specialize in a variety of niches will serve you well.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity

It’s difficult to understate just how important strong cybersecurity is. As we’ve already discussed, attacks occur every 39 seconds – at a minimum. This means there’s a chance your business has been targeted while you’ve been reading this article. 

Each year, it appears that cybersecurity threats get worse. For example, in 2018, there was a 79% increase in the malware targeted at businesses. And in the same year, ransomware accounted for around 15% of all cyber insurance claims. Both of these statistics suggest that cybercriminals are continuing to use tactics that could have devastating effects. While malware allows them to steal important information, ransomware could wipe your systems completely.

Unless you’re confident that you can create a watertight cybersecurity strategy alone, it’s always better to outsource such services to an MSP. MSPs have the resources required to launch sturdy defenses. They can also stay on top of patching your software to reduce the number of ways a criminal can breach your systems. Many offer real-time threat analysis and defense, which is handy when you consider cybercriminals don’t operate during office hours alone.

When you take every step to maintain high levels of security, you’re more likely to remain compliant with your industry’s guidelines. Additionally, when you don’t fall victim to a cyberattack, you can save money and retain the trust of your clients and customers.

Managed services can play an important role in keeping your business afloat. In addition to ensuring your employees are up-to-date with the latest security threats, you can outsource cybersecurity monitoring and vulnerability management. Both help desk support and data backup are necessary too. While waiting a long time for a ticket reduces productivity, losing data can seriously harm your bottom line. 

Although partnering with an MSP is an investment, the amount you’ll save in avoiding potential disasters makes it worth it. Before choosing an MSP, always make sure it’s adept at working within your industry. By finding the right one, you could avoid a disaster that brings your business down.