Small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) are prime targets for cyber criminals. Unlike large businesses or enterprises, SMBs have fewer resources at their disposal. However, they must counter many of the same old and new cyber security threats, like their larger counterparts.
In a way, being a SMB doesn’t necessarily simplify the cyber security process. Rather, being an SMB makes handling cyber security alone a much more daunting and complex task.
In other words, everything between keeping your laptops safe from viruses to wiping corporate data from lost smartphones to keeping hackers out of your network is entirely your problem.
Considering the sheer complexities involved in not just procuring the necessary cyber security systems (e.g., firewalls), but also configuring them, where do you even start? On top of that, do you even have the time and energy to deal with this when you have a business to run?
So why make it your problem? Why not make it a problem for cyber security experts?
I’m not talking about hiring some cyber security professionals, but rather, getting the help of an IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) that’s built to support all of your cyber security needs.
3 Benefits of Managed Security Services that Shield YOU from Cyber Threats
1. Endpoint Protection From Cyber Attacks
Security Scorecard defines “endpoint security” as the “protection of all laptops, desktops, and mobile devices that access the organization/agency network.”
In other words, your “endpoints” are basically each of your IT systems through which hackers could compromise your business. Besides hardware, your endpoints also include your network systems and cloud assets — any potential entrypoint or door attackers could use.
You’ll get more details of how MSPs secure each below:
Your MSP partner will ensure that each of your computers is equipped with anti-virus software. But that’s only one step. The MSP must also ensure that each computer is updated and that its anti-virus suite has the latest virus definitions (to stop new viruses).
To guarantee this, your MSP will conduct vulnerability scans across your entire IT system to find computers lacking active and up-to-date anti-virus software.
Where your anti-virus software is there to help keep your computers secure while they’re in use, you also need to keep them secure when you’re done with them.
Did you think about what could happen if you leave your data on the computers you retire? You wouldn’t want someone to take-out and use that drive! Your MSP will prevent this with hardware lifecycle management – it’ll your data is removed from decommissioned devices.
Networking is complicated. Between managing routers (which you might do with one or two IT people) to managing switches, firewalls, closing ports, filtering traffic, remote logins and other functions, there’s a lot at play. But a wrong configuration in any one area will help hackers.
MSPs will handle all of that work for you. From keeping high-risk traffic away through the use of Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW) to configuring your system correctly, your connectivity to the internet and between your IT assets will work as intended, and safely.
The cloud is an amazing asset. You can store your applications, communications and other data without worrying about the cost and headaches involved with buying and maintaining servers.
But poor configuration or security measures (such as multi-factor authentication) could put your data at risk of a breach. If you’re in a regulated industry like healthcare (HIPAA), then you’ll deal with government investigations, legal issues and other problems on top of the direct costs.
Your MSP will work to prevent any of this by taking on the configuration and it security duties you can’t handle with your limited time, energy and resources.
Through Mobile Device Management (MDM), the MSP will ensure that only vetted employee smartphones access your system. From blocking risky app installs to requiring your staff use pins on their lockscreens, the MSP will make sure that employee devices are kept secure.
In case of lost and stolen devices, your MSP will remotely-wipe those phones of your data and applications, thus ensuring that those phones don’t end up becoming keys into your business.
Learn More About Managed Cyber Security:
- What’s The Cost of Managed IT Services Cost & How to Manage The Costs
- Is Your Managed Service Provider Secure
2. Cyber Security Protection Methods
There’s more to cyber security than just installing and managing hardware. To have a strong cyber security posture, you need processes — i.e., training, planning and policies.
What’s the point of spending all that money on great cyber security measures if an employee’s mistake can topple it in literally seconds? MSPs with proven cyber security experience will, at all times, train your staff to spot phishing, spear-phishing and other potential attacks.
- What is Cyber Security Training and How Does It Improve IT Security?
- How Your Employees are Your Biggest Cyber Security Risk
Through regularly scheduled vulnerability scans and a cyber security assessment, your MSP will proactively look to find gaps — such as inactive anti-virus suites and open network ports — in your IT system. This will keep your system active and up-to-date at all times.
Penetration & Phishing Tests
Short of an actual cyber attack, how will you know if your cyber security system works?
Well, your MSP will run it through automated penetration tests and, if need be, ethical hacking to examine your cyber security system’s strengths.
These processes also help uncover overlooked weaknesses in your system, giving you ample time to rectify them and stop them from ever being exploited.
Is Your Company At Risk of a Cyber Security Attack?
No matter how well you prepare, the worst case scenario is always a possibility. With a MSP, you need not panic, some offer remediation services to help contain the breach. This process requires proven experts, it shouldn’t be on the shoulders of your in-house IT people only.
Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity
Building on the risk of an actual breach, you must be prepared to recover and resume your daily operations. Your MSP could provide Disaster Recovery services wherein they back-up copies of all of your data in secure cloud environments.
In case of a breach, such as a ransomware attack that locks you out of your system, your MSP can use those backups to restore your data (and prevent the attacker from having their way).
Disaster Recovery should be paired with Business Continuity, which your MSP could implement to restore your daily business operations. This way, you minimize the downtime of your services and equip your employees to get back on track as quickly as possible.
Policy Review, Consulting & Cyber Insurance
It’s not right that you spend the majority of your time worrying about HIPAA, the NYDFS, GDPR, SEC and other compliance standards. Your MSP can spearhead the creation of all policies and processes necessary for you to comply — all without you losing your focus over it.
Some MSPs can offer additional support by even insuring your IT assets in case of a breach, thus giving you a solid start in case of a major cyber attack.
3. Cyber Security Services Tailored for SMBs
MSPs are useful, but not every MSP is necessarily useful for every kind of company.
Some MSPs specialize on specific kinds of businesses, while others are geared towards helping businesses with limited resources — i.e., SMBs. These MSPs ensure that you get solutions that align with your resource constraints and set-out to solve your actual problems.
At Power Consulting, our cyber security consulting and assessments shields SMBs across healthcare, finance, retail, education, law and other highly complex and regulated industries with their cyber security needs.
We handle the complicated technical problems, freeing you to use most of your time and energy on beating the competition. Contact us today to get started!