When it comes to IT security for your business, two things ring true:
- You don’t know what you don’t know, and
- There are no warning signs of security gaps
In fact, 68% of security breaches take months – sometimes longer – to discover, according to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report. By the time you realize there’s a problem, it’s too late.
So how do you avoid scandal, angry customers, and losing the public’s trust? Invest in a Managed Service Provider (MSP) for IT security.
IT Security: Insurance for Your Business
Think of IT security like insurance: You pay upfront for problems you hope not to have. If misfortune does occur, it’s less costly to fix. Investing in IT security prevents brand defamation by security breach. It’s costly to regain public trust after a data hack.
If you’re thinking, “I’m a small business. I’m not a target,” think again. Small businesses are easier to hack.
Why? They don’t focus on cybersecurity.
The Ponemon Institute found that small businesses spend, on average, over $1 million due to damage or theft of IT assets, and the disruption to normal operations averaged $1.2 million.
But many businesses don’t approach security like insurance, and every business is vulnerable. Reflect on cybersecurity headlines over the past few years:
- Facebook and Cambridge Analytica use data to influence politics
- LinkedIn hackers sell 117 million passwords
- Equifax hack reveals personal info of 143 million American credit card users
- Yahoo! Hack affects 1 million users with personal information
- Target hack reveals credit card info affecting 70 million customers
Larger companies have robust resources that should mean better security. But if anything, it proves that no company is safe, no matter the size. And the repercussions can mean hefty fines and the death of a business.
How to Protect Your Business with IT
MSPs are comprised of several IT experts whose combined knowledge makes them a powerhouse for cybersecurity. The bigger the problem, the higher up the expert chain it goes. Bonus? It saves tens of thousands of dollars in payroll. Hiring an in-house team to combat serious security threats means hiring expensive talent.
Prevention costs less than reaction. Your MSP is there to stop a problem before it starts. They understand and know the regulations for your company. They have the tools to assess your level of risk. A managed service provider will save you thousands of dollars in fines by notifying you of non-compliance issues.
Questions to Ask Your Service Provider
1. Do I fall under regulatory compliance?
If your business obtains the following information, regulatory compliance requirements apply:
- PCI (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) – credit card security
- HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) – medical privacy
- GLBA (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act)- financial privacy
- GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) – personal data protection
2. How do I know I’m in compliance?
This is where a vulnerability risk assessment comes in. Ask your MSP what they can provide. Risk assessment uncovers non-compliance before regulatory assessments, so you can implement the recommended changes (either through your MSP or a third-party). Doing so saves thousands of dollars in penalties of failing to meet compliance.
3. If I’m not a business that falls under regulatory requirements, how do I know if I’m vulnerable?
Trick question. Every company has some level of vulnerability. Get something on paper that lists your vulnerable areas. Again, this is where risk assessment is key. Consult with your MSP to create an assessment that suits your needs.
4. What are the key components at risk of being hacked?
Know what’s most critical to your day-to-day operations. This allows your MSP to address the areas that need immediate attention. They will determine the best method to protect your most valuable assets.
Two easy ways to prevent hacks?
- Use strong passwords. A combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and special characters make it much harder for hackers to break in.
- Use common sense. If you get strange emails from people you don’t know, contacts you don’t have, or with “scare tactic” headlines, don’t open them.
5. Are you GDPR compliant?
This is key for planning crisis response protocols with your MSP. GDPR compliant companies are required by law to have an Incident Response Program with procedures and policies in place. Your MSP can customize these to suit your business.
6. I have an IT staff already. How do your services work with them?
An MSP is NOT there to take anyone’s job. They’re there to work with your team and make their jobs easier. MSPs use top-level monitoring to offer protection that in-house services often cannot afford.
An MSP is your insurance policy against security breaches. It provides next-level security that most in-house IT teams don’t have the resources to acquire. Save your business. Get a managed services provider for IT security.
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