Leverage IT Services This Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Cybersecurity has long been a concern for businesses everywhere. But today, with more people working from home, it’s become critical that systems remain up and running all hours of the day. So, of course, you want to make sure your network is impervious to hackers and ransomware criminals intent on stealing confidential information of your customers, clients, or patients. So, it’s only fitting that the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) are continuing their eighteen-year tradition of combining forces to designate October Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
We hope you will take the opportunity to avail yourself of the information and resources these two agencies offer. And if you feel your IT department can benefit from a helping hand, you might want to explore the possibility of consulting with a third-party IT services provider.
Sources: What Does IT Services Include?
The list of IT services a trusted managed service provider can offer is a long one, so it’s best to compare them in terms of how they can best serve your infrastructure and monitor and manage your software.
In terms of infrastructure, this may mean replacing or expanding its component hardware. As for your software, you will want to discuss how they propose responding to internal network glitches and problems impacting your customer’s access to you or your website. And most important for your cybersecurity, can they download and apply critical patches and upgrades as soon as they are issued?
The specifics of your agreement will differ according to your network size, the type of business you’re engaged in, and your budget. The following IT services are typically yours for the taking:
- Network maintenance, including replacement of defective or obsolete components
- Data backup and recovery
- Cybersecurity threat evaluation and deployment of appropriate security solutions
- Firewall configuration and maintenance.
Why Should I Partner with a Third Party To Manage My IT Needs?
If you select the right MSP for your IT services, they become more like a partner than a third party. And like any partnership, the success of the relationship will depend on a perfect understanding of who provides what and when. There are many managed service providers (MSPs) out there. The first step in picking one is to outline your company’s needs and then find the company that best satisfies them.
Are you concerned about your infrastructure’s reliability and how often your server goes down? Or perhaps your employees are working on a patchwork of old and new computers, and you’d like to scrap them all and buy new PCs. In that case, you will want to find an IT services provider that offers management and maintenance of all the physical components. It is also essential to have 24/7 tech support to quickly nip any problems in the bud.
Maybe your problem is that your internal IT department is spending all its time firefighting software issues rather than working on projects that will allow your company to grow. Or perhaps you’re considering upgrading to a new CRM or trying to decide whether cloud migration should be your next step. Then you will need IT services that can advise you about selecting additional software that will best help your company keep up with the changing demands of today’s workplaces.
You might also ask any MSP you’re considering –
- What type of help desk support do you provide?
- How will you monitor our network around the clock to detect any potential security threats or bandwidth problems?
- Do you provide hardware and software lifecycle management?
And lastly, make sure you understand what each different IT service level includes and what monthly flat fee you will pay before you decide to partner with them.
How Will My Company Benefit from IT Services?
If you consider stress reduction a benefit, managed IT services is definitely for you. It solves two of the significant sources of stress business owners and managers like you deal with: the ever-present possibility your network can go down at any time; and the extra cost of adding qualified technicians to your payroll.
When you contract a managed IT services provider, the first step is to meet with a consultant so they can learn about the goals of your business, its size, and what type of issues you are most concerned with, such as:
- Deluges of spam filling your mailboxes and hindering your staff from responding to present or potential clients or customers.
- Network issues such as frequent crashes or interminably slow uploads and downloads.
- The ever-evolving crop of malicious intruders capable of attacking your business with weapons like ransomware.
Knowing your concerns, the MSP can choose which technicians can serve your business best.
But suppose your interests lie in taking your company to the next technical level. In that case, you’ll want an IT services provider who will look at your system and recommend implementing tools to automate and/or streamline processes to improve its efficiency.
If you think the security software you installed several years ago for your Bloomington business is sufficient to ward off cybercrime, consider these alarming statistics: Less than 50 million unique cases of malware attacks were reported in 2010, yet by 2019, that number had grown to 900 million. In the ensuing years, cybercriminals have found even more insidious ways to invade computer systems.
While you can hardly expect your overburdened internal IT staff to keep up with them, you can expect it of an IT services provider who makes it their business to provide the latest in IT cybersecurity. To find out how DTS keeps its fingers on the pulse of cybercrime, call today and speak to one of our managed IT specialists. We can help you be more cyber-safe.