Cybersecurity October 19, 2023

Enhancing Data Security with Managed IT Support

Written by Analytix Editorial Team Analytix Marketing

Businesses already have enough to worry about managing customers and day-to-day operations. That said, maintaining robust data security measures is often one of the last things on their mind, despite its importance in today’s threat climate. Rather than handling this complicated task internally, organizations can invest in outside-managed IT support to improve data security for a fraction of the cost.

The Threat Landscape

Cyber threats constantly loom over organizations that often don’t have the desire or resources to defend themselves, particularly small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). 2022 saw some startling cyber attack numbers on SMBs:

  • 56% were attacked by malware infections
  • 45% by phishing or social engineering
  • 42% through distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks

All of these numbers were up from the 2021 attack data.

The rise of remote work and increased usage of cloud services create unique opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit new vulnerabilities. The challenge is that organizations can’t stay ahead of the attack curve and adapt fast enough to the latest sophisticated tactics, at least not on their own.

SMBs need an expert who can take the burden off their internal team and provide the expertise that addresses today’s and tomorrow’s data security threats — hence, managed IT support services.

What is Managed IT Support?

Managed IT support is an outside service, known as a managed service provider (MSP), that handles all activity relating to your IT infrastructure for you.

Rather than using an in-house team, MSPs will serve as outside consultants to develop a technology strategy, set up IT resources, provide maintenance, assist users with technical issues, and preserve system uptime. Most notably, however, an MSP can get your data and IT resources secure.

How Managed IT Support Boosts Data Security

Managed IT support businesses offer outside perspectives and serve as one of the best ways of improving data security. Leveraging their resources and expertise, they can provide a comprehensive range of solutions:

  • Cybersecurity evaluations like penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, and control gap analysis
  • Installation and maintenance of preventative controls like a network firewall, endpoint security tools (anti-virus), and data encryption
  • Deployment of a 24/7 security operation center (SOC) or instruction detection system for network activity monitoring and threat detection
  • Compliance support
  • Administering user security awareness training
  • Data backup and recovery services
  • Incident response planning and execution

These services are all part of a robust cybersecurity program that protects IT resources from attacks, continuously monitors for threats to enable swift response, and mitigates the impact of a cyber incident. Additionally, an MSP can serve as a strategic advisor that develops the overarching security strategy for your business.

Advantages of Partnering with an MSP for Data Security

When you partner with an MSP, you get more than just improved data security:

  • Reduced IT expenses: You don’t need to spend tons on hardware, software, or recruiting and retaining an in-house staff since you’re contracting it out to a provider.
  • Clear accountability and peace of mind: If anything goes wrong or you need something IT or cybersecurity-related fixed, you can always turn to a reliable service provider — letting you focus exclusively on your business.
  • Proactive IT maintenance: Today’s MSPs are more than just break-fix specialists. They can identify and resolve problems, such as security vulnerabilities, before being exploited.
  • Best-in-class products and services: MSPs have the experience and means to provide top-notch solutions as IT management and data security experts. They also thoroughly vet product vendors and constantly stay up-to-date on emerging hardware and software tools — ensuring your business has the best tools to solve IT security challenges.

Selecting the Right MSP for Your Business

Now that you understand the value of outside IT support, it’s time to learn how to select an MSP. This step is pivotal for data protection. First, an MSP should be transparent on their processes and whether or not they contract with third parties to handle some of the work. Their service package should also be tailored to your unique infrastructure needs.

Next, if you’re in an industry with rigorous data security compliance standards, ensure your MSP has experience maintaining those requirements. In addition to finding a provider within your budget, thoroughly review the service level agreement (SLA) terms to confirm if the ticket response times fall within your needs.

You also want to ensure your MSP practices what they preach, especially regarding data security. For example, suppose they don’t even adopt the cybersecurity solutions they’re recommending. In that case, you could be putting your own security at risk since they have access to your network resources and data systems.

Next Steps

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