Did you know that the number of small businesses that have experienced a data breach has steadily risen each of the past three years and climbed to 58% in 2018? These smaller breaches don't make the headlines, but they do make their impacts felt. Just 40% of small businesses that fall victim to cyber attack remain operational for another six months of being in business. To increase your concern, is the fact that most companies don't report their data breaches, they're either embarrassed, afraid of the potential outcome, or both.
As a small business owner, I know how worrisome these stats can be and the challenges that come with operating on a tight budget. But you can put your mind at ease without breaking the bank by partnering with a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP).
Partnering with a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) is a decision that helps keep your business, in business, by enhancing your IT and strengthening your cybersecurity. Effective cybersecurity is a team sport involving you, your partner, your employees, and the government (NIST).. Selecting the right partner is more vital than ever. Maybe your organization has strict compliance regulations you must adhere to. And we will give credit where credit is due; the bad guys are increasingly strategic and innovative with their tactics. An MSP or MSSP partner who is reliable, energetic, future-focused and partner minded can make serious positive impacts on your organization.
5 Traits of a Top Managed Services Provider
The market for managed service providers has exploded in recent years, giving potential clients a lot of options to choose from. Unfortunately, not all service providers are created equal and many of these companies have only formed in the last year or two in an attempt to exploit the opportunity for profit. You don't want just a managed service provider, you want and IT partner. Here are five things to look for to find the right IT partner for your company.
Do your calls, chats, or emails get answered promptly? When you have an IT issue that impacts your business, you need to make sure it's tended to quickly.
2. Issue Resolution
Do you want a partner that just tells you to restart you computer and hope for the best? You want an MSP or MSSP that resolves issues effectively and doesn’t send them back to you for resolution.
3. Future Focused
Your partner keeps well ahead of the pack and assists you in learning and keeping up, sharing anything and everything. After all, it is your environment and livelihood.
It's important that you have a partner who isn't just helping you with the now, but also knows of new technologies that can help your business gain a competitive edge, empower your employees and just generally impact your bottom line.
On top of that, it's also super important that you have a security partner who is helping you stay ahead of any threats. Cybersecurity is a complex cat and mouse chase, and if they aren't giving you the most up to date technologies to combat hackers newest tools, your business will be at risk. You'll be better off than a business who is doing nothing to protect their business from hackers, but you'll have to decide if you are willing to take that risk.
4. Long-Term Relationships
Challenges are bound to arise in the IT world. Will your MSP or MSSP stick with you even when things get complicated?
Look for an MSP that takes the time to understand your business model and your goals and helps you achieve them.
5. Legal Support
Your partner should have an understanding of law enforcement roles providing you quicker responses should the need arise.
Breaking Down In-House IT vs Managed IT Services
Internal IT departments have some advantages, such as an intimate knowledge of your business, but they also have some short comings when compared with a managed IT service provider. Here's how the two IT options stack up.
Knowledge and Skills
In-House IT can help with maintenance. Your internal IT person will help you maintain your existing IT infrastructure to keep things running smooth
Managed IT services can help with maintenance and expansion. With an MSP, a team of experts will help you maintain your existing IT environment and provide best practices, as well as consultation when the time comes for upgrades and expansion.
Internal IT departments can help with technology troubleshooting, network maintenance, and some break/fix repairs.
MSPs can help with strategic planning, data backup and disaster recovery, 24/7 remote support, information security, network maintenance, hardware acquisition, break/fix repairs, troubleshooting and much more.
In-house IT salaries start around $5,000/month per employee -- keep in mind, that's on the extreme low-end of the pay scale and does not include expenses like benefits, training, PTO, or sick time.
Managed IT service agreements average around $1,700/month -- that's it. And we don't get sick or take vacations.
Finding the Right MSSP for Your Business...
Your partner uses top tools, proven processes and has tremendously talented team members. Look for integrity, talent, and trust; they are key. Your selected MSP or MSSP should be proud to share the processes they follow, share their System Security Plan, show you the back office (sometimes under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and provide proof of background checks on employees. IT support teams have access to the heart and soul of your business, and it's systems, you want to know they are of top integrity.