Hiring a managed IT services provider is both a challenge and a necessity.

Today’s digital markets are experiencing escalating levels of cyber crimes so having an IT security expert is a requirement. However, the variety of services available and the extent to which those services are offered make it difficult to know which provider is right for your enterprise.

If you’re searching for a managed IT service to help with your organization’s security needs, consider how these options match up with your security concerns.

Protecting internal assets

Ensuring a tight digital perimeter is the first step to securing a company. Your managed IT services provider should ensure that your internal processes are safe.

Access to data

Most companies use authentication procedures to ensure only those authorized to access corporate data can access that information. These days, multi-level authentications are common and require every worker to pass through at least two portals to enter into company information vaults. You can also use the access process to limit who gets into which database, which is another security option.

Email safety

One of today’s biggest security threats is the phishing email. Your provider should have a robust spam and phishing filter to reduce or eliminate these threats.

Higher, stronger firewalls

One of the earliest forms of cyber protection remains one of its most valued services. Firewalls are hard- or software barriers that impede access by anyone without authority. Today’s firewalls deter known threats and can be reconfigured when new ones are discovered.

Protecting against external threats

Even with excellent internal protections, cybercriminals are still devising new threats to defeat them.

DDoS (Distributed Denial of Services)

These attacks are more frequent these days. They use multiple computers to attack a target server or network, then prevent users from accessing that server or network.

The nefarious brains behind the attack can be anyone from a single hacker to an organized crime ring (yes, those exist in cyberspace now). These attacks usually begin with the exploitation of a vulnerability within a server or network, which gives the attacker both an entry point and a home base. From here, the criminal can access multiple other computers, servers, and networks, infect them with malware, and cause the crash of the entire enterprise.

It’s worth it to pay more for heightened DDoS protections.

Mobile device vulnerabilities

Today’s “BYOD” (bring your own device) culture often permits workers to use their personal mobile devices for work purposes. By doing so, however, they open up innumerable vulnerabilities that most corporate security systems aren’t designed to handle.

Some companies curtail the threat with robust BYOD policies while others prohibit the practice entirely. Your managed IT services provider can identify for you how best to handle this situation within your organization.

IoT considerations

Think of the Internet of Things (IoT) explosion as an extension of the BYOD concern, only as a much, much bigger threat. There are hundreds of IoT devices available, some of which may already be installed in your facilities. Most of these digital items have little or no internal security features, so they can operate as an open portal within your enterprise.

Look for a comprehensive cybersecurity package that includes your IoT assets.

On a final note, remember that top-notch security doesn’t equate to complete compliance. If your company has compliance obligations, be certain that your new provider structures your services to meet those, too.