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Protect your company and your reputation with managed cybersecurity

Although many businesses understand the significance of their compliance obligations, data and privacy compliance laws evolve at such a rate that it’s hard to stay ahead. Below, we go over why compliance is so critical to your business and why a managed cybersecurity solution is the best way to support your compliance and cybersecurity needs.  

The importance of compliance

Compliance is critical for many reasons, but for businesses, there are two key considerations – reputation and financial loss. Typically, compliance breaches have serious financial implications. For example, in the healthcare sector, a breach usually costs an average of $150 per record. When we also consider the likely reputation damage caused by a data breach, the overall cost to the business can be far higher. 

In other words, compliance has never been more important. 

How cybersecurity helps you stay compliant

Cybersecurity boosts your compliance in three key ways. 

Data Encryption 

Encryption is a straightforward form of data security that turns a document into a scrambled, unreadable file. It’s only converted back to its original form when a user enters a password. Encryption helps you preserve data confidentiality when you store files or send emails. 

Network monitoring 

If you monitor your network, you can identify and isolate threats and vulnerabilities before they infiltrate your system. This allows you to protect sensitive data, including medical records, from external threats. 

Phishing and ransomware protection

Phishing emails often look just like authentic emails from trusted organizations. Unfortunately, this is how so many employees unwittingly share sensitive information with fraudsters. Up-to-date cybersecurity can help you identify malicious messages and isolate them, which assists with your compliance obligations. 

If like many companies, you’re worried that complying with your regulatory requirements is too much for you to handle in-house, that’s where managed cybersecurity comes in. 

Why managed cybersecurity is the best option for compliance needs

The truth is that managed cybersecurity saves you time, resources, and reputation damage. In fact, research shows that companies that deployed security automation technologies experienced around half the cost of a breach ($2.65 million average) compared to those without such technologies ($5.16 million average). Here’s why you should opt for managed cybersecurity services (or MSPs) over-relying on your in-house team. 

Expert knowledge 

MSPs are experienced industry specialists who stay ahead of the changes in compliance and privacy law. They understand your compliance obligations and are dedicated to helping you remain compliant at all times.

Dedicated compliance support

MSPs aren’t just industry experts. They’re available 24/7 to support your unique compliance needs. They can monitor your network security around the clock and remedy any system vulnerabilities before there’s a costly data breach.

Backup facilities 

With the support of an MSP, you can remotely store and password-protect sensitive data, and you can restrict employee access to confidential files. This minimizes the risk of an employee negligently – or maliciously – tampering with important records.

Operational efficiency

Essentially, MSPs take the stress out of compliance. They free up your other employees to focus on running the business while they take care of your legal data protection obligations. As a result, you can concentrate on growing your company.

With an MSP’s support, compliance is one less thing to worry about.  

Reach out today 

As cybersecurity becomes ever more challenging, you need IT, specialists, on your side. With managed cybersecurity services, you benefit from the constant support of a dedicated IT team that fully understands your unique cybersecurity needs, all while reducing downtime. For more information on managed cybersecurity, contact us. 

Why you should outsource your cybersecurity to professional service providers

Cybercrime can cost the average US organization up to a staggering $13 million per year, according to recent reports. What’s more, even a single cybersecurity incident can cost an SMB over $54,000 in recovery costs. The good news is that there’s a way to protect your business from the financial costs, service disruption, and reputation damage associated with data breaches, and that’s by partnering with a managed services provider (MSP). Below, we break down how managed cybersecurity services work and why partnering with an IT professional is the best way to protect your organization from cyber vulnerabilities. 

How managed cybersecurity works 

Managed cybersecurity means outsourcing the management of your cybersecurity systems and devices to an external service provider. These providers are known as Managed cybersecurity Services Providers (MSSPs) or Managed Services Providers (MSPs). 

MSSPs and MSPs typically offer a wide range of cybersecurity services, including: 

  • Data backup and recovery
  • Intrusion detection and threat monitoring 
  • cybersecurity audits
  • Network monitoring
  • Disaster planning
  • cybersecurity intelligence
  • Incident response and investigations 

These IT professionals are especially helpful to organizations with limited or no in-house IT staff, but every company should consider partnering with them. Here’s why.

Why cybersecurity is so important 

Cybercrime and data breaches are more common now than ever before. One recent study showed that businesses face an average of 145 cybersecurity breaches per year, and this figure is only expected to grow. cybersecurity incidents don’t just cost your company money, either. Other consequences of cybersecurity failures include: 

  • Loss of company reputation
  • Damage to hardware 
  • Irretrievable data loss 
  • Hours, or even days, of downtime 

Can partnering with an IT professional really protect your business from these side effects? The answer is yes. MSPs protect your business from cybersecurity incidents in the following essential ways. 

24/7 support

Hackers work around the clock, and so should your support system. With an IT professional on your side, you’ll have access to round-the-clock IT support and intrusion detection, giving you the confidence you need to get on with running your business while your service provider handles your cybersecurity needs. 

Expertise 

It’s hard to find in-house IT professionals with the up-to-date skills and knowledge they need to protect your business from cybersecurity threats. MSPs and MSSPs have the training, expertise, and experience to protect your company from these evolving threats as and when they arise. 

Compliance management

Highly regulated industries such as finance and healthcare must adhere to strict data protection and cybersecurity regulations. An MSP can help you comply with these regulations, and they’ll alert you to any changes in the law that affect your business. In a constantly evolving regulatory landscape, this support is invaluable. 

Cost savings 

Recovering from downtime costs you time, money, and resources. IT professionals save you money by reducing your exposure to these costs – all for a predictable fee that fits in with your annual IT budget.  

Training 

There’s no substitute for well-trained staff, given that employee negligence is a leading cause of data breaches and cybersecurity incidents. A cybersecurity services provider can help to prevent employee error and negligence by making your personnel aware of the latest threats and how to avoid them. 

Choose a partner today

Partnering with an IT professional or MSP drastically reduces your exposure to hackers and minimizes the risk of data loss and corruption. For more information on what an MSP can do for you and your business and why it’s so important to protect your organization from cybercrime, contact us today.

7 critical questions you should ask when choosing a cloud computing provider

There’s no question that cloud computing is on the rise. More and more businesses are turning to cloud computing as their default setting. But with so many options to choose from, how do you select the right provider for your business?

Here are seven critical questions you should ask when choosing a cloud computing provider.

1. What cloud computing services do you provide?

There are many different types of cloud services such as a public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud. If you already know what type of service you want, your first step is to make sure your potential provider offers that service.

More than likely, though, you know you want to move to the cloud, but aren’t sure which type of service would work best for you. A good cloud computing provider should not only be able to explain the services they offer, but help you to determine which cloud computing services would best meet the needs of your business.

2. How secure is your cloud computing?

Security should be at the top of any list when data and networking is concerned.

Cloud security, just like network security, ensures your data stays safe. Ask potential providers what network and server-level security measures they have in place to protect your data. Security measures to look for include encryption, firewalls, antivirus detection and multifactor user authentication.

3. Where will my data be stored?

Since cloud computing involves the storage of data at off-site locations, the physical location and security of those data centers is just as important as online security.

SSAE 16 and SOC 2 Type II certifications are the best indicator that your provider’s products, systems and data are compliant with industry security standards.

4. How will my business be able to access the cloud?

One of the benefits of cloud computing is its flexibility and ease of access. You’ll want you understand how you will be able to access your data on the cloud and how it will integrate into your current work environment.

If your company is poised to grow in the near future, you may also want to ask about scalability and your provider’s ability to meet your growing needs.

5. What is your pricing structure?

Pricing for cloud computing can vary greatly, so make sure you understand how and for what you will be charged.

Ask about upfront costs and the ability to add services as needed. Will services be charged hourly, monthly, semi-annually, or annually?

6. How do you handle regulatory compliance?

Understanding the many laws and regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCCI, that pertain to the collection and storage of data can be intimidating. That’s why one of the benefits of hiring a cloud computing provider is having security experts take care of regulatory compliance for you.

You’ll want to make sure your provider is constantly working to stay up-to-date on the latest rules and regulations that may affect your data.

7. What customer support services do you offer?

Cloud computing never sleeps and neither should your provider’s technical support. Getting help when you need it is important, so you’ll want to ask your provider if they provide 24-hour technical support, including on holidays.

Ease and availability of reporting problems is also important so ask about phone, email, and live chat support options. You may also want to ask about your provider’s average response and resolution times.

Asking these questions can help you find the right cloud computing provider for your business. And getting the right answers is only a phone call away—call your managed IT services provider to start the process today.

The best IT support tasks to trust to your MSP

Have you ever forgotten to install that Windows update you ‘rescheduled’ for a later date? How about installing those 5 new security patches?

Well, you were going to do it, but then you had a meeting. That meeting led to a mandatory orientation. From there, you nipped out for a cup of coffee and returned to an office with no working phone lines. Now, you must drop everything to troubleshoot while your computer systems remain open for attack without those oh-so-important security patches installed.

Welcome to the world of an IT technician.

With so many things to do, new systems to learn, new compliances to go over it’s little wonder these small problems grow out of control so quickly. Small businesses usually have small IT departments, so there’s not a lot of room for mistakes.

Outsourcing to a managed IT services provider (MSP) is an attractive proposition for both business owners and IT staff. It allows a trustworthy company with IT know-how to handle the most crucial tasks, while everyday business operations remain unscathed. IT techs can focus on growth-related tasks, while MSPs keep an eye out for alerts, updates and threats.

To get the most ROI from working with an MSP, outsource tasks that need more hands on deck to complete.

Tasks that you can easily outsource to an MSP are:

Security

Each year businesses spend millions in lawsuit payouts for data breaches, phishing scams and security compliance failures—and this isn’t the only loss businesses incur due to lapses in security.

According to Kaspersky, $1.3 million is lost each year on average due to cyber attacks. Sadly, much of this loss could’ve been prevented through simple data security measures. Many of the companies affected by security breaches had IT departments that were just too stretched to catch security threats before they created problems.

If the skills on your team aren’t as diversified as you’d like, or you lack the budget for a full-sized IT team, you can outsource your security to an MSP.

An MSP works hand and hand with your in-house IT team to deflect security breaches. This way your team can focus on pertinent tasks such as onsite equipment repair and installation, software setup, server maintenance and technical support.

Compliance Requirements

As you may have read recently, the EU introduced The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rule requiring all businesses with clients/customers in the EU to tweak their Terms and Conditions. This new rule helps customers understand how their data is being used.

According to Intersoft Consulting, businesses that don’t comply with this regulation risk losing customers and incurring a penalty equaling 4% of the company’s global turnover or $20 million (whichever is the highest of the two).

Most businesses—if not all—simply cannot afford to lose this amount of money. Outsourcing your compliance watch to an MSP insures you’re on top of these new regulations when they are first introduced.

Updates

Since in-house IT departments work traditional business hours on average, they have a very small window to deal with a heap of technical issues. Phones, computers, software, hardware, servers and websites are all under their radar—but what about maintenance and updates?

As software companies work to keep the risk of technical issues to a minimum, important updates are required to continue using their programs in the most efficient way. These updates take hours and may not finish by the end of the workday.

Some updates can’t even begin until everyone’s logged out for the day. This means the update will run overnight. If there’s a glitch anywhere along the line, or permission screens prevent the update from completing, the whole process will be repeated again.

MSPs start and monitor the progress of these updates from start to finish. If there are any hang-ups along the way, they will troubleshoot allowing it to complete. Best of all, MSPs are available after business hours so the updates can be installed on time.

Troubleshooting

Occasionally, IT staff will run into a glitch they just can’t seem to troubleshoot. Glitches of this magnitude can grind business to a complete halt.

MSPs work along with onsite IT staff to troubleshoot and solve these issues as soon as they occur. This minimizes downtime and in some cases, prevents it entirely.

VOIP Service

More and more businesses are looking to VOIP cloud-based phone systems over traditional landlines. VOIP systems are flexible and allow businesses to conduct business from anywhere, anytime so long as there’s a good internet connection. This saves time setting up new phone systems and troubleshooting traditional phone lines when they go down.

VoIP service also makes a great addition to any disaster recovery plan as it allows workers to continue from remote locations. MSPs offer VOIP services which they monitor and troubleshoot all without disturbing your everyday business tasks.

Backup Services

Rolling blackouts and power surges go hand and hand—but you know what else goes hand and hand? A loss of data and corrupt software.

When systems suddenly blackout due to storms or power outages, improper shutdown creates an avalanche of glitches. These systems generally require hard resets, essentially losing all data stored within them. According to Computer World, Superstorm Sandy caused this very issue, forcing some businesses to close permanently due to an inability to recover data.

MSPs offer real-time backup systems ensuring that your latest keystroke is recorded and saved. In the event of an emergency, this data can be uploaded to a new system or reinstalled on your existing PCs.

No matter the size of your business, an MSP provides great value for service. Not only will you save yourself the nightmare expenditure associated with data breaches, but you can also relax knowing that your most important IT tasks are in good hands—inside and outside of normal business hours.