Most businesses know their people are their biggest assets, but in today’s tech-crazed world, people also can be businesses’ weakest links when it comes to IT and cybersecurity concerns.
There is a plethora of ways hackers will try to lure well-intentioned employees into traps that make their companies vulnerable. Managing IT and cybersecurity risks takes time, money and constant diligence — things that many businesses don’t have. That’s where managed service providers (MSPs) come into play, offering businesses of all sizes a solution that pales in cost compared to the damage of a successful cybersecurity attack.
Before understanding how MSPs can benefit your business, it’s crucial to understand the differences among IT management, cybersecurity services and MSPs. IT management typically refers to day-to-day IT interaction, while MSP tools keep the tech environment running smoothly and efficiently. Cybersecurity services handle safety concerns, which tend to be a business’s greatest stressor. In general, most businesses know what IT services they would like their MSPs to handle, but the waters of cybersecurity needs are murkier.
Before hiring an MSP for cybersecurity reasons, it’s essential to first identify where the crown jewels are in your business. Ultimately, cybersecurity is an extension of risk management. Ask yourself and your team, “What do we need to protect?” and “What is its value?” Answer these, and you will find it easier to set up a realistic and robust cybersecurity plan.
Another way to identify where and how your business needs to be protected is to go to the problem areas. For many companies, ransomware is the biggest risk and again emphasizes how employees are a business’s biggest liability. Third-party vendors also pose a large risk. For these reasons, consistent employee training and diligent vendor management can be key to drafting a successful cybersecurity plan.
Now that you have answered these questions and recognized your areas of vulnerability, it’s time to set up a plan with your MSP. For small- to medium-sized businesses with a limited budget, hiring a virtual chief information officer (CIO) is a great way to get the management they need without the hefty price tag that a full time CIO would bring. Virtual CIOs advise and collaborate with a business’s already existing IT department. A virtual CIO is hired through a third-party MSP and offers knowledge and expertise on IT-related subjects from technology trends to risk management.
However, some companies require a more substantial plan, which is where chief information security officers (CISOs) come into play. CISOs offer a robust understanding of IT and cybersecurity frameworks while also having a deeper understanding of your business. Think of a CISO as the main adviser of your risk management program. In addition, a CISO can identify your crown jewels and create your IT and cybersecurity management strategy.
Sorting through MSPs might sound like a headache, but it can’t compare to the consequences of a cybersecurity breach. Look for MSPs that efficiently streamline the process and communication of your cybersecurity plan while setting you and your business up for success. MSP programs like Rehmann’s CyberReady are designed to cut through the complexity of cybersecurity governance and simplify development and implementation of your security strategy.
The most important thing to remember is technology is constantly evolving. As everything becomes digitized, more risks emerge. Understand constant employee training and ongoing evolution of your cybersecurity plan are necessary for success. Test and retest your plan, and make sure your team is up to date on the latest and greatest security tools. No matter what, nefarious actors always are trying to break in, and you should put as many fences as possible between your business and the outside world. If you are struggling with building these roadblocks and identifying where they need to go, MSPs offer the knowledge and capacity to assist in keeping your data safe so your business can thrive.