What Role Do Managed Service Providers Play in Cybersecurity?

managed services provider

In 2016, outsourcing increased in the U.S. by 57 percent. Are you planning to use managed service providers to outsource your IT? Then you’ll need to know how to choose one that takes responsibility for your cybersecurity.

The right managed services can not only improve your IT, but can also help protect your company from cyber attacks. But if you choose a provider that doesn’t invest in security, the consequences can be serious.

In this guide, we’ll show you exactly why managed service providers play a role in cybersecurity, and how to choose the best provider for your needs. Keep reading to learn how to maintain security when you outsource!

What Are Managed Service Providers?

Managed service providers are companies that take care of your IT services from afar. 

There are many different ways to work with managed service providers. For example, some arrangements mean tapping into their services at all times, while others allow you to only get services when you need them. 

Many companies opt for managed service providers to access high-quality IT services without building them in house. It’s hard to maintain an IT department with the same level of specialization and quality offered by many managed services.

However, when you outsource your IT, you’re also outsourcing important parts of your cybersecurity approach. Learn more here about managed IT services.

Managed Services and Cybersecurity

Many managed service providers take a proactive approach to cybersecurity. However, not all of them get it right. Let’s take a closer look at the role managed service providers play in security by going over some common mistakes made when choosing a service provider. 

1. Limited Security Approach

Some managed service providers miss the mark simply by not investing enough into cybersecurity.

They might think that as a smaller company with smaller clients, they won’t be a target for attacks. However, hackers often focus on specifically those small businesses, knowing that they probably didn’t focus on security to begin with.

2. Lack of Standardization

The best managed service providers offer standardized services. This standardization helps them identify possible sources of attacks, and close security gaps as needed.

Standardization also helps ensure that you’re getting the best IT services aside from security. This kind of consistency shows that the company invests in its processes to give you the best services for your money, while also protecting your information.

3. No Regular Audits

Performing regular security audits can help an IT company see where their security might be lacking, and fix those problems. Security tactics need to change frequently to keep up with the latest technology employed by hackers. 

Choosing the Best IT Managed Services 

The wrong managed service provider will expose your sensitive information to new risks from attackers. However, the right IT managed services add new layers of protection and can help you improve your in-house security, as well.

Here’s how to choose a managed service provider that will keep your company safe.

1. Look for Cloud Services

Cloud services are a great way to keep information more secure. In addition to adding security, cloud services also help by making it easier and more convenient to send and access information as needed.

Look for a service provider who uses a cloud system with regular backups to a remote server, so information stays both safe and accessible. 

2. Check Response Times

Does a managed service provider seem slow to communicate? If so, they might not be the best for addressing security issues.

Cybersecurity takes round-the-clock attention. It’s important that your service provider will be vigilant at all hours, and will alert you as soon as they need to. They should also communicate well about potential threats that you can fix. 

Of course, faster response times will also help you with your general IT needs. Companies that don’t respond in a timely manner might harm your security, and they’ll almost certainly make it harder to get the IT support you need. 

3. Ask About Their Disaster Plans

If a worst case scenario happens, how will your service provider handle it?

You should find out what they plan to do in case a cyber attack that they couldn’t stop happens. You can also find out how they’ll protect your data in other events, such as storms, outages, and other incidents.

If they say there’s no plan in place because they can protect your data completely, go somewhere else. Even the tightest of security plans isn’t completely impervious to attacks, and your security provider should know this.

4. Look at Their History

While some new IT companies do their jobs very well, a long track record of security is always a good sign. Before you start working with a provider, take a look at the company’s history.

Ideally, your provider will already have a significant amount of experience in your industry. Ask for testimonials or other information from former clients. If you can, contact those clients yourself and ask them about their experience with the provider.

The more experience the provider has in your specific industry, the more effectively they can protect you from specific threats. 

5. Ask About Their Security Testing

Your IT company needs to do its own monitoring and security testing. Ask them what their approach is, and you’ll get a good idea of how committed they are to protecting your information.

6. Find Out if They Have Insurance

Finally, do you know who will need to pay if the company makes a costly mistake? Insurance can pay for their slip-ups — but only if they have a good policy with the right coverage. Otherwise, you’ll be on the line for the extra costs of a security breach, even if it was your service provider’s fault.

Are Managed Services the Right Choice for Your Business?

According to the FBI, more than 4000 cyber attacks happen each day. Managed service providers can put you at risk for an attack — but they can also be the added security barrier that will protect you. It all depends on what company you choose.

If you do the research needed to choose a secure company, IT managed services will protect your information while also keeping your IT running smoothly. Want to learn more about the benefits of using a service provider? Don’t miss this post!