Cybercrime is among the leading dangerous attacks globally according to documented reports. Indeed, cyber-attacks continue to become the norm in public and private sectors, prompting organizations to undertake stringent security guidelines alongside watertight measures.
Due to rising incident attacks, the cybersecurity sector has grown extensively. Documented research shows that this industry will continue thriving, considering cyber-attacks will double by 2025.
So, it goes without saying that if you run a start-up, you know that this dynamic landscape is forever changing, ushering in new developments at every turn. The business landscape has experienced drastic changes, like the heavy infusion of technologies—IoT, big data, robotics, virtual reality, e-commerce, blockchain, cloud, and many more.
These changes continue to pose new requirements for enterprises, including a pressing need for stringent security control protocols. For instance, the heavy infusion of IoT devices has led to the infiltration of information, including protected consumer information like credit card numbers, social security numbers SSNs, names, and addresses.
Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the ready availability of protected consumer information to access and compromise user accounts. This constant infiltration of protected accounts and the growing incident of unauthorized access to protected information and protected networks highlights the need for more tight security measures and security controls, especially by organizations trusted and tasked to protect this data.
A Shift from In-House IT to MSPs!
To protect themselves against unprecedented threats and attacks, organizations initially deployed in-house IT departments. These IT departments were responsible for overseeing IT and technical infrastructures, monitoring the IT landscape, and providing regular feedback on new IT requirements.
Unfortunately, running and maintaining the IT department is becoming increasingly expensive. Organizations have to pay salaries, incur overhead costs, and maintain hardware and software upgrades.
In case of an incident attack, it becomes increasingly difficult for organizations to recover their data, including critical assets like consumer identifying information, passwords, and technical documentation.
Today, small and medium-sized enterprises are 60 times more likely to suffer from cyber-attacks than other establishments. Of 48% of small and medium-sized enterprises that are targeted by cybercriminals, only 14% are protected.
And in case of an attack, 60% of targeted or affected enterprises will fail within a year or so. What’s shocking is that most enterprises think business insurance covers their cyber liabilities. The truth is: that business insurance doesn’t cover any cyber liabilities.
So, the solution is a managed service provider.
What’s an MSP?
A managed service provider, also known as a managed IT partner, is an IT company that works with a broad base of clients. The clients are mostly businesses, organizations, and institutions needing IT services. These services are usually cloud computing, mobile device management, networking, infrastructure monitoring, endpoint security, and business application management services.
A managed service provider provides efficient services because of the experience of working with a broad base of clients. As a result, most organizations are considering outsourcing their IT functions to managed IT partners as opposed to running expensive in-house IT departments.
Remember that not all MSPs are similar. Different providers provide different sets of computing resources at agreed prices and fees. Some managed IT partners go out of their way to offer additional benefits, including an extra security layer at just a fraction of the cost. Others offer lucrative opportunities for your business growth, including different solutions packaged at a fixed price.
Questions to Ask Your MSP before Hiring Them!
Regardless of the pricing and packaging arrangement, it’s important to ask your managed service provider a few questions before choosing to work with them.
Here are a few questions to ask your managed IT partner before deciding to hire them:
1. What pricing do you use?
Whether it’s bundle-based pricing, flat-rate arrangement, or custom pricing, the pricing structure makes a difference between a great IT partner and a waste of money.
2. What pricing options do you use?
Find out whether the MSP offers customized pricing for different services. Most MSPs offer tailored solutions targeted to certain needs. Ensure your MSP has customizable pricing options to meet your changing business needs.
3. Are there any co-management options?
Most organizations run in-house IT teams. This means that taking on or leveraging MSPs can provide cost-saving opportunities, especially if the managed IT partner offers a wide range of managed services that augment your staff.
4. What security measures are in place?
Know what security measures and protocols are used before hiring your MSP. Sometimes, your business will be dealing with consumer data or Federal data especially as it grows, accentuating the need for watertight controls on outsourced data.
5. What software and hardware do you use?
A professionally managed service provider will use the best-in-breed hardware and software for monitoring your IT environment and overall infrastructure. Indeed, they’ll always recommend the best-in-class software to you. Your MSP’s hardware and software inventory reflects their proficiency and experience.
6. Is there a service-level-agreement SLA?
A service-level-agreement (SLA) is a legally binding contract or document. This document details the number of services to be rendered to the client at an agreed amount or flat-rate fee.
The SLA specifies roles and responsibilities, including the duties and responsibilities of the managed IT partner to the client. The agreement specifies the actions, measures, and penalties if the service provider fails to fulfill his duties or requirements.
Your managed service provider must have formally written documentation (SLA) specifying both the mean-time to remediate and mean-time to reconcile during security incidents. In addition, the SLA must enshrine associated recovery and business continuity efforts and measures in case of incidents.