Why Your Business Needs Managed Services Security

Why Your Business Needs Managed Services Security

Why Your Business Needs Managed Services Security

Locking your front door after a burglar has already ransacked your house doesn’t do much, and the same is true of cybersecurity. With the help of a managed service provider, you can stay ahead of security threats with well-tested, leading-edge technologies.

Ransomware, Trojans, crypto mining, and more make the news regularly these days. Businesses and consumers are both aware of the threats. Yet there is no single vaccine that can keep you safe. The volume of threats is growing. Cybercriminals are mixing up their tactics to outwit their targets, and the result is increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.

Password theft and password-based breaches remain a daily occurrence in 2019. But that’s only one area of concern. Cybersecurity experts warn that, “the worst is yet to come.”

Managed services help you to stay on top of evolving threats. For a small, fixed monthly cost, you add a team of experts to your arsenal. Instead of reacting after the fact, they work to identify any vulnerabilities. Instead of reacting, they work to identify vulnerabilities and prevent attacks.

When security is internal, a single person or small, overworked team tries to stay current. Working with a managed service provider (MSP), in-house IT teams focus instead on business tasks. They can trust the MSP to know the latest, greatest technologies. The MSP’s experts do the necessary training and attend the security conferences, and your business benefits without having to spend finite resources.

Managed Services Make a Security Difference

An early order of business for your MSP is learning your system, network, and applications. These IT experts get to know your business and its workflow needs. Then, they recommend the best tools for you to use. They make suggestions that prioritize productivity, ease of use, cost, and security. You don’t have to deal directly with a vendor salesperson. You gain an objective perspective on what technology truly suits your needs.

Regrettably, your technology users remain a weak link, but you can boost your employee cyber education and awareness (and you should). A managed services provider partner adds levels of precaution. They will test and track staff cyber behavior on-site and off-premises.

An MSP partner understands your entire technology ecosystem. They determine how your business solutions operate together to keep your business protected.

The MSP’s proactive approach can save you data breach devastation. Financial damages can be large. In a 2018 Cisco study, 54% of all cyberattacks resulted in damages of more than $500,000 USD.

Those costs aren’t the only risk of a data breach, though. Your business also risks:

  • theft of international property;
  • loss of competitive advantage;
  • damage to brand reputation;
  • customer churn;
  • regulatory fines.

No matter your business size or industry, you are at risk. It’s that simple. Cisco found 40% of companies with 250-499 employees had experienced a severe security breach in 2018. Larger organizations were similarly impacted but tended to be more resilient. Meanwhile, when a small business is breached the damage is usually even greater. Their core systems are likely interconnected, which sees the attack spread easily.

Key Takeaway

The threat landscape is always shifting. You might be at risk from targeted attacks against your employees (e.g. faked business email communications), ransomware (holding your data hostage), or other advanced threats.

Managed services ensure you have the people, processes, and technology to prevent attack. Plus, if the worst happens, they have the skills to mitigate the damage and get you back up and running quickly.

Managed services provide the best security, proactively, and on an ongoing basis. Want to learn more? Give us a call today at 504-323-7111!

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Security Patches — The Better Way to Update

Security Patches — The Better Way to Update

Security Patches — The Better Way to Update

Security Patches — The Better Way to Update

Updates often come at the worst moment. You go to shut down your laptop to rush to a meeting, and you get a “Windows is updating. Do not power off” message. Argh!

Or you leave your desktop to go to a meeting and come back to find your computer has restarted in your absence. Those unexpected bug fixes and performance improvements lost you all your unsaved work.

You know updates are important. They help patch security flaws. These are the vulnerabilities that hackers love to exploit. Updating helps you keep business documents and data safe. Software updates can also add new, useful features and remove outdated ones. Plus, keeping software and systems up to date is good cyber citizenship. Security patches protect from attacks that could also impact employees, customers, and partners.

Updating is a pain but oh so important

The WannaCry ransomware attacked hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries. Among those infected were the UK National Health Service, FedEx, Telefonica, the Russian Interior Ministry, and more, all because people (and companies) weren’t keeping their computers updated. The later Petya ransomware preyed on the same vulnerabilities, despite the publicity around WannaCry and Microsoft having already released a patch.

Still, people don’t bother updating. According to a Skype survey, 40% of respondents didn’t update their machines when prompted, almost 25% required a second prompt. Nearly 45% worried that installing the update would weaken their computer’s security.

And keeping Windows up to date isn’t enough. Cybercriminals aren’t stopping there, so you can’t either. You also need to be patching third-party applications such as Java or your Adobe suite. More employees are also bringing their own devices to the workplace. Overlooking security updates for these entry points is like leaving a window wide open and expecting criminals to walk by.

Equifax’s failure to update a Java virtual machine proved costly. Hackers accessed over 145 million credit reports in 2017. The company lost more than $5 billion in market cap, and the CEO lost his job.

Businesses need a better way to keep your software security patches current. Here’s help.

Keeping security patches current, conveniently

Avoid the inconvenience of the “Update Now” interruption by setting up automated patching. Patching all your computers or different device types can be time consuming.

Determine when downtime won’t be as disruptive, and schedule patches for that timeframe. This lets you update an entire department when they aren’t there, or patch individual computers around the employee’s schedule. For instance, if your accountant comes in only on Tuesdays, you wouldn’t patch that computer that day.

This approach also creates a consistency your employees can plan around, which allows them to manage all security updates without you having to lift a finger.

To do this, you can outsource the patching to a managed service provider (MSP). The MSP installs remote monitoring and management (RMM) software to manage all security updates without you having to lift a finger.

The RMM software gives your IT partner visibility into your business technology. They’ll track your hardware, software, and network environments to keep ahead of issues. This sets your business up to respond faster to any events.

Using the RMM, the MSP can automate software patching and OS updates to reduce the hassle. The RMM can be cloud-based or on-premises (requires onsite hardware investment).

Conclusion

Automating or outsourcing software updates can improve your security and compliance. Your employees enjoy new features, extended support, and access to the latest technology. A reliable, secure system can improve stability, speed processes, and drive increased productivity.

Get expert help determining patching priorities, or partner with an MSP to install RMM and monitor and resolve issues remotely. Give us a call at 323-7111!

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