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Why hire someone to manage your tech? Part 1: System Security

You aren’t alone in asking if you should seek outside IT help, and the answer is it depends. If you have reached the limit of tech support locally, then the answer is obvious. MSP’s (Managed Service Providers) can help with all your computer solutions and IT needs. There are also many other reasons to partner with a local MSP, even for companies who are able to manage their own basic IT needs. Today, we will focus on system security.

Security

System Security

This may be an unorthodox way to start a discussion of why you need a managed service provider. Why is security the first thing we focus on? Security is often forgotten in our pursuit to make things work.

Effects of a breach

Security should be the number 1 job of any IT professional. Data breaches can be critical to the existence of a small business. This is not an exaggeration. In 2019, cyberattacks cost companies an average of $200,000. That kind of unexpected expense can easily put a small business out of business.

Even small breaches can cost thousands of dollars though various aspects like:

  • Lost productivity
  • Disaster recover specialists (ps: these guys do not come cheap)
  • Data recovery (if possible), and
  • Extra labor to rebuild data

How will an MSP help?

Any MSP worth their soul will focus on 3 main aspects:

Stopping attacks

The first steps are to increase system security on the network. Some of the actions that can be taken include:

  • Updates. A common attack vector is though out of date systems or software. Making sure software is kept up to date in a corporate setting is critical.
  • Firewalls. These limit unauthorized connections to your internal systems
  • Antivirus. These are helpful at sniffing out and preventing malware coming in through authorized connections. A common example is downloading a file.
  • Credential Hardening. It’s important to ensure credentials are secure and unlikely to be guessed or stolen.
  • 2FA. This is arguably the most important thing you can do with your credentials right now. This mitigates stolen passwords. In the event a password is stolen, a 2nd factor authentication will help keep unauthorized users out.
    Read: What is 2fa?

Mitigating the effects of an attack

After taking the above steps, it’s time to prepare the organization against a possibility of unauthorized access to internal systems. This is accomplished is by limiting user permissions to what they do in a normal day. As an example, a cashier should not be able to change items they scan. A simple email user should not have access to add and delete users off a network. This simple step can drastically limit the damage a compromised account can do.

Disaster Mitigation and Backup

No amount of defense can guarantee a security breach will occur. Do not work with someone guaranteeing a fully secure network. At best they are overselling their service. At worst, they are inept.

It’s important to be prepared for a complete loss of the local network. This is where backup strategies come into play. These backups allow us to hit a reset button, and keep most of your data intact. Even weekly backups help drastically. They allow you to come back to a state from a few days ago- something much easier to recover from.

Conclusion

It’s important to think of data breaches as a ‘when’ ,and not as an ‘if’. We maintain insurance policies for other disastrous events. A good MSP is your insurance policy for when a cyber attack hits. They will improve your system security, help limit your exposure to cyber attacks, limit their effect, and have systems in place to recover if something happens.

If you are ready to discuss how to improve the security of your organization, contact us today.