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Small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) may wonder just how much time and money they need to invest in business continuity and disaster recovery. Especially when headlines so often focus on the breaches affecting large enterprises. In fact, malicious attacks are often conducted against smaller businesses because hackers see them as low-hanging fruit or as a gateway to the bigger enterprises those businesses work alongside. For many SMBs, outsourcing to an IT security services provider can help address these concerns.
Smaller organizations may also have more trouble recovering from a breach. Larger enterprises often have a pretty clear idea of what an hour of downtime related to a breach will cost them. Whereas, mid-size companies may not have the resources to conduct such an analysis, much less invest in the kinds of security tools that help them avoid that downtime.
Consider the following benefits of employing an outsourced IT security services provider:
A Wide Range of Expertise: From monitoring for anomalies in a granular network activity report to researching the best role-based authentication practices, SMBs struggle to dedicate the security resources necessary to protect its business. An IT security services provider is well-versed in the best security solutions for your type of business. And they also have the latest insights into how to create policies around your employee practices that protect your company.
It’s important to recognize that while security breaches capture the headlines, the most common disaster for compromising data is employee errors. An IT security services provider can help you structure permissions so you reduce the chances of an error exposing your organization, as well as damage to your bottom line and your reputation.
The Flexibility to Augment Your Security Practices: Maybe you’ve got some areas of security well-covered, but you recognize that you always seem to be in a state of scrambling to keep up with the latest concerns. Using an IT security services provider never means washing your hands of all security responsibility. It’s the ability to fill in the gaps where you know the organization is vulnerable, and help with identifying gaps that you didn’t realize you had.
The growing complexity of the IT environment and the broadening security plane are two of the reasons why outsourcing often makes sense for SMBs. The benefits that come with investing in cloud solutions often have the greatest impact on SMBs. However, they are also, often, the least able to handle the security concerns that come with introducing new vulnerabilities in the form of additional end devices and access points. Likewise, mobility and the fleet of devices that come with a more fluid workplace can be an important challenge for enterprises without a sizable IT security team.
Even if your provider is offering comprehensive security management, this type of outsourcing works best if both parties see it as a partnership. You may want to dedicate a liaison (even if it’s just a part of their job responsibilities) to working with the provider in order to make the most of the services. Your liaison knows the core business functions and how those interact with security, while the provider will bring security expertise.
Off-Hours Monitoring: One important challenge for SMBs is the monitoring that’s necessary when the business isn’t technically open. An intruder detected at 9 p.m. that sits unattended in an alert box until the office opens at 9 a.m. can be disastrous. An IT security services provider helps address such gaps in timing, as well as supporting the kinds of work hours that come with an increasingly mobile and remote workforce.
Cost Reduction: Supporting an in-house security team is a costly business expense, and not investing in security can also be costly if you suffer a breach. Considering that many SMBs never recover from a breach, not investing in security can actually cost you your entire business.
For many smaller organizations, the cost savings isn’t a simple reduction on the IT expense line, but rather the ability to source the kinds of functionality they should have had all along but haven’t been able to fit into the budget.
When choosing an IT security services provider, it’s important to consider a few key areas that will help ensure you choose the right partner for your enterprise:
Balancing Services and Cost: You need to determine the value of the services you’re getting, as well as whether you can handle these aspects of security more efficiently in-house.
Compatibility: The right provider will work alongside your IT teams and work together in a partnership to achieve your security goals. Check to be sure your cultures and work styles align well.
Trust: This seems obvious, but your provider should offer security solutions that exceed the standards of your in-house security policies. You need to be able to trust their employees and that your data and systems are in good hands.
When it’s time to explore the options for an outsourced IT security services provider, contact us at Access One. We can assist with the initial assessment of your security requirements, all the way through the transition. We look forward to helping you leverage the right security solutions to fit your budget and protect your business.