A managed IT services provider (MSP) offers a wide range of outsourced IT solutions, from network and server administration to help desk support to data backup. But perhaps one of the most essential services an MSP can provide to small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) like yours is cybersecurity. This is because smaller organizations often don’t have the same level of protection as larger enterprises, making them easy cyberattack targets.
Here's how an MSP can help improve your SMB's cybersecurity posture and stay safe from an array of online threats.
1. Provides cybersecurity expertise
MSPs often have a team of security experts who are always updated on the latest threats. Their knowledge can be extremely useful to your SMB in helping you learn about and protect against various risks, implement cybersecurity best practices, and properly respond to a breach, among other things.
MSPs can also lend a hand in developing and implementing a comprehensive security strategy that considers all aspects of your business, from the technology you use to the way your employees access data. A holistic security strategy ensures you're thoroughly prepared for any attack
2. Performs regular security audits
While an IT security audit can save you money by helping prevent a financially devastating cyberattack, it can be expensive upfront if your SMB has limited resources. MSPs can make security audits more accessible by integrating them into your subscription plan for little or no additional costs. MSPs will evaluate your systems not only to ensure that you are complying with federal and industry-specific regulations but also to help identify and address any weaknesses in your defenses that could be exploited by attackers.
3. Provides access critical cybersecurity tools
MSPs have the tools and technologies needed to protect your systems from a variety of threats. Their services typically include the following solutions, which can be expensive and time-consuming to manage on your own, but are vital for keeping your systems safe from attackers:
- Firewall – blocks incoming traffic from known malicious sources
- Intrusion detection and prevention system – enables early threat detection and stops attacks in progress
- Antivirus and anti-malware software – identifies and removes malicious software from your computers
- Web filtering – prevents access to dangerous or restricted websites
- Email filtering – protects against phishing and other email-based threats
- Data encryption – scrambles data so unauthorized users can’t read it
- Multifactor authentication – adds an extra layer of security to user accounts by asking for another verification factor on top of passwords
MSPs can also guide you in selecting the right tools and configuring them to ensure they’re properly protecting your data.
4. Bolsters your backup security
Backups are crucial for any business, but they are especially critical for SMBs that may not have data recovery plans in place. If this sounds like your business, you can turn to an MSP to create and maintain secure copies of your data. This can save your business if your systems get compromised, such as in a ransomware attack, and you need to restore all your data from backups. An MSP can also help you encrypt your backups so that unauthorized users cannot access them.
5. Improves employee awareness
MSPs can train your employees on how to spot and avoid phishing attacks and other social engineering schemes. With proper training, for instance, employees will learn to refrain from clicking suspicious links in an email, which can compromise sensitive data.
In addition, MSPs can provide awareness training to educate employees on general cybersecurity best practices, such as not sharing passwords or downloading files from unknown sources. This can help your employees become more vigilant and less likely to make mistakes that could put your business at risk.
MSPs can play a vital role in protecting your SMB from cyberattacks. By taking advantage of the services an MSP offers, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your systems are safe from known and emerging threats. If you’re looking to improve your SMB’s cybersecurity posture, partnering with Online Computers is a great place to start. Contact us today.