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Why your SMB needs a Managed Security Services Provider

Your current IT security probably isn’t protecting you from cybercriminals—but there is a solution

Let’s face it; cybercrime is out of control all over the world. Even big tech companies, giant enterprises, and government agencies are not immune. They can’t keep bad guys from breaking into their systems, stealing their confidential data, and otherwise causing havoc.

Last year, 1001 data breaches were reported in the U.S., affecting more than 115.8 million people. This year is looking far worse. Criminals attack all kinds of IT networks and connected devices in organizations of all sizes. Public and private networks, servers, computers, smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices were all subjected to a wide variety of threats.

Some SMBs think they can fly under the radar because cybercrooks are looking for bigger targets. But, according to the SBA, small and mid-sized companies are prime targets, with over half of small businesses becoming victims. And 60% of the companies don’t survive an attack. The average cost to SMBs skyrocketed from $8,600 per episode in 2013 to over $21,600 today.

Business owners may also assume they’re safe because they have antivirus and a firewall. But unfortunately, this may not be true either. Many organizations still use traditional antivirus tools designed in simpler times when there were only a few kinds of security threats. There now are at least nine types of malware, and perhaps the worst is ransomware. Traditional AV software and older security tools don’t detect many of these newer threats: they just weren’t designed to deal with today’s sophisticated professional hackers.

The increasing number and severity of attacks suggest now is an excellent time to verify that your security protections can cope with today’s more complex demands.

How an MSSP can help

Many organizations are finding that today’s security requirements are just too overwhelming. They are increasingly turning to managed security service providers (MSSPs) to augment their IT teams. MSSPs offer specialized security services that provide better protection and value, offset scarce resources, and address more complex technical issues. They have the resources to keep abreast of the constantly shifting threat environment. Knowing that you have a well-qualified team managing your security gives you greater assurance. It lets you focus on your core business.

Security is an MSSP’s primary mission. It can retain highly skilled cybersecurity experts, invest in advanced technologies, and offer round-the-clock service and support, even when your business is closed.

What should you look for in an MSSP?

Here are six essential qualities you should expect from your MSSP security partner:

1. A proactive, not reactive, approach to protecting your IT systems and data: Don’t wait for news that cybercriminals have seized control of your system, copied and locked your data, and demanding a ransom of thousands of dollars (or even more)!

2. A top-notch technical staff, proven systems, and current technology: A qualified MSSP should have an acute awareness of today’s threat environment and a deep understanding of the cyberattack “kill chain.” They must understand how hackers think and head them off before they penetrate your defenses and do harm.

3. Security should be your MSSP’s primary mission: Your MSSP should focus on security 24x7, not as an afterthought. Many IT teams in SMBs are stretched thin already. Can you afford a full-time, round-the-clock security staff?

4. Expert management of risk and compliance: There is a growing list of new privacy laws, regulations, and breach reporting requirements that impact many organizations. Breaches can cause business downtime, legal penalties, damaged reputation, and lost customers. A proven, effective security program can help decrease your risk and lower the cost of your cyber insurance.

5. Keeping you informed of your security effectiveness against potential threats: A good MSSP will employ advanced data analytics to maintain easy-to-read dashboards that keep you informed of your security posture at all times. Sophisticated automation and a full-time security operations team will detect and head off potential attackers long before they can do real damage.

6. Cost-effective and affordable protection: Most small and midsized organizations cannot afford to provide the level of protection that an MSSP offers. An MSSP can give you an advanced level of deterrence that encourages would-be attackers to look for softer targets. And they can spring into action to mitigate damage and repair any issues that might arise.

OTG Consulting can help you find a qualified MSSP to extend and augment your IT team

I’m a senior consultant with OTG Consulting, a network of experienced IT and telecom professionals with direct relationships with many technology companies. We can help you obtain a cost-effective, multi-layered defense against cyber threats.

Give me a shout today to arrange a no-cost assessment of your security and other IT needs.

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