Top 5 things to consider when choosing an it and security provider
In today’s ever-changing world, new threats to your business arise daily. Effective IT and security solutions for your business are no longer “set it and forget it,” but rather an on-going and ever evolving strategy that it consistently tweaked and monitored by your IT and security provider. Your employees, your customers, and your family are all counting on you to ensure that business keeps running smoothly, and you need the right IT and business security partnership in place to ensure this happens. It’s no longer a question of “if,” but when some kind of IT or security disaster will disrupt business. Here are the most important things to look for when selecting your IT and security provider.
CONSISTENT, TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION
When was the last time you heard from your IT or managed service provider? Was it the last time you reported a problem?
In order to have the most effective IT and security plan in place, communication with your provider needs to be a constant conversation, and it’s a conversation your provider should drive. It’s your provider’s responsibility to stay abreast of new technology, new threats, and anything in the digital world that can make your business run smoother. Look for a provider who is committed to constantly partnering with you to tackle whatever may be coming your way.
LOOKING BEYOND TRADITIONAL IT
Traditional security tech like firewalls, anti-spam, and anti-virus are still important components to keeping your business safe, but modern IT and security needs to go well beyond that. Your provider needs to think beyond traditional security measures, because you can be sure that hackers and bad actors are.
Look for a provider who is dedicated to training your team on how to keep information secure on their personal devices used for working on your business. Look for a provider who is committed to combating social attacks, and who understands the threats of social engineering. Keeping your information secure goes well beyond technology alone, so find a provider who sees the whole picture of your business security needs.
It’s true that most of your IT and business security needs can be tended to remotely, but in those rare occasions when you need in-person support, that relationship with your provider is invaluable. The goal is always to just keep things running smoothly, but when something inevitably goes wrong, and it will, the peace of mind of knowing that you have a dedicated local team to quickly resolve you issue feels a lot better than putting a ticket in queue to a center a thousand miles away and waiting…
contract, or no contract?
Most IT and security (your MSP or MSSP providers) companies require you lock into a contract for a length of time to secure their services. While this is a pretty standard practice, what if you’re not satisfied with their services? What if their response times put your business on hold until they get around to fixing your issue? What if they’re just not a good fit?
Before committing to a lengthy contract, consider looking for a provider who is dedicated to proving their worth by providing constant value to your business month after month instead of relying on guaranteed income. The relationship with your IT and security provider is one of the most important aspects of your business.
As a business owner, you know just how co-mingled your business and personal finances and information can be. Your provider’s services should also extend to the ownership of the company, because it’s becoming much more common for business owners to be targeted personally in order to gain information to attack the business. Look for a provider who protects the whole scope of your business.