Keeping on top of your IT infrastructure is a job that requires attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Businesses that fail to ensure their systems are running safely and effectively will rapidly lose customer trust. This is especially true when it comes to security – an attack can happen at any time of day and in fact, may be targeted specifically when staff are out of the office.
This represents a problem for small and medium businesses. In most cases, they can not afford to hire additional experts to keep an eye on network, infrastructure, and security at all times. At the same time, the tools to effectively monitor network and security can be expensive, especially when you factor in the cost of training, cyber insurance, and penetration testing.
Typically, then, the best bet for SMBs is to partner with an MSP instead. As the service provider has already invested in the tools, staff, training, and insurance required, they can typically provide security and monitoring services at a far more reasonable cost.
VirtuWorks' comprehensive managed IT services offering, for example, includes the following:
- End-point security management
- 24/7 server monitoring
- Firewall security management with 24/7 response and monitoring
- Perimeter control and security management on and off-premises with regular penetration testing
- Cloud security management with continuous monitoring and weekly penetration tests
- Use of enterprise-quality monitoring toolsets for networking, servers, storage, backups, disaster recovery, WAPs, applications, databases, and more
- Customer visibility of real-time portal monitoring of the entire infrastructure stack
- Regular monitoring reports
- DNS and domain registrar administration
- Virus, malware, and spam protection
- Web filtering
- $1m cyber protection insurance
- Capacity analysis and forecasting
- On-site intervention when required
Benefits of a Good Partnership
Though many see security and monitoring as little more than a necessary cost, the truth is that doing them well can provide a distinct advantage compared to competitors who don't. Generally, the core benefits can be broken down into three categories: productivity enhancement, downtime reduction, and damage mitigation.
Often when we think about security and monitoring, it's the prevention of big issues that comes to mind. However, it can be the small things that have the greatest long-term impact. Even slightly degraded network performance can slow down an employee, particularly if they're using cloud applications or virtual desktops.
Having experts at your back to quickly remedy and prevent these issues gives employees the freedom to focus on their job rather than their technical limitations. It also reduces the chances of shadow IT, as employees have less reason to find workarounds to overcome those limitations.
One of the most obvious benefits of strong security and monitoring services is a notable reduction in business downtime. Continual monitoring of network and security means issues are detected before they become a major problem. This allows for preventative repairs and optimization that will greatly reduce the chances that downtime will happen in the first place.
When downtime does happen unexpectedly, whether due to a network, hardware, or security issue, comprehensive monitoring enables faster recovery. By looking at historic data, a managed service provider can more quickly identify the root of an issue to get a business back online.
All this results in higher customer satisfaction, minimized revenue loss, and lower costs in the long term.
Downtime presents an existential threat to SMBs, but so too do all types of cyberattacks. Unfortunately, defending against them without help can be very challenging. Whether it's preventing an attacker from stealing trade secrets, a worm from spreading across the network, or everyday phishing attacks, mitigation requires regular monitoring and penetration testing, as well as sophisticated firewall, endpoint, and cloud protection tools.
Partnering with a managed service provider for security allows SMBs to catch attacks before they happen and prevent untold damage to the business. Your MSP can also advise on infrastructural changes that limit the damage if the initial stage of a cyberattack does succeed. Finally, if the worst happens and a major security incident does occur, a managed service provider can put experts on-site at any time of day to assess and shut down ongoing attacks.
Finding the Right Partner
With dozens of new security vulnerabilities discovered each day and hundreds of things that can go wrong with a network, it's understandable that SMBs often get overwhelmed. While many already have firewalls, anti-virus, and other basic protection tools, what they lack is the tools and security personnel to protect against zero-day exploits and quickly remedy unexpected downtime.
VirtuWorks' security and monitoring experts can keep an eye on your organization 24/7/365 – tuning your security tools to get the most accurate results, performing regular penetration tests, managing user access, and actively responding to threats. Having our team on your side will not only mitigate zero-day exploits but ensure that your employees and your in-house IT team have the best work environment you can provide.