Board-Approved Security: MSPs Bridging the Gap for SMBs

Board-Approved Security: MSPs Bridging the Gap for SMBs

It’s safe to say that many small-medium sized businesses, or SMBs, aren’t always prepared to protect their organization or customers from a cyberattack. That may have to do with the fact that most SMBs don’t necessarily believe that their companies are a target for hackers. Forbes, however, reported in 2023 that 46% of SMBs have been impacted by a ransomware attack. While that figure is almost HALF, 67% of SMBs still think or aren’t sure if their small size makes them susceptible to cybercriminals.

Unfortunately, hackers are interested in SMBs even if there are bigger companies out there with more money and data. You could even say SMBs are more attractive to cybercriminals because they often lack resilient cyber security due to a smaller staff or low budget. The good news is that SMBs don’t need to worry about hiring an entire in-house IT team to protect their data.

They instead can work with a managed service provider, or MSP, like Charles IT who can take care of all their cybersecurity needs. MSPs and Managed Security Services have the tools needed to help SMBs identify risks, establish a cybersecurity plan, and navigate the tricky world of compliance. While those regulations can be intimidating to SMBs, they do serve as key guidelines for strengthening your cybersecurity posture.

What are some essential SMB cybersecurity frameworks?

  • CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification): This is required by the Department of Defense (DoD) for defense contractors and subcontractors.
  • HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act): This is used by healthcare organizations to protect the privacy of patients’ protected health information.
  • FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority: This is a set of standards for financial firms to protect investors and ensure the integrity of the market.
  • NIST 800-171: This is voluntary but utilized by most businesses dealing with controlled unclassified information for the U.S. government.

How can an MSPs help SMBs with cybersecurity compliance?

An MSP is an SMBs trusty source for all things cybersecurity compliance. So how does your SMB achieve compliance? Let’s break down an MSP’s process:

  1. Implementing a gap assessment: Your MSP will first assess your organization’s current security posture, so they identify any gaps or vulnerabilities within your IT infrastructure.
  2. Developing policies and procedures: Your MSP will then develop the policies and procedures needed to address your cybersecurity as it aligns with your compliance framework.
  3. Deploying security technologies: Your MSP will recommend what technologies your organization needs, like firewalls or data encryption, to achieve compliance requirements.
  4. Monitoring Your Systems: Your MSP will monitor your systems and networks for suspicious activity so they can then immediately remediate any potential threats.
  5. Preparing You for Reports and Audits: Your MSP can give you reports on your security posture and progress, as well as prepare you for audits to ensure you complete the certification process.

What are some SMB security solutions that MSPs can provide?

  • Access Controls: MSPs can help SMBs control who has access to their systems through:
    • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Require multiple verification factors, along with a password, to access sensitive data.
    • Least Privilege Principle: Grant the least amount of access to users needed to perform their jobs.
    • Role-Based Access Control: Assign access permissions based on the employee’s role.
    • User Activity Monitoring: Monitor user activity for suspicious behavior.
  • Backup Services: MSPs can protect your business by saving your data from a cybersecurity breach. You’ll need a:
    • Backup Recovery Plan: Store files in multiple locations
    • Disaster Recover Plan: Restore files in the event of a catastrophe and outline the logistics of your SMBs response to a disaster.
  • Antivirus Software: MSPs can help you stay up to date on the latest antivirus software needed to protect your network from a cyberattack.
  • Security Awareness Training: MSPs can help educate your employees about potential security threats and teach best practices for protecting sensitive information.
    • Phishing Simulations: Access employees’ ability to recognize and report phishing emails.
    • Pre and Post Training Assessments: Track your employees’ knowledge and cybersecurity awareness.
  • MDR: MDR or Managed Detection and Response is a service that provides SMBs with continuous monitoring, detection, investigation, and response to security threats.
  • Endpoint Encryption: MSPs can protect data stored on individual devices like laptops and smartphones, by encrypting data stored on the device, making it unreadable to unauthorized users without the decryption key.
  • Cloud security: MSPs can enhance cloud security by providing services that can assess, monitor, protect, and respond to threats and vulnerabilities in an SMBs’ cloud.

Is it worth it for SMBs to work with MSPs?

To sum it up, working with an MSP results in a more productive business, since cybersecurity concerns and compliance issues will no longer distract you and your employees from the goals of your organization. You’ll also lower your risk of data breaches and downtime from cyber-attacks. Fines and consequences that can stem from not being compliant wouldn’t be an issue anymore either. So, if you’re interested in having proficient and just overall happier employees at your SMB, contact Charles IT today!

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