How to Evaluate a Managed Security System
Fine-tuning customer service? Building a website? Implementing an email marketing strategy? Outsourcing a few business functions? What are your company's goals for 2019? If you’re planning on improving your business's cybersecurity, we’re here to help you take your business to the next level. Now that you're ready to ring in the new year, use this blog post as a guide to picking a managed security system.
Having such a system means having a managed IT services provider (MSP) implement an efficient approach to planning, organizing, taking charge of, and controlling some of your organization's resources to meet its security needs. Functions include round-the-clock monitoring and control of intrusion detection systems and firewalls, looking out for vulnerabilities and implementing patches and upgrades in real time, and responding to day-to-day incidents.
There are huge benefits to getting a reputable organization to manage your digital security. They can provide superior protection, a team of security experts, and advanced technologies, and partnering with one will allow you to save a lot and focus on your business.
However, outsourcing your digital security isn't one of those decisions that are solely based on cost. You have to exercise due diligence to ensure that you are getting the best available service, because poor cybersecurity could cripple your business.
When evaluating a managed security system for your business, these are the areas you should be looking at:
Firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and patch management are the bare minimum you'll have to look for. When it comes to management and compliance, make sure your provider covers policy, risk management, auditing, training and education, intrusion prevention systems, disaster recovery plans, business continuity, business resilience, and backups.
It’s also important to be sure that your provider can adjust their technology stack to fit your needs.
Expertise and experience
A managed security system is only as good as the people who will implement it. Make a thorough review of their level of education, training, and area of expertise. You also need to know whether they have experience in your particular vertical. For example, a provider that only specializes in healthcare services may not be a good fit for a logistics and transport or manufacturing company.
Go beyond cost -- Look at value
When it comes to cost, it's not about the amount you spend, but rather how much value you get from every dollar. How will your monthly digital security expenses impact your organization? Most providers have a fixed monthly rate that comes with maintenance, support, and regular software and compliance updates. It should include monitoring, management, and reporting. Read the fine print and know the scope of the service-level agreement (SLA).
They should also ensure you that there are no hidden premiums or unnecessary costs. If you have recently invested thousands of dollars in a firewall and they want you to replace it with another that's worth the same, you should think twice.
What changes will the MSP bring to your organization? How will they make your life easier? Ask them their thoughts on the latest cybersecurity models, such as zero-trust architecture, and whether or not it is a good fit for your organization.
Naturally, you want to reap the benefits from your managed security service provider. How well will the managed security system work with your other systems? Who'll take the lead in case of cybersecurity emergencies and data loss events? How will your employees work with the service provider?
The outsourcing of your digital security operations to a provider should be a partnership. Your provider is there to protect your data, infrastructure, clients, and staff. You're paying them to do that, so make sure that all parties, including your employees, fully understand the requirements while setting an in place.
Your business is at risk of security threats every day. Vulnerable computer systems and outdated regulatory frameworks could result in costly downtime and compromised data. Before that happens, get in touch with Charles IT and schedule a vulnerability assessment.