In my previous post, I laid out the basic steps that a small business must consider when deciding whether to outsource, or keep I.T. in-house. It goes without saying that the actual discussion involving I.T. decisions in your company will be more intricate. Deciding on what kind of security measures to take when it comes to your business is also another important consideration when you are moving towards using a Managed Service Provider (MSP). Your decision does not have to be in the dark. Companies like UDT can offer a range of premium security measures to ensure that your business is choosing the right options for the overall health of your I.T. systems.

Three security steps that you will encounter in discussions with your MSP should be the following:

  1. I.T. Security “Health Check” Assessment
  2. Development and Enforcement of Security Policies
  3. Managed Security Monitoring/Management Services

I.T. Security “Health Check” Assessment:

Prior to fully engaging with your MSP, they should conduct a full health check assessment of your current technology systems environment. This would include a walk-through of your office with an engineer who can give you an accurate reading of your specific technology needs—especially if you are considering a full systems upgrade. This health check assessment will include detailed information on points of entry for malware and weak spots in your technology infrastructure. The engineer can gauge the direct impact on the “health” of your I.T. that will occur with regular monitoring just by looking around at your current situation. From that point, your MSP can offer you a report on the status of your systems and recommendations on where improvements need to be made and help YOU get back to doing business without a concern.

Development and Enforcement of Security Policies:

This is a good place to elaborate on the role of UDT’s Virtual Client Advisor, who as I mentioned before, acts on behalf of your business as if he/she is your own I.T. Manager. This individual is an employee of UDT, who works primarily as an advocate for your I.T. needs within the MSP organization. Your company will work closely with this individual to make sure all security policies recommended and implemented during the health check assessment are working properly.

Oftentimes, a company will elect the option of Staff Augmentation with an MSP package. This option allows an engineer from the MSP to come on-site and assist with any ongoing I.T. concerns, including security measures. This is to ensure that all issues with employees in the company are resolved in a timely manner—and in-person. This is a personal service offered by companies like UDT that gives businesses the option of having an I.T. person on-site on a weekly, or even bi-weekly basis. This person can develop and enforce the policies that were originally put in place by the MSP contract.

Managed Security Monitoring/Managed Services:

The “meat” of Managed IT as a Service is the on-going remote security monitoring and management of your systems. Your technology is being closely monitored and managed 24/7/365. Your MSP should be on top of any problem that may arise in your security systems, and take care of that problem when there is a breach of security before you are aware of the situation. This is the luxury of having a MSP monitoring your technology on an on-going basis—you have the ability to sit back and work hard at the heart of your own business. You don’t have to worry about updating security systems regularly that may not be fully covering your I.T. systems in the first place! The MSP will receive an alert when there is an abnormality in your I.T. functions, and will work diligently to resolve the issue; all behind the scenes so your business does not miss a beat.

When it comes to security, it is important that you first have a “health check” assessment of where the weaknesses in your current technology may be hiding; work with your MSP on an on-going basis to develop and enforce any recommended managed security features; and take comfort in the knowledge that your MSP is remotely managing and monitoring your I.T. systems in order to catch any security breach before it catches you.

If you have any questions about I.T. security for your small business, or if you would like to speak with someone about how UDT can assist you with technology needs in your company, please let me know.