As businesses continue to digitize their processes and transactions, they also must continue to maintain security. Cyber threats are growing more numerous and complex by the day. Even the largest corporations are struggling to keep up and keep their operations secure.

Maintaining cyber security is even more challenging for small and medium-sized businesses. Many of these companies are turning to managed IT services as a way to outsource some cybersecurity functions so they can direct more energy toward achieving strategic objectives.

What Is Managed IT?

Managed IT services are technology solutions furnished to a client company by a third-party provider. These services have become popular with companies looking to handle technology-related tasks without the expense of investing in in-house personnel. 

While managed services are often associated with small and medium-sized businesses, many large corporations will also outsource their technology functions. Some benefits of using managed IT services include:

  • Closing a skills gap. Small and medium-sized businesses don’t have the ability to invest in certain business functions, and managed IT services can enhance cybersecurity by closing security skills gaps within a company’s workforce.
  • Cost-effectiveness. Managed IT services provide access to tech talent without having to hire, train and compensate full-time staff. Managed services can also be increased or decreased based on need, which minimizes.
  • Dependability. Because a service provider is responsible for keeping their clients up, running and secure, this can be a more dependable approach to IT functions. In comparison, in-house IT staff often has to juggle many responsibilities, and this can cause them to overlook or downplay certain responsibilities.

Compared to paying for in-house IT staff, managed IT services can mean lower costs, better customer service, greater productivity and a more targeted allocation of resources. But there are other benefits as well.

How Managed IT Services Enhance Cybersecurity

When used as part of a comprehensive Technology Strategy, managed IT services benefit cybersecurity in many different ways. This versatile and collaborative approach to cybersecurity leverages outside expertise, experience and technology. Working together, a service provider and client company can leverage superior cybersecurity to gain strategic advantages.

Another benefit of managed IT cybersecurity is cost control. Managed IT services can be more affordable than going with in-house cybersecurity talent, and simple billing models make costs predictable. This provides significant certainty to a business, and costs can also be scaled up or down as services are added or removed based on need.

The use of managed IT services also makes the business more resilient and more proactive. Companies with limited in-house resources often have to be on a reactive footing when it comes to cybersecurity. Service providers put a company on a proactive footing with an insights-based approach that identifies risks before they become threats. Service providers also offer disaster recovery and regular backups to ensure that a company can quickly recover from a cyber incident.

More robust cybersecurity also translates to greater digital integrity. Companies that use managed IT services increase their reputation as trusted partners and put themselves in a position to build more relationships with regulators, customers and client companies.

Managed IT services can enhance cyber security through a number of specific solutions. These solutions might include:

  • Network monitoring. Depending on the level of security a company is seeking, a service provider can offer anything from simple event monitoring to comprehensive network monitoring. A comprehensive approach could include around-the-clock monitoring and threat intelligence.
  • Managed response. Event response services typically blend automated technologies and human expertise to prevent and mitigate the impacts of an attack. Providers will coordinate with their clients to resolve incidents as quickly as possible.
  • Proactive threat hunting. Rather than wait for threats to damage a company, providers can actively search for any that might be in a client company’s environment so they can be neutralized.
  • Firewall support. An actively managed firewall can ensure a company remains protected, but its firewall doesn’t negatively impact traffic. This involves active monitoring, regular firewall audits and patching when necessary.
  • Virtual private network (VPN). A VPN shields a company’s IT infrastructure by providing strong access control. A VPN is especially useful for companies that are growing because it provides comprehensive coverage of a network and any connected devices.
  • Vulnerability management. A provider will locate, analyze, manage, remediate and report on potential vulnerabilities that might be associated with endpoints and systems. Providers have specialized digital tools to manage, patch and remediate vulnerabilities.

One of the biggest strategic advantages is increased capacity to scale and transform. When an organization knows that its digital initiatives will be kept secure by a service provider, it gives staff members the confidence to focus completely on those initiatives.

Managed IT for Cybersecurity Pros and Cons

There are many benefits to managed IT for cybersecurity. However, managed services aren’t perfect, and there are some considerations to make. Let’s start with the benefits.

Managed IT Cybersecurity — Benefits

One of the biggest benefits of managed IT services for cybersecurity is tapping into a provider’s team of cybersecurity experts. Using their years of knowledge and training, these experts understand both the short-term threats the company might be facing at any given moment and their long-term security challenges. They work with stakeholders and a client company and develop customized solutions to address cybersecurity threats specific to the business and the industry. Gaining access to this expertise is especially valuable for small companies that have limited resources to dedicate to cybersecurity.

Using managed IT services can also be more cost-effective than relying on an in-house cybersecurity team. As opposed to over-investing in staff members and technology, an organization can only pay for the IT services that they need. Service providers also take on all kinds of overhead, such as licensing fees and supplier contracts. The targeted approach to cybersecurity offered by a service provider can translate to significant cost savings, especially for small and medium-sized organizations.

Service providers can also give significant peace of mind with around-the-clock monitoring and support. Organizations that have limited hours of operation can rest easy knowing a team of cybersecurity professionals is guarding their infrastructure 24/7. If a threat is detected or a cyberattack takes place, a provider can move to minimize any impact based on a service level agreement between the provider and the client organization. This can mean a much faster response compared to the response from an in-house team that may be off the clock or distracted by other duties.

Managed IT services also make it much easier to scale operations. When a business grows its IT infrastructure, it needs to keep security in mind, and the security posture of a company shifts significantly as it scales up. A provider can respond accordingly to changes in an environment and work with a client company to ensure security functions are properly synchronized with growth activities. This is particularly valuable for startups and rapidly growing businesses that need to remain secure but perhaps can’t make additional investments in security.

Regularly providing access to the latest security technology is also how managed IT services can enhance cybersecurity. Cyber threats are constantly evolving, and the security industry evolves along with them. It can be a challenge for some organizations to keep up with the latest software and techniques. 

Unfortunately, many companies don’t have the luxury of not keeping up, and a provider offers an easy way to remain current. This access to the latest technology also comes without having to install new infrastructure, as this is typically done on the provider side.

Finally, managed IT cybersecurity can also benefit many other business functions, such as enhancing customer service. These benefits will vary from organization to organization and industry to industry.

Managed IT Security — Concerns

Clearly, there are many benefits to using managed IT services for cybersecurity. However, there are some concerns that organizations may want to think about.

The biggest concern is probably turning over control of a key function to an outside party. Cybersecurity functions and processes can have an impact on business functions. Cybersecurity also factors into certain types of decisions. Organizations that need a certain level of control over their cybersecurity could find it challenging to coordinate with a service provider. That being said, most security consultants work closely with their client counterparts in order to keep security tight but unobtrusive.

Working with an outside provider also adds an additional layer of communication. There’s no getting around the fact that this can lead to challenges and even miscommunications. This can become a particular concern during cybersecurity incidents when responsiveness is critical. When a company starts working with the service provider, both parties must do their best to make sure that there are clear communication channels. Regular check-ins and updates are a great way to overcome the additional layer of communication. These can be outlined in a service level agreement.

Using managed IT services for cybersecurity also means exposing your company’s infrastructure to a service provider. While there are many trustworthy and reputable providers out there, company leaders should do their homework and choose a provider with a proven track record of keeping companies secure. Cybersecurity certifications can indicate the trustworthiness of a business, but it’s also a good idea to connect with a provider’s clients and ask about their experience with the company.

How Managed IT Services Can Enhance Cybersecurity and More

While managed IT cybersecurity benefits are significant, managed services can also benefit many other areas of an organization.

Many companies need cybersecurity to protect the data and functions they keep in the cloud. Managed IT service providers can not only keep your cloud secure but also connect companies with a cloud solution. Typically, a company that provides both the cloud and cybersecurity will ensure stability and security through constant monitoring and regular updates.

A service provider can also assess the current state of a company’s IT infrastructure with an eye toward both security and performance. A comprehensive analysis can be used to customize an infrastructure and align it with both short-term and long-term business goals. Once network customizations have been developed, a provider can then follow through with installations and setup. Networking experts add that a provider can work with a client company to ensure that the new network is stable, secure, and effective.

It’s also important to be able to access a network, and mobile access has become the norm in every industry. Either through partner companies or through the company itself, a provider can help with the design, installation, configuration, and updating of a wireless network. A provider can also help to keep components of cybersecurity in mind and train staff members on best practices to ensure the security of wireless access and any sensitive data that might be handled.

Despite the best-laid plans, an organization can suffer a cyberattack and it’s critical to have a backup structure in place. On-site and cloud backups protect data in the event of a breach or natural disaster. If data is backed up regularly and a recovery plan is in place, it helps mitigate damage, reduce downtime, and get a company back up and running.

Protect Your Business with Managed IT Services from Taylored Systems

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how managed IT services can enhance cybersecurity and other business functions. But this is a complicated topic with a lot to unpack. 

Through our consulting services, we help companies understand cybersecurity and other complex technical issues so they can put the best system in place and implement best practices. Our IT consulting services can help make your network more secure or help you innovate for the future.

If you would like to learn more about our consulting services, cybersecurity services, or anything else we have to offer, contact us today to set up a consultation.