Why Cybersecurity is an Integral Part of Managed IT Services

Trying to decide whether to engage a professional IT provider? Your business’s cybersecurity may be the deciding factor. One of the major reasons to hire a professional IT services provider is to ensure your company’s security. Many professionals do not understand the severity or likelihood of an attack, leading them to place cybersecurity measures below other IT initiatives. And when IT spending and human resources are limited, it can be easy to cast security issues as a theoretical, not a realistic problem.

Managed IT services can help. These professionals stay on top of the latest security threats and have the means to protect your business and your assets. They typically cost less than internal IT teams and can help you implement more thorough cybersecurity protections, such as a response plan and continual monitoring and threat detection.

Here’s how managed IT services fit into your business’s cybersecurity landscape — and how you can protect yourself from the rising threat of cybercrime.

Threats on the Rise

The prevalence of cybersecurity threats has IT professionals, CTOs and CIOs placing a higher priority on security initiatives. There’s no doubt that security incidents are on the rise — but just how much depends on who you ask.

ISACA, an independent organization for security professionals, found that most surveyed members had experienced more attacks in 2017 than in previous years. The Online Trust Alliance, an organization that describes itself as an “Internet Society initiative,” found that the volume of cybersecurity incidents doubled between 2016 and 2017. CSO Online, a security publication from IDG, reported that the cost of cybercrime is expected to top $3.5 million by 2021.

And threat actors aren’t just targeting large enterprise businesses. SMBs have become a favorite target of hackers, especially those perpetrating ransomware attacks. In this type of cybercrime, a hacker threatens to lock users out of their data unless certain demands are met. According to Ponemon Institute, SMB ransomware attacks rose sharply between 2016 and 2017. In 2016, just 2 percent of respondents identified an recent attacks as  ransomware, compared to 52 percent the following year.

Though some of that difference may be explained by more widespread awareness of ransomware, those numbers show a frightening trend toward more small business threats. SMBs and enterprise businesses need to call in all the resources they can to fight the rising tide of cybersecurity attacks.

Businesses Are Unprepared to Handle Cybercrime

Unfortunately, many IT infrastructures are just a hack waiting to happen. The same Ponemon study found that 68% of respondents do not strictly enforce their password policies. Many businesses operate without thorough threat detection and response policies. Many do not keep up with the latest updates and security patches for service applications and software.

According to Forbes, businesses need to shift from a prevention-only mindset to one that views hacks as an inevitability. Under this new kind of thinking, businesses would concentrate more on identifying threats quickly, limiting their damage, recovering data and resources, and minimizing the harm to their reputation.

Perhaps one reason businesses seem to focus on prevention software and applications is that they’re simple to enact. An end-to-end security prevention program with a fully articulated response plan, however, is a lot more difficult to pull off.

This is where managed IT services really shine. Managed IT providers help businesses identify weaknesses in IT infrastructure — misconfigured servers, poor password policies, unprotected devices — and implement protections to safeguard against hacks. But they also provide assistance when an intrusion is detected, with monitoring and threat detection services that identify and eliminate threats quickly and conveniently.

A Constantly Moving Target

The cybersecurity landscape looks a lot more complicated than it did 10 years ago. Hacking techniques have grown more sophisticated, including advanced social engineering tactics that can fool even the most discerning internet users.

Adding fuel to the fire, automated tools are making it easier for common criminals to perpetrate cybercrime. According to Accenture, recent variants of ransomware are “more customizable and richer in features” than they used to be.

Staying updated on cybersecurity trends takes a lot of resources, and keeping up with hackers may be more than a single IT manager can handle. Managed IT services have resources on their side: they have whole teams researching hacking trends and the latest cybersecurity protections. Further, their teams can dispatch assistance quickly, offering some peace of mind in the ever-changing climate of modern cybersecurity.Ready to take your business’s IT security one step further? Contact us today for a free consultation — and show hackers who’s boss!