Managed Service is the IT lifeline for many Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs). This is a critical business functionality for SMBs as they heavily rely on their Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to ensure uninterrupted operations. This reliance and dependability put onus on MSPs to ascertain their service plan is up-to-date to tackle evolving IT environment and the new challenges which comes with evolution.
Today, managing IT is more dynamic than ever. It goes way beyond just monitoring network health, applying updates, or troubleshooting system errors. Data security is a key element in IT management and it must a major component in your Managed Service Plan. According to a report published by Kaspersky Lab, 70% of the cyberattacks target small businesses. Due to lack of investment, awareness and focus on cybersecurity, SMBs are highly vulnerable to data breach attempts. Cybercriminals use multiple different methods to find security lapses to enter the network and cause damage. Phishing, Malware, and Ransomware are some of the common cybersecurity threats that SMBs face. The Kaspersky Lab report also mentions that 60% of hacked SMBs go out of business. Data-breach can also bring in claim of negligence and incompetency in protecting client data which could lead to potential legal actions. It is imperative for SMBs to have strong cybersecurity/information security measures in place as part of their Managed Service Plan.
Governance and regulatory compliance should also be featured under Managed IT Service plan. SMBs are required to comply with many industry and Government introduced regulations such as SOX, HIPAA, and 23 NYCRR Part 500. Non-compliance can lead to hefty fines and reservations. In a corporate environment a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) would look after these requirements to ensure compliance. However, with SMBs, they may not have the budget or even the need to hire a full-time CISO. As an IT partner, MSPs must step-in to bridge this gap for their clients. Compliance with regulations not only protect businesses from non-compliance consequences but it also boosts confidence amongst stakeholders. And, more importantly, most of these regulations are introduced to bring uniformity and standardize best-practices across the board.
MSPs can do their best to keep their client’s network at optimal efficiency. However, a click on a phishing email or leak of login credential to unsanctioned sources could severely jeopardise network health. Employees must be trained on best practises, DOs and DONT’s, and trends in IT and cybersecurity. They should be adequately informed on data security and privacy. For SMBs, access to this information can be arranged through their MSP.
To conclude, it is time to evaluate your Managed Service plan to ensure it is up-to-date to include critical IT functionalities. The plan must be enhanced to accommodate changing business and IT needs.