We’ve seen a number of businesses like Uber and Marriot suffer the consequences of poor data security. With data breaches on the rise globally and major brands falling victim due to inadequate defences, organizations of all sizes should be asking themselves if their data security measurements are up to scratch.
Although when SMEs ask themselves this question, there is usually panic. Cybersecurity threats evolve so fast, so how can small companies – that generally lack an IT department, let alone a cybersecurity expert – keep up?
Security fears are unsurprisingly among the most common triggers for businesses to outsource their IT, alongside financial savings and maintaining business as usual.
Most managed services providers (MSPs) provide the standard IT security measures such as anti-virus, anti-ransomware and firewalls, and many businesses are understandably satisfied with this. However, there is more to IT security than these technology measures, and there is plenty more value to be gained – but only if your provider can offer it.
Putting in place the technical measures to protecting your data from external threats is a fundamental necessity for all businesses. That cannot be denied.
But of all the cybercrime stories in the headlines, very few of them have been the result of a genuine network hack. Which begs the question – how are cybercriminals still managing to breach defences and steal or compromise your data?
The answer is simple – it’s your employees.
Despite all the security technology and defences in place, company workforces are arguably a company’s greatest vulnerability and the one that is most often forgotten about by businesses and even the MSPs. The weak spots they create are simple, but it is their simplicity that creates the danger. Exposed or weak passwords, clicking unwisely on suspect links in emails or using unprotected Wi-Fi networks are classic errors of those lacking knowledge in cybersecurity. And sending an email with a ransomware link to an unsuspecting employee, or using their password illicitly is infinitely easier – and potentially even more profitable – for a cybercriminal than trying to hack sophisticated firewalls.
Which means an MSP who can only deploy technology around your network is therefore not addressing the real issue.
To gain maximum cybersecurity value from your MSP, you need to consider one who will put as much emphasis on training your staff in basic data security best practice as they will on deploying and managing technology.
The measure of the success for the service provider is not simply to produce reports showing the network threats resisted, but to make the workforce more vigilant, more responsible and ultimately to make data security part of the organic culture of the business.
But even with the most vigilant and regularly trained workforce, there is still the inescapable threat of human error. Many businesses, therefore, add an extra layer of protection and security to network access by deploying Two Factor Authentication (2FA), also known as dual-factor or two-step verification.
2FA confirms the identity of your employees by using more than just a username and potentially weak or exposed password. 2FA requires two individual pieces of verification information, usually in the form of a strong password and a push to a registered mobile device before access is granted. This will stop many impersonation attempts in their tracks.
It’s important to note that 2FA is rarely offered as standard by an MSP due to costs and the skill gap in deploying it effectively and correctly. However, the added security value 2FA provides means it is well worth looking for an IT service provider who can deliver this.
There is far more to outsourcing your security requirements than simply the introduction of technology. And there is more benefit to be gained from an IT service provider than just security expertise and training.
Find out more about the 101 benefits of our outsourced IT services by downloading our ultimate guide, here.