Through delivering our services over many years, we’ve come across a myriad of questions relating to IT Managed Services. In this blog post we round up the most commonly asked questions, underpinned by Google Trends research that shows us what people are really searching for.
Q1: What are the benefits of IT managed services?
IT Managed Services (ITMS) is an area that must adapt to changing technologies and workplace challenges, with a whole host of benefits that fit the business climate of the time. We’ve consolidated the main nine benefits for ITMS in 2020 below.
Q2: How can we reduce IT costs?
A common challenge that organisations face is how to reduce the money spent on IT while not reducing the quality of service. Enter ITMS.
Through delivering bundled services comprising everything from software and hardware licenses to professional services, a Managed Services Provider (MSP) is able to provide IT services at a cheaper rate than if each service was contracted individually.
Additionally, hiring an MSP means that monthly budget allocations for IT are predictable, allowing businesses to plan further ahead and invest more efficiently. We encounter numerous clients who have become exasperated with unexpected peaks in their previous providers’ charging patterns. The overage may be for legitimate requirements included within the contract, but the unexpected nature of the frequent additional charges has soured the relationship.
Q3: Are Windows 7 updates still available?
As of January 2020, Windows 7 is no longer in service. Microsoft has announced that it will no longer support or maintain the software, leaving devices with the software exposed to debilitating issues. These include:
- Software incompatibility
- Slow hardware
- Increased likelihood of attacks due to ceasing of bug fixes and security updates
All operating systems eventually reach a point where they are no longer worth the expense, time and potential risk of ongoing maintenance. Windows 7 is no different.
The solution is to upgrade company laptops and tablets to Windows 10, Microsoft’s most recent operating system. This offers stronger malware security, safer web browsing, and better syncing across devices, and is the most cost-effective way of avoiding the issues outlined above.
Q4: Data Privacy vs. Data Security: What Is the Real Difference?
The need for cybersecurity has never been greater. Malware, data theft and increasingly stringent data security regulations have heightened the importance of privacy and security.
But what is the actual difference between the two terms?
What is Data Privacy?
Data privacy relates to both the ethical obligation to protect data subjects’ data and confidentiality, and also the requirement to act within the confines of legal requirements, such as GDPR or CCPA.
This manifests throughout the entire data lifecycle, from the point of data capture to the manner in which data is stored, processed, used and subsequently archived – and whether the organization has the rights to do so, the individual user has the
It is also a continuous responsibility. Data use is continuously changing in nature and speed, creating new liabilities and requiring constant vigilance. Data subjects can also revoke their consent for their data to be processed or even held at all at any time.
What is Data Security?
Data security relates to the strategies of protecting information from data breaches, cyber attacks and loss of data, whether the threat is internal or external, deliberate or accidental.
Measures include the establishment of standards and processes, the education of employees and those with access to the data, and of course the deployment of technologies, including physical security and software tools such as multi-factor authentication and anti-virus.
Understanding the distinction between the terms is important, as the technical, practical, ethical and legal repercussions of underserving either one could be monumental.
Q5: How can I prevent phishing?
Phishing attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with unprotected privileged information being accessed through the internet to gain access to further sensitive information or to trick a victim into making a fraudulent payment. The vast majority of these kinds of social engineering threats rely on human error or incomplete processes rather than oversights in technology.
Through the psychological manipulation of staff members, third parties can trick people into divulging confidential information. The most common tricks include short, well-written emails with links or attachments, usually masquerading as being sent from known individuals or brands, that lull victims into a false sense of security. They acquire the information needed for these convincing emails through the huge amounts of sensitive information that is often unwittingly divulged through social media, including birthdays, pets names and maiden names – which are all classically used in passwords or security questions to verify identities.
The most effective way of preventing phishing is to educate your workforce of the threats and show them what to be vigilant of.
Training should be provided to encourage staff to question unusual communications and requests, and not to trust sender addresses, emails, attachments and links on first sight. Ask your IT service provider if they provide cybersecurity awareness training as part of their IT security services.