Don’t do it alone: Turn to managed security services

By: Daniel Newman

There are few people stretched thinner in the modern office than your average IT employee. The IT needs of businesses are expanding every year, and many businesses have to pick and choose what they can afford to prioritize with their in-house support. Even so, technology staff is limited in what they can accomplish in a day.

So, how can a business patch these holes? Many are looking outside their organization and searching for extra support from an external provider. This is where managed security services can help.

As an extension of your in-house security services, a managed security service provider closes the loop on people, processes and technology. Most offer 24/7 support options that can be tailored to your industry and your specific business scale, and it can continue to grow as your security needs change. Here are a few elements you should consider as you’re shopping for managed security service (MSS) options.

File encryption

This is a great first step when it comes to protecting your data, and you can outsource this labor easily with the help of an MSS. For data at rest, like patient information or sensitive customer data, encryption is an essential part of staying compliant and protecting your users’ information. Protecting your data will be especially important this year with PCI DSS 3.2 requirements and the General Data Protection Regulation taking effect.

End point protection

Organizations are connecting new end points to their network every day thanks to the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. It’s difficult for an IT team to ensure the security of all end points across the organization, especially if they don’t possess the right skills and expertise to manage end point security.

Backup Encryption

Data loss is a risk every business faces. Creating a backup of data might be enough for recovery, but you also need to protect the backup. The best practice is to encrypt any backups of sensitive data and store it on a multisite architecture. If you’re worried your backups aren’t being stored as securely as possible, this offers another solution that could do so much for your data security.

Malware protection

It’s not just about installing one or two programs and forgetting about them. A managed security service provider will be able to offer constant monitoring and instant alerts, so you can leave your desk and still know exactly when and where a threat is happening.

Intrusion detection and prevention

Like an impressive security system, outsourcing some of your security to an MSS is like asking someone to house-sit while you’re on vacation rather than leaving an empty home. This solution helps bridge that gap between your in-house IT and protecting your data from every threat. Most MSSPs offer real-time security monitoring, management and analysis of networks and servers — probably the most important managed security service you can choose.

Vulnerability scanning

Real-time monitoring isn’t enough. Vulnerability scanning is another layer of protection. Scanning your complete IT network for weaknesses can be costly and difficult for anyone to attempt alone. A MSSP scans your network, classifies threats and provides steps to remediate the weaknesses. Could it be any easier?

Network firewall and VPN

Customize your firewalls and VPNs to fit your business. Do you have a bring-you-own-device program for your employees? Are customers accessing your network daily? Working with a MSSP to find a solution that fits your needs is not only smart — it’s practically a requirement in today’s security environment.

Two-factor authentication

When your employees have access to sensitive data, one of the smallest things you can do to better secure your information is to set up two-factor authentication. It’s especially important to put in place for remote workers, who may need to access your network from an unsecured network.

Log management

One of the most time-consuming jobs in any IT department is log management, and offloading that labor and time consumption can save you more cash than you might think. With a managed services provider, you get real-time monitoring and management available 24/7, as well as automated, audit-ready reports available whenever you need them.

Managed security for peace of mind

Organizations choose to bring on support services for their security needs for a variety of reasons, but chief among them is a lack of in-house knowledge and manpower. Hiring experts can save time, money and frustration while giving you peace of mind — invaluable in today’s security climate.

Topics: , ,

About The Author

Daniel Newman

Founder and President, Broadsuite, Inc.

After 12 years of running technology companies including a CEO appointment at the age of 28, I traded the corner office for a chance to drive the discussion on how the digital economy is going to forever change the way business is done. I'm an MBA, adjunct business professor and 4x author of best-selling business... Read more