What IT Services You Should You Outsource to Reduce Costs and Increase Security ( and Should)
For most small businesses, it makes good financial and security sense to outsource certain IT Services to experienced IT Companies such as Corporate Shields. IT functions such as Backups, Microsoft Security Updates, Computer Protection ( endpoint protection) firewall management, and network monitoring are services you might want to consider outsourcing to an IT company and should. I will get into the reasons later in this article.
In this article, I will highlight the top 5 outsourced IT services by small businesses.
This is a good source of cost savings and security gains. File and Data Storage is where most businesses spend most of their IT budget and where most companies lose the most. The reason your file storage solution can eat some much of your IT budget is that generally, you need proper hardware and software to store and protect your business data safely.
Patient files, business finances, and databases typically have to reside on hardware, which costs thousands of dollars but also requires proper maintenance, if maintenance is overlooked, you will lose data, time and probably customers. Losing your customer data can impact your ability to support your customer, but consider having to let your customers know that you have lost your business data or customer files.
Many businesses suffer big lists due to data loss, and many companies do not recover. An article published by Small Business Trends reported that 60 percent of companies who lose their due to a cyber-attack or other disaster data shut down within six months according to Small Business Trends. See the article here.
Having big storage appliances or servers in a back room in your office is simply a significant liability and consider the security aspects as well. You are 100 percent responsible for not only maintaining the hardware to avoid downtime and data loss, but you are also accountable for securing your data. So no only do you have to upkeep your storage solution, but you have to pay the same if not more attention to the security aspect of owning a storage solution.
Data storage is highly valuable to hackers and, therefore, highly targeted. Without proper cybersecurity expertise, your storage device is likely your company’s most vulnerable target and ticking bomb. IT Services Outsource is very sought after by businesses wanting to properly implement a safe and secure next-generation storage solution.
Outsourcing your IT storage solution will eliminate many of the liabilities associated with string files, but very likely, you will also get better technology and security. Data storage companies typically follow strict security compliance guidelines that your on-premise solution will simple will never get close to reaching. Think about companies offering storage solutions, Amazon, Wasabi, Microsoft, to name a few.
Their networks are advanced, state of the art, and secure. Their systems are hosted in top security data centers and offer high uptimes. Data hosted by these large companies are Geo-replicated across the nation and managed by dedicated teams. Still, think your office file server is a better solution?
Our managed storage solutions leverage the power and reliability of companies such as Amazon and Microsoft to protect your data and make sure you never lose files.
2) Backups and Disaster Recovery
Some times, you have to option but to have a server on-premise. Having Managed IT Services provider managing your backups and disaster recovery solution can help ensure you are ready for any kind of natural disaster or even severe cyber attacks. Companies like Datto and Veam offer great disaster recovery solutions, but to get the most out o these systems, you need to partner with a true professional.
Trying to figure out these systems on your own can leap open doors to hackers, but worst you can conceivably be doing absolutely nothing and leaving your business unprotected. We have come across many companies that have spent thousands of dollars on enterprise disaster recovery systems.
However, we also often find the configuration is erroneous, and they would no be able to recover from a disaster. Here is something you want to include in your disaster recovery plan and online replication destination. If you are backing up your systems and are not replicating your data to a target outside your business, your disaster recovery plan is flawed.
Using an online backup solution such as Wasabi, can ensure you can recover from a natural disaster and even restart your business at a different location. If you spend a million dollars on your disaster recovery, but all the data resides in your own office back room, you can imagine how a flood or natural disaster will hinder your solution useless.
3) Microsoft and Security Updates
This is a vast topic, and I will try to explain in simple words why. Microsoft and other vendors rely on human power to develop their software. Unlike TV and movies, humans are still developing the very software you are using to read this article. Humans make mistakes, and in the software world, these mistakes are nicely called bugs. I do not want to discredit developers as these individuals are very talented and hardworking folks, but errors do make it to production software from time to time.
For this reason, software vendors such as Microsoft and others routinely release updates and software patches to not only fix software bugs but also fix operational security flaws in their software. Some of these flaws can become potential vulnerabilities that hackers can use to exploit your business network. Being able to keep up with these update notification and knowing what to or how to apply these updates can be a daunting task. When it comes to security updates, it is best to outsource these services to a trusted and experienced IT Company.
For instance, our managed update services automate the update process by utilizing powerful databases and inventorying your computers daily for missing updates. Updates are deployed daily, and the reboot process can also be automated. We can also send you reports, so you know the work is being done, but even more importantly, you can use our reports for your compliance audits. Always ask your IT companies for reports. Reports are your ally, and this is how you know the work is being done. TIP: You should try to update your computers at least once a week to keep up with Microsoft Updates.
4) Firewall and Endpoint Security
Firewall management is crucial; an unmonitored firewall is an “opened door.” I know this sounds a bit vague, but quite simple, firewalls, and are not set it and forget it type devices. Firewalls require constant updates, configuration modifications, and upgrades from the manufacturer to combat new exploits and security flaws.
Unless you are monitoring your firewall vendor update notification and other sources of security vulnerabilities, you will not know what to do with a business firewall. Managing a business firewall should be left to knowledge and trained professionals.
Googling and YouTubing how to secure your firewall is not the right way of going about managing these devices. Your business firewall is your first line of defense against the outside world! Make sure is working for you.
TIP: Companies like Sophos, Fortinet, and Checkpoint make great firewalls for small businesses.
5) IT Support
Supporting your staff while trying to run your business can be very stressful and counterproductive. We meet with many business owners who have tried this method, and it never works. Today, IT companies can support any business from anywhere in the world and work directly with your staff to handle everyday support issues. You can focus on running your business, and your staff will be happy their computers are working.
Outsourcing your IT comes with many obvious benefits. Still, the biggest benefit is being able to have a support team available to you 24/7 to work on computer issues and answer your questions. Besides having access to a group of experts 24/7, most IT outsource services will include servers and network monitoring, some sort of security plan to protect your business.
Outsourcing IT Services is one of the best investments you can do for your business. The boots in productivity alone will justify the IT services costs. However, many studies have shown that Outsourcing your IT department costs less than having an in house IT department.
We work with clients nationwide and do not require contracts for any of our services.To get more articles like this, please subscribe to our blog, or if you have questions, email us at info@CorporateSHIELDS.com. If you are thinking about outsourcing your IT needs to a company, make sure to contact Corporate Shields to get all your questions answered. We have helped many businesses reduce IT costs and liabilities following the steps presented in this article.
Patricia is an accomplished Cyber Security Expert with years of experience in IT Business Security and Business Networks. Patricia has helped hundreds of businesses during her career and has established herself as a leading Consultant for many small and large organizations.