The crucial role of MSPs in SMB cybersecurity

With modern cyberattacks targeting companies of all sizes, businesses cannot afford to relegate cybersecurity to the bottom of their list of priorities. When it comes to cybersecurity, even small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) would do well to get help from an expert. Here’s how having a managed IT services provider (MSP) implement robust cybersecurity solutions for you will benefit your business.

The numbers

Through the years, the number of SMBs falling victim to cyberattacks has drastically increased. Ransomware attacks, misconfigured systems, credential stuffing, and social engineering are among the many cyberthreats that SMBs face. Also, according to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, one in every five data breach victims was an SMB. What’s more, only 47% of SMBs are able to detect breaches within days.

The financial consequences have also considerably increased. IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021 shows that “data breach costs rose from USD 3.86 million to USD 4.24 million.”

The numbers don’t lie, so it’s only about time SMBs take cybersecurity seriously. You can safeguard your business from cyberattacks and provide a more secure customer experience by working with a trusted MSP.

Why managed services?

Partnering with MSPs is the most effective way to prevent attacks and defend against malicious threats. MSPs offer a full range of proactive IT support that focuses on advanced security, such as around-the-clock monitoring, data encryption and backup, real-time threat prevention and elimination, network and firewall protection, security awareness training, and more. Here are some of the services an MSP can offer:

    • Around-the-clock monitoring – A cyberattack can happen at any moment. By having someone watching your networks and systems 24/7, MSPs ensure that any potential threats are identified and dealt with quickly.
    • Data encryption and backup – Data encryption transforms readable data into an unreadable format. This can be done through the use of a key, which is only accessible to authorized users. This way, even if the data is compromised, it can’t be read without the key. Meanwhile, data backup is the process of creating and preserving copies of data so that it can be restored in the event of data loss.
    • Real-time threat prevention and elimination – By using technology that can detect and stop threats as they happen, this security solution can minimize the impact of an attack and keep your business data safe.
    • Network and firewall protection – Networks and firewalls create a barrier between the business network and the internet, securing confidential data, such as customer information, employee records, and trade secrets. Networks can be configured to allow certain types of traffic through while blocking others, so that only authorized users can access specific resources.
    • Security awareness training – Now, more than ever, SMBs need to be aware of cybersecurity threats and how to protect themselves. MSPs can facilitate security awareness training that can help employees spot red flags and know what to do (and not do) to keep company data safe.

Managed IT services are designed to identify and fix weak spots in your IT infrastructure, enabling you to optimize the digital backbone of your business processes. With managed IT, you’ll also have faster network performance, a solid business continuity and disaster recovery strategy, and minimal downtime. You’ll also get a dedicated team of IT professionals ready to assist you with any technology-related problems. This is much more effective and budget-friendly than having in-house personnel juggling all of your business IT needs.

Being proactive when it comes to cybersecurity is the only way to protect what you’ve worked hard to build. If you’d like to know more about how managed services can benefit your business, just give us a call — we’re sure to help.

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What an MSP can do for healthcare providers

More and more healthcare organizations are turning to managed IT services providers (MSPs) for their IT needs. Outsourcing their IT functions enables hospitals and clinics to focus on being healthcare providers rather than IT professionals. Here are some of the best benefits of hiring one:

MSPs guarantee quick response times

Constant system uptime and availability can be a matter of life and death in the healthcare industry, which makes quick IT support response times crucial for any healthcare practice.

Most MSPs guarantee timely and quick response, as well as support lines that are open 24/7/365. This means that if your IT infrastructure encounters an issue in the middle of the night, MSPs can handle the problem without the need for you to come into the office.

MSPs provide proactive security

In the realm of healthcare data security, it’s essential to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) mandates. Failing to meet regulations may result in huge fines, serious penalties, and even the withdrawal of your license to operate.

MSPs offer security services that include identity-based security and encryption, authorized privileges and access control, and data accountability and integrity.

MSPs assist with business continuity plans

A business continuity plan is an absolute necessity for your healthcare organization, as you can’t afford to lose all your valuable medical data in case of an emergency or a disaster.

MSPs can help identify risks and threats, then recommend proactive solutions to protect healthcare operations and data if an outage or a natural disaster occurs. Finally, they maintain HIPAA-compliant off-site backups and failover systems so you can prevent any sudden regulatory or patient data retention issues.

MSPs boost your practice’s efficiency

MSPs can recommend IT solutions and implement technologies into workflow processes to deliver efficient and timely healthcare services. For instance, MSPs can set up AI-powered recruitment tools to help with healthcare staffing, or they can automate database management to reduce human error and increase operational efficiency.

If you want to learn more about how great technology and support can benefit your healthcare practice, get in touch with us today.

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How updated firmware keeps cyberattacks at bay

Your business may have all the latest cybersecurity solutions in place, but if you haven’t updated your computers’ firmware in a while, you may still be at risk of data breaches and other cyberattacks. Here’s how updating firmware can beef up your company’s cyber defenses.

What is firmware?

Firmware is a basic type of software that is embedded into every hardware component in computers, computer peripherals (e.g., keyboards, mice), printers, mobile devices, and Internet of Things devices. It’s also found in some household appliances and gadgets such as TV remote controls, as well as everyday objects like traffic lights.

Essentially, firmware controls the device it’s installed on, sending instructions for how the device communicates with its different hardware components. It is only compatible with the make and model of the particular hardware it is installed on, and it cannot be uninstalled or deleted.

Why is updating firmware important?

According to Microsoft’s 2021 Security Signals report, firmware attacks are on the rise. These attacks involve injecting malware into computer systems to tamper with the firmware on motherboards or hardware drivers. From there, cybercriminals can do any number of things to the infected computers, including remotely controlling the devices, disabling the antivirus software, exfiltrating data, and blocking access to the devices and the data they contain.

Experts recommend installing firmware updates as soon as these become available to effectively protect against firmware attacks and other threats to your business’s cybersecurity. Users will also enjoy increased speed and enhanced performance with a firmware update.

How to install firmware updates

The method for updating firmware differs from device to device. For instance, you can simply download and install firmware updates on both iOS and Android devices. However, for devices such as routers, you will have to apply firmware updates from the manufacturer’s website or administrative console.

Keep in mind, however, that updating firmware can be tedious and time-consuming. In some cases, a firmware update can reset your devices and restore factory settings, causing you to lose custom configurations on your computers, routers, and the like. And if you fail to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter, you risk damaging your systems.

It’s therefore best to leave the installation of firmware updates to the experts. For more information about firmware security and how to safely install firmware updates, or for any questions related to business IT, give our specialists a call today.

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Why hospitals need managed IT services

Technology is the heartbeat of modern medicine, which is why hospital IT budgets continue to grow every year. Whether your practice is struggling with data security or operational efficiency, managed services providers (MSPs) are an excellent option for IT support.

Here’s why partnering with MSPs is beneficial for healthcare providers:

MSPs guarantee response times

When it comes to providing healthcare services, constant uptime and availability can be a matter of life and death. Your IT support team shouldn’t be any different. Most MSPs guarantee maximum response times and support lines that are open 24 hours a day.

If something breaks or you come across technical issues in the dead of night, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether an in-house technician takes too long to pick up the phone or can’t make it in.

MSPs help with business continuity plans

You risk putting your practice in jeopardy if your IT team can’t help you recover from an outage or natural disaster. A business continuity plan is an absolute necessity in your healthcare organization — you simply can’t afford to lose all your valuable medical data in the event of a disaster.

MSPs maintain HIPAA-compliant off-site backups and failover systems so you can prevent any sudden regulatory or customer retention issues.

MSPs provide proactive security

In the world of healthcare data security, complying with HIPAA mandates is essential. Failing to meet regulations may result in huge fines, serious penalties, and even the withdrawal of your license to operate.

MSPs offer security services that include identity-based security and encryption, authorized privileges and access control, and data accountability and integrity.

MSPs boost practice efficiency

Healthcare staffing is often a hassle. But thankfully, MSPs can help set up, secure, and support high-tech solutions that reduce your HR concerns. Practices can take advantage of automation, enterprise resource planning software, and database management to reduce human errors and increase operational efficiency.

If you want to learn more about how great technology and support can benefit your healthcare practice, get in touch with us today — we provide the perfect set of IT solutions and outstanding support to drive your organization forward.

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Small- and mid-sized businesses need cybersecurity

If your company has recently suffered from a data breach or a ransomware attack, then you know how costly it can be. You lose not just hundreds of dollars but also the reputation you’ve built through the years. That’s why you need cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions to protect your business from ever-growing cybersecurity threats. The good news? Even small- and mid-sized businesses can partner with managed IT services providers (MSPs) who can provide robust solutions and security expertise to protect businesses from huge losses.

The numbers

According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2019 State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) survey, cyberattacks have increased dramatically. Here in the United States, 76% of companies were attacked in 2019, a significant leap from 55% in 2016. Sixty-nine percent of US businesses reported data breaches in 2019, up from 50% in 2016.

The financial consequences have also increased considerably. The average cost spent by companies because of damage to or theft of IT assets and infrastructure increased from $1.03 million in 2017 to $1.2 million in 2019. Costs due to disruption to normal operations increased from an average of $1.21 million in 2017 to an average of $1.9 million in 2019.

The attacks

Globally, the most common forms of attack on SMBs are those that rely on deception: phishing (57%), stolen or compromised devices (33%), and credential theft (30%). Worse, cybercriminals are targeting SMBs more, with reported attacks having increased from 60% in 2017 to 69% in 2019.

Why managed services?

Partnering with MSPs is the most effective way to prevent attacks and protect your business from malicious threats. MSPs offer a full range of proactive IT support that focuses on advanced security, such as around-the-clock monitoring, data encryption and backup, real-time threat prevention and elimination, network and firewall protection, security awareness training, and more.

And because managed services are designed to identify and fix weak spots in your IT infrastructure, you’ll optimize the digital backbone of your business processes. You’ll have faster network performance, a solid business continuity and disaster recovery strategy, and minimal downtime. One of the best things about managed services is that you get a dedicated team of IT professionals ready to assist you for any technology problems you may encounter. This is much more effective and budget-friendly than having in-house personnel handling all your IT issues.

Being proactive when it comes to cybersecurity is the only way to protect what you’ve worked hard to build. If you’d like to know more about how managed services can benefit your business, just give us a call — we’re sure to help.

This post was originally published on this site