Published 13th April 2023 by | Managed IT Support

Curing Your IT Headache with a Fully Managed IT Security Provider

There’s never been a time when criminals haven’t been trying to steal from or defraud companies. As technology has become more sophisticated, though, so have the methods the criminals use. Old-fashioned crime against businesses has been replaced by cyber crime.

Cyber crime has grown exponentially over recent years, and the question is no longer whether you’ll be attacked through your IT, but when you’ll be attacked. During 2022, one third of UK businesses reported at least one attack a week, costing an average of £4,200 per attack. The actual figure is probably much higher, since many victims wouldn’t have sophisticated enough monitoring to recognise attacks.

This gives businesses a major headache. They can’t do without relying on IT, especially in this era of remote and hybrid working, but how do they avoid their major tool becoming their downfall?

The answer is robust cyber security solutions.

Key Takeaways

  • Cybercrime has grown exponentially over recent years, and it is not a question of if a company will be attacked, but when.
  • Buying IT support services provides expertise without having to invest in an entire IT department or cybersecurity team.
  • Firewall network security, anti-virus and anti-malware protection, managed endpoint protection, mobile device management, email security, domain name system protection, dark web intelligence, and cyber security awareness training are various cybersecurity solutions available.
  • The best IT support service providers offer a full, up-to-date suite of services, and work closely with clients to ensure they provide what they need.
  • Cybersecurity awareness training is important to reduce the risk of human error as it is the biggest threat to cybersecurity.

Why Does Your Business Need a Managed Service Provider?

Even if you accept that you need cyber security, how do you know exactly what you need? A large corporation might have an entire IT department and employ cyber security experts, but it’s unlikely your budget will run to that. It’s a similar decision as when small-medium size businesses switch from having an internal IT support staff member, to using an outsourced IT support provider. Outsourcing your cyber security needs provides a greater level of expertise and cutting edge security solutions. Without that level of expertise, you’ll likely be guessing at what you need and how best to implement it.

Buying in IT support services puts that level of expertise at your fingertips, without having to reinvent the wheel yourself. Ideally, what you want is to be able to talk over what your specific needs are, and then agree on a tailor-made package that meets those needs.

At the same time, the support service you choose will be able to train your people how to use the software — and, even more importantly, train everyone in the company on how to recognise and avoid threats. For example, how to know when an email with a link or a download is suspicious, or how to recognise a possible social engineering scam.

Managed Support Provider

Comparing the various cyber security solutions available

Firewall Network Security

A firewall provides a barrier that prevents potentially dangerous programs from accessing your systems. The advantage of firewall security is obvious. It will prevent most malware from making it through into your machines and network, shutting out hackers.

On the other hand, some types of firewall may restrict your people’s access to files, or else cause a deterioration of performance, so it’s vital to make sure you’re getting the right solution.

Firewall Solutions

Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Protection

Anti-virus solutions identify and block known threats by matching signatures against a database of viruses. This can be effective at preventing most viruses from accessing your system, but it’s only as good as the latest update. A new virus can often get in.

Anti-malware protection, on the other hand, reads the behaviour of a program to determine whether it’s a threat. This might be effective against a new threat the anti-virus wouldn’t identify, but it doesn’t catch everything. Anti-virus and anti-malware protection, which are often offered in the same package, offer a useful level of security, but aren’t enough alone.

Managed Endpoint Protection

Whereas firewalls, anti-virus and anti-malware solutions rely on identifying threats once they’ve reached the device, offering a slight window to get through. Managed endpoint protection actively seek out threats in advance and prevent them from getting anywhere near your systems.

The only possible downside of managed endpoint protection is that you need to make sure you choose a solution that really does what it says on the tin such and Sentinal One.

Endpoint Detection and Response

Mobile Device Management

In today’s environment of remote and hybrid working, it’s essential for all mobile devices connected to your network to be effectively protected. The challenge here is to configure the mobile devices into a network that’s secure, without compromising their performance.

Email Security

Topsec Microsoft 365 Email Security small

Emails tend to be the prime target of cyber criminals and can provide the easiest way into your system. This causes a problem, since any solution that restricts the efficiency of emails or employee access to them could seriously compromise your business’s performance.

However, if you choose the right email security system, it can filter out any dangerous emails and let the necessary ones through to the right person.

Domain Name System Protection

Domain name system (DNS) protection checks the domain name of any website your people try to access and blocks dangerous sites. This allows your employees to use the internet safely and with confidence, but of course it has to be set up correctly, to ensure that it isn’t unnecessarily blocking useful websites.

Dark Web Intelligence

Ransomware attacks

Used by cyber criminals, among others, the Dark Web is the underworld of the internet. It’s here that hackers access the tools they need to attack your IT systems.

Clearly, knowing what threats are lurking on the Dark Web can help create more effective defences. The problem is that it can be difficult, not to say dangerous, to access these areas, and you need expertise anyway to interpret what you learn. Webroot DNS protection offers a cutting-edge cyber security solution to filter internet traffic and block malicious websites

Cyber Security Awareness Training

Just as human error is the biggest threat to cyber security, human awareness can be the strongest defence. Providing regular cyber security training for everyone in the organisation will do at least as much as the software solutions available to keep you safe.

However, this is not only time consuming, but also an extremely specialist area. Even if you have an IT department, it’s likely that none of them will have the specific skills needed to offer this training.

What Makes a Good IT Support Service Provider

The best solution to the problems of IT security is to outsource your IT support services — but you need to pick the right supplier.

What you’re looking for is partly a supplier offering a full, up-to-date suite of services, but you also need to be sure they’re with you for the long run. What ongoing services do they offer? Are they going to be working closely with you to ensure they provide what you really need, rather than a one-size-fits-all package? How accessible will they be when you need them? And, crucially, do they provide training for your people?

Get in touch with Alliance Solutions to find out how we can design a package that meets all your IT security needs and provide ongoing expert support and training.

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