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November 24, 2016
If it’s worth having, it’s worth having online — or at least that’s what it seems like these days. Everything from banking transactions to retail stores to pizza delivery is online. Unfortunately, as all the good guys got online, all the bad guys followed. For every transaction your business does online, there’s 15 hackers out there wanting a piece of the action.
Some are looking to steal your CEO’s password and gain all that high-level system access. Others want to steal your customers’ pay information to make fraudulent charges, and still more would love to get their hands on enough of your customers’ or partners’ information to conduct some lucrative identity theft.
There are two ways to approach this dangerous climate. One is to try to manage your IT security on your own. This requires a team of cyber security pros (not the easiest fellows to come by, or the cheapest to get once you find them) working round-the-clock, armed with an arsenal of sophisticated security tools. The other way, and by far the less expensive and easiest way, is to contract with managed IT services for small businesses. Here are just a few of the security nightmares a managed IT service provider can save you from.
1. Sophisticated Phishing Scams
Phishing, and its cousin “whaling” scams are on the rise. It’s easy to snicker at those who fall prey, but sometimes these scams catch you off guard, and even the savviest of users find themselves following a link in an email and forking over their sensitive info. Before you know it — Wham! You’re hacked. A managed service provider continually monitors emails for fishy phishing and whaling scams, as well as monitoring network traffic for any indication that someone did accidentally let a hacker in.
2. Vulnerabilities in Software
There’s a lot of talk about the vulnerabilities in open source software, but the truth is that there are both known and unknown vulnerabilities in all software systems. In fact, some are left intentionally by the developers. These are called “backdoors” and they are deliberate security gaps left by software developers so that they (or in some cases, other entities like the federal government or law enforcement personnel) can get into the systems while in use at your business. A managed service provider knows about inherent software vulnerabilities and stays up-to-date on newly discovered vulnerabilities (called zero-day threats) so that your systems are always protected.
3. Mobile Hacks
From a business perspective, nothing is more convenient than mobile access. It’s awesome to be able to access your work systems from a client’s office, or better yet, to let your customers log into an online portal to do business without having to contact a company rep. But mobile devices, mobile operating systems, and mobile apps all have gaping security holes that most any hacker can walk right through. With a managed service provider, you know that your mobile devices, mobile users, and network traffic are always being watched with vigilant eyes.
4. Rising Requirements of Cyber Insurers
Cyber insurance companies are beginning to crack down on businesses that aren’t taking any and all necessary precautions when it comes to securing your systems. You can no longer leave doors open and expect insurers to cover your losses. If you haven’t done everything in your power to keep hackers out, don’t expect insurers to waltz in and take care of the damages. Partnering with a managed service provider shows your insurance company that you mean business about cyber security.
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