CYBER SECURITY | 4 MIN READ
In today's digital age, data privacy is becoming more and more of an issue. In response to cries for consumer privacy, more laws and regulations are being passed to manage data storage and curtail data sharing by businesses both large and small.
From a business' perspective, it can become challenging trying to keep up with all the regulations in an attempt to avoid bad publicity and non-compliance penalties.
However, there is an option that can both keep your network safe and keep a business compliant with data regulations: a Managed Service Provider (MSP). Keep reading to learn what a Managed Service Provider is and how they can keep you compliant.
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What is a Managed Service Provider?
A Managed Service Provider (MSP) handles specific services that a business has outsourced to them.
The most commonly outsourced services tend to be print and IT. Although companies outsource services for a variety of reasons, the most common include reducing costs, cutting waste, and boosting productivity.
When it comes to compliance with data privacy regulations, businesses can utilize a Managed IT Services Provider. An MSP can secure their network, protect their data, and implement policies and programs to keep businesses in line with data privacy regulations.
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How MSP's Keep You Compliant
Protection from Cyber Attacks
When your business is the victim of a cyber attack, for instance a phishing scam or a ransomware attack, sensitive data can be stolen, which can put you in violation of certain data privacy laws.
A Managed Service Provider layers your network with the latest hardware and software designed to keep cyber threats at bay. From anti-malware and anti-ransomware to the latest firewalls and phishing mitigation software, an MSP can help prevent cyber threats from entering your network in the first place.
vCIO's, or virtual Chief Information Officers, are responsible for the strategic planning and overall management of a company's cyber security plan. Unlike CIO's, vCIO's are a service that's usually part of a Managed IT Service Provider's package.
From a compliance standpoint, a vCIO can audit your network for weak spots and make recommendations based on important developments in data privacy regulations, cyber law, and cyber threats. vCIO's figure out how to make updates to your network as a means of reaching overarching company goals.
vCIO's can act as technology consultants to make recommendations for network upgrades. They also manage large projects regarding your network, such as a transition to a remote office.
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Centralized Security Management
When an un-authorized third party accesses your data, your business may be in violation of certain data privacy laws. By centralizing the management of your network's security, an MSP minimizes the amount of data that can be accessed by third parties.
Security centralization can also improve your MSP's response times for cyber threats and make sure that, in the event a cyber attack happens, data logs can be easily accessed to ensure that adherence with data privacy laws is improved moving forward.
Implementation of Real-Time Alerts
Certain data privacy regulations such as GDPR set stringent requirements for the timeframe in which businesses affected by a data breach must contact certain parties.
Businesses who fail to send the required notifications within the specific timeframe may be subject to a number of penalties. An MSP can help your business avoid penalties by enabling real-time data breach alerts across your network.
This not only helps your business avoid penalties but also lets your MSP neutralize cyber threats as quickly as possible.
Other Reasons to Consider an MSP
Periodic Network Upgrades and Maintenance
While your hardware and software might be brand new when they're first installed, eventually they will become outdated.
Along with installing any necessary hardware and software when your contract period begins to get your network up-to-speed, many MSP's allow for periodic upgrades to ensure that your network is running on the latest technology available.
They'll also handle necessary software updates, which takes the burden of remembering to install updates off of your business.
A good MSP will also monitor your network for weak spots and proactively make changes to address any concerns. For instance, an MSP may close a port that's been left open, or may turn off some unnecessary administrator privileges if they pose a security risk.
Cyber Security Educational Programs
All it takes is one employee who is uneducated about cyber security threats to slip up in order to let a hacker gain access to your network. This can happen in an instant and can compromise your entire network.
Thankfully, some MSP's offer cyber security training for employees, including mock phishing tests. These tests send fake phishing emails to employees, and send those who click the email's link to a cyber security training course.
MSP's can also work with you to develop a company-wide password policy which ensures that, once employees are trained on how to avoid cyber threats, they don't let hackers exploit weak passwords to gain access to your network.
Business Growth Planning
Is your business planning on expanding or moving locations?
Even if you aren't, imagine the planning that goes into it. While you would probably consider factors such as the cost of these situations, you might not consider how to plan for your network to grow or move with you.
Many Managed Service Providers will help strategize and implement a major business development like a move or growth.
For instance, if you're expanding to a new office, they can help you budget for how many computers you'll need and what other equipment you'll need to set up your network.
Compliance with data privacy regulations is becoming more and more complex as more laws are passed.
As a Managed Service Provider, we aim to manage the process for our clients so they don't have to worry about it themselves.
We hope that this article answered your questions. For more cyber security-related content, follow our blog!
Posted by Kevin Kendall
Kevin Kendall is the VP of Services for Standard Office Systems and has built a career of assisting businesses with their office technology needs. He has decades of experience with products and services like copiers, business phone systems, and managed IT services. Mr. Kendall is driven to see others succeed and help them develop to achieve results beyond ordinary expectations.