CYBER SECURITY | 4 MIN READ
The right Managed Service Provider can be a great asset to your business. Besides keeping your network running smoothly and keeping your company's personal data out of the hands of hackers, an MSP can also take steps to minimize your network's downtime in the event of a data breach or outage. Keep reading to learn how an MSP can minimize network downtime as well as how else they can benefit your business.
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Consistently Conducting Data Backups
Regularly scheduled data backups ensure that, in the event of a network outage, your company doesn't experience severe downtime. When your network goes down, you may have to restore it to the most recent backup, especially in the event of a ransomware attack.
In a scenario like this, if your company isn't regularly scheduling backups, you may have to restore your network to an older backup from days or potentially even weeks ago. Think of how your company would be negatively impacted if you lost all the work and files from the past few days or few weeks!
Additionally, the costs of downtime can quickly add up for every hour that your company is offline. Without consistent backups, you may be offline for longer. Thankfully, an MSP can automate your backups so they're completed as often as possible.
Without an MSP, some companies leave backups to an internal employee with little to no IT experience. When backups aren't automated and are left up to someone with little IT experience, they can be completed incorrectly and infrequently, which puts your network at risk.
Letting an MSP automate your backups takes the pressure off of you and your employees, which minimizes stress, maximizes productivity, and keeps your network running smoothly in the event of a network outage.
Creating BCDR Plans
A Backup Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plan ensures that in the event of a network outage, downtime is kept to a minimal and your network is restored to the most recent backup quickly.
An MSP can create and implement a BCDR plan for you. Along with taking steps like automating your backups, MSP's can also create fail-over servers if your company has multiple offices. For instance, if your headquarters' network were to go down, you could re-direct that office's traffic through another office's servers.
MSP's can help your company designate a chain of command in the event of a ransomware attack or other severe network issue. If an employee spots an issue in your network, they should know who to contact to get the issue resolved. Having a chain of command set up minimizes confusion in the event of a major issue and can help problems get resolved easier and faster.
Backing up data to the cloud also keeps data centralized in one location and makes it easy to quickly recover data if your network goes down. MSP's can implement a comprehensive BCDR plan that minimizes downtime and keeps your company as productive as possible.
Keeping Software Updated
Though keeping software updated may sound like a foundational step in protecting your network, it is also a crucial step in minimizing downtime.
Similar to backups, software updates are another menial task usually left up to an internal employee. Especially when your company is using multiple cyber security platforms, human error can come into play and updates to all software can be forgotten or completed incorrectly.
An MSP can regularly schedule updates on all cyber security software that your company uses.
While automating backups minimizes downtime by saving current files in case your company must restore to a previous backup, keeping cyber security software updated can prevent a ransomware attack, which cripples your network and shuts it down anywhere from hours to days, from happening in the first place.
Automated software updates can also patch any security gaps left in your network, which can protect you from other cyber threats like malware and bugs. The less security gaps there are in your network, the less of a chance that your network will experience a breach and subsequent downtime.
How Else MSP's Benefit Your Business
Besides minimizing downtime, a Managed Service Provider can benefit your business by streamlining operations and keeping your network protected. Keep reading to learn a few other ways that an MSP can serve as a major asset to your business.
From the start, an MSP learns your network inside and out to close any existing security gaps, which can exist in places you might typically overlook such as your printers and copiers.
Then, an MSP can install the latest cyber security hardware and software to protect your network. This ensures that your network is protected from any sort of threat, from phishing and malware to ransomware and more.
A Managed Service Provider can also run dark web scans to find personal company information that may have been stolen and leaked on the dark web. Dark web scans in particular are useful in protecting your network because they can sometimes show the origins of where information was stolen, for instance, with a third party provider that your company works with.
Remote Office Setup and Maintenance
Are you planning on taking your office remote? An MSP can figure out what technology you need and appropriately configure it for you. For instance, an MSP can set all remote employees up with a VPN so that they can securely connect to your network.
An MSP can also ensure that all company devices are running the latest versions of anti-virus and anti-malware, which reduces the odds of a data breach or network outage.
Planning to take your office remote is stressful enough. An MSP can simplify the process while keeping your network secure.
RELATED: How to Transition to a Remote Office
When an MSP handles your network's security, the burden is taken off of internal employees. An SMB might not have any internal IT staff, which means that routine cyber security tasks like fixing passwords, performing backups, and upgrading security software can be left up to an employee with little to no IT expertise.
Managing a business' cyber security involves coordinating efforts between a variety of platforms. To fully secure a network, a business may need to have a cloud provider, anti-malware, antivirus, and much more. Effectively leveraging all these platforms yourself can become overwhelming and time-consuming.
Allowing an MSP to manage all these platforms for you keeps your network safe and frees up internal employees, which maximizes productivity.
The threat of a ransomware attack is ever-present. Ransomware attacks are just one of the many scenarios in which your network can go down, costing your company more money the longer it's down.
Consider an MSP if your company wants to streamline operations and minimize downtime while keeping your network safe from cyber threats.
Posted by Erica Kastner
Erica Kastner is a lead Marketing Specialist at Standard Office Systems as well as a University of Georgia graduate. She aims to use her passion for problem-solving to help businesses understand how to better leverage their network infrastructure.