Internet hackers have been costing companies money for many years. They hack into company computers and damage business information as well as company websites. These attacks can cost companies thousands and potentially even millions of dollars. However, there seems to be a misconception that only large, fortune 500 businesses are a legitimate target for hackers. Small business owners think that no one would attack their business because they wouldn’t receive the kind of large financial gain that they could potentially receive from a big corporation. However, the truth is that hackers love to target small business because many of them don’t purchase the type of cybersecurity protection required to keep a business safe.
According to the 2016 State of SMB Cybersecurity Report, hackers have breached about 14 million small business in the US. That’s half of all small businesses in the country! The way that hackers choose to attack often varies. Many times the small business is just an entry point for the hackers to reach larger, partner businesses. More recently, however, hackers are choosing to break into company data files and hold them for ransom. They will often threaten to leak confidential company information to the public if they are not paid a significant sum of money. Another way that hackers can damage business is by accessing the credit card information of that business’s customers. Not only can a hacker then drain money of out those accounts, but he can also ruin the trust between that customer and the small business in the process.
Companies Lose in Excess of $400 Billion to Hackers Each Year
For this reason, it has become more and more common for companies to buy insurance against financial losses from hackers. Premiums for those types of insurance packages can often be fairly inexpensive for the amount of coverage they provide. Another thing that companies can do is install antivirus software. Also, it is important to invest in a service that monitors all credit card transactions with the company for fraudulent activity.
One of the best things a small business can do to protect themselves is hire an IT company that specializes in managed services to monitor their IT systems. Managed service providers offer a variety of services that can help protect a company from Internet hackers. They usually provide hardware and IT support to make sure your business is always up to speed. Hardware issues can sometimes provide hackers a way to enter a company’s database without being detected. Managed services make sure a business is running at peak capacity in terms of its IT systems, which in turn can aid in making a hacker’s job more difficult. Another great thing that most managed service providers offer is disaster recovery services. Hackers have the ability to wipe a company clean of many important files from their computers. The purpose of disaster recovery services is to have a backup plan in place to protect a business’s most important files. All of those important files could be lost forever if not correctly backed up. Whether it is an Internet hacker or just a system malfunction, managed services aim to make sure all company files are correctly backed up for when disaster strikes.
5 Other Problems that Managed IT Services Can Help With
In addition to protecting a business from hackers, there are many other ways in which hiring a managed services provider can benefit a company. Here is a list of five other problems that small businesses often deal with and how managed services can help:
There are always actions a business can take to become more efficient with their technology. Sometimes it can be difficult for a business, especially a small business, to recognize what could be done to improve efficiency and cut unnecessary expenditures. Managed service providers are very experienced in this area and are experts in optimizing technology so that a business runs as efficiently as possible. In other words, a company that invests in managed services should notice an increase in productivity almost immediately.
Overwhelmed IT Departments
If a company outsources to a managed services provider, it will free up the on-site IT department to worry about other things within the company. It will also free up the IT department budget. The idea is that a company outsource its routine IT tasks to a managed service provider, which allows for their top IT staff within the company to work on more innovative and company specific tasks.
Inexperienced IT Staff
A company’s on-site IT employee may be the top of their class, but it is likely that they haven’t seen everything because they only work with their company’s specific problems. Leading IT service companies are constantly working for numerous businesses and have been fixing IT problems for years. This means that they’ve seen and fixed many different problems before and few things are actually new to them. You can’t overestimate the value of past experience when it comes to managed services.
Competing with Larger Companies
Large companies have top-of-the-line IT service technicians monitoring their systems on-site. Small business can’t afford that luxury, but outsourcing their IT services to a managed service provider can level the playing field in terms of the quality of IT services that the business receives.
Outsourcing to a managed service provider can greatly reduce costs associated with hiring and training IT staff. Giving in-house IT staff the proper training can be costly and time consuming. Even with expensive training, in-house IT staff can rarely compare to the quality and efficiency of the services provided by a leading managed service provider. Outsourcing allows a developing business to focus resources where they are most needed.
Unfortunately, too many small businesses think that they don’t need to worry about any of the same problems that large business do, and thus they don’t need managed IT services. Many businesses wait until after a problem occurs to contact a managed service provider, and by that time the damage is already done. Whether it is protection from hackers, increasing productivity, or anything else, it is abundantly clear that managed services can be extremely beneficial to all small businesses. The time to protect a small business from hackers is well before a situation arises, and the best way to do that is by hiring a managed services provider.