If you think all of your business’s cybersecurity needs are covered by your managed services provider, think again.
Managed services provide a variety of benefits to businesses that lower overall IT costs and provide some cybersecurity benefits. Note the word some and not all. When working with a managed services provider (MSP), it’s critical to understand what cybersecurity services will and will not be provided under your MSP agreement.
Security Services Typically Provided by MSPs
Setting up and managing networks inherently involves securing technology and access. Antivirus software and firewalls are often standard services included with managed services and technology.
Another of the most standard and beneficial security offerings of MSPs is patching. Device and application providers release hundreds of patches in a year. And keeping up with those patches, many of which include security, can be overwhelming for organizations and multiplied by the number of devices and applications they use. MSPs can ensure that security patches and bug fixes occur when they should, thereby providing a much-needed security function.
Many MSPs also include identity access management as a service which can help reduce the likelihood of unauthorized access to data. The MSP validates users’ credentials for accessing various types of data and even verifies whether access is still needed as employees change roles or leave the company. MSPs will also notify their client of access issues well before a business’s small, multi-tasking IT department might detect them.
Another way MSPs provide security is through best practices. One example is multi-factor authentication (MFA). MSPs were recommending MFA to their clients well before businesses were aware of its importance to security and widely adopting it broadly in their organizations.
MSPs can be great resources for information from best practices to technology. Businesses are often inundated by technology providers offering solutions to a myriad of problems. MSPs have extensive experience with products and issues, and access to knowledge resources, a business may not. They can help organizations make informed decisions about technology purchases that are based on best practices and the bigger picture rather than exclusive, individual situations a business might be facing.
MSPs May Not Provide Specialized Security Services
Businesses in the midst of cybersecurity events may find out they’ve made a critically uninformed assumption about their MSP when certain cybersecurity functions are not provided. For instance, an organization may assume that their MSP will not only alert them to a cyber breach but also find the root cause and correct the issue, while the MSP agreement may simply provide remote monitoring of network health and maintaining network access.