Managed IT services, or outsourced remote network management, can help your business in many ways. It’s a cost effective way of having your IT infrastructure monitored and maintained by experts instead of hiring an IT director. Or, it can free up your IT director and IT staff to work on more important projects than daily maintenance. But other than productivity and peace of mind, what are the security benefits of managed IT services?
Here are three security advantages you get with remote network management.
Basic managed IT services include running software updates, patches, and upgrades for your servers and/or desktops. Any machines covered by your contract will automatically have updates run on schedule, so you never have to worry about the time it takes to check your update status and apply patches. Instead, updating happens automatically — heading off any cybersecurity attacks that target vulnerabilities between the times when a patch is released and then actually applied.
For example, this happened recently when the WannaCry ransomware virus took advantage of a particular flaw in certain versions of Windows OS. This flaw was actually fixed with a patch in March 2017, but by May 2017 — when the ransomware outbreak happened — many people and businesses hadn’t updated with the patch yet! Anyone with managed IT services that automatically and immediately handle upgades didn’t have to worry because the patch was applied when it should have been — right after it was released. No hassle, no worry — all automatic.
Managed IT services can also provide you with direct security measures like firewall monitoring and management and managed anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-spam solutions. Business-grade firewalls and anti-virus solutions are just expected these days, so what’s the big advantage of remote management? Once again, you stay up to date.
A monitored and management firewall solution will make sure your firewall’s firmware and software are constantly up to date, to reduce vulnerabilities. You’ll receive regular reports that show you how well your firewall is protecting you and any areas of concern, so you can act right away rather than being caught unaware.
Same with your anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-spam solutions. It’s too easy to find a set-it-and-forget-it anti-virus solution and never check on it again. Managed anti-virus is meant to protect your business or organization’s network in ways that commercial or residential solutions just can’t. It’ll always be updated and top-of-the-line.
And finally, what about managed backup? Managed IT services cover backing up your data too. Managed backup offerings handle your regularly scheduled backups, backup reporting, and testing your backups to make sure they are recoverable.
Backing up your data isn’t just necessary these days — in many cases, businesses and organizations have to comply with laws that require data backups and data retention. But a strong data backup or BCDR solution is often the only way to protect yourself against emerging cybersecurity threats like ransomware.
Going for the managed backup option means your data backups are monitored, managed, and recoverable. This ensures you won’t lose your data in the case of accidents, mishaps, or catastrophes, but also that your backed up data itself is safe.
Managed IT Services Help Secure Your Business
If you’re looking to shore up your IT management or to reduce the load on your staff, managed IT services can give you the remote IT management you need. But it’s also worth thinking about managed IT services and the many areas of IT and security they cover when you’re planning your cybersecurity defense.