Despite all evidence to the contrary, the myth persists that IT security breaches are primarily the problems of large corporations and that smaller companies can safely operate under the radar. Often, the exact opposite is true — a small network is a lot easier to hack than IBM’s.
In fact, a recent study by Trustwave finds that 90 percent of data breaches impact small businesses. Nevertheless, few of these firms have adequate IT security measures. The global security firm CSID says that only 31 percent of small businesses take active steps to guard themselves against security breaches.
Lack of awareness is one reason for the security gap in small and midsized businesses (SMBs), but budget constraints and a shortage of in-house expertise are also to blame. What’s more, these issues are only intensifying as SMBs embrace evolving IT trends surrounding mobility and cloud computing.
Kaspersky Lab reports that 54 percent of SMBs believe that their IT security will be compromised at some point and that preparation is essential, with 40 percent admitting that they lack sufficient insight or intelligence on the threats faced by the business. Though many recognize the risks of new and emerging threats, 50 percent say they do not expect to be able to increase their security budget for staffing.
Eventually, SMBs will have to implement more robust security measures — some of which may seem beyond their reach. The solution may be to get outside help from a managed services provider (MSP).
There is a natural reluctance in organizations of all sizes to seek outside help for IT security. The fear is that turning over all or even small parts of this critical function to an outsider is like giving away the keys to the kingdom. However, working with an MSP offers too many benefits to discount.
Your MSP has the tools and expertise to deliver enterprise-grade security without busting your budget. By leveraging economies of scale, your MSP can deliver advanced security solutions that dramatically improve your ability to ward off increasing cybercrime activities. This includes managing and monitoring firewalls and intrusion prevention/detection systems, threat management, endpoint security and much more.
Your MSP can also be a valuable partner when it comes to regulatory compliance. A host of government and industry regulations are in place to ensure the safety of sensitive data, and compliance alone can easily become a full-time job for your staff. Your MSP can conduct assessments to identify gaps and implement corrections that resolve any compliance gaps.
The threat landscape is constantly evolving, and it requires vigilance and expertise to keep up in this cat-and-mouse game. Limited resources, staff and budget all make it difficult for SMBs to keep pace, but a managed services provider with broad security expertise can provide an edge. Your MSP can give you access to enterprise-grade intelligence, insight and toolsets at a fraction of the cost of hiring full-time staff. What’s more, you gain assurance that key skillsets will be continually enhanced in order to deliver the protection you need.