5 Questions To Ask IT Support Providers About Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is a strategic risk for all companies. The number of high profile data breaches that occur with increasing regularity has underscored the need for businesses to reach out to IT support providers about cybersecurity concerns.
C-suite executives know they need to prioritise cybersecurity to mitigate the risk of a data breach. However, few recognise the complex nature of implementing and executing a cybersecurity strategy.
Like every other aspect of your business, the cybersecurity defences you put in place have to meet your budget. There may also have to be a trade-off between reducing risk and maintaining pace in the market.
Finding cybersecurity solutions is where managed IT support providers earn their corn. Having said that, you want to be assured that you’re working with IT security providers that understand the solutions that meet your business needs rather than simply delivering blanket IT security solutions.
Before signing a contract, ask your IT support provider about cybersecurity solutions that are relevant to your business. Whilst IT solutions look different for every business, the questions below will help you determine whether you will be getting custom solutions.
1. What cybersecurity strategies will protect my business?
There is no single answer to this question so an IT support provider can’t give you a definitive answer until they’ve analysed your business network. However, the buzzwords to listen out for are “proactive”, “governance” and “awareness”.
Cybersecurity solutions require a holistic approach. Installing cyber defences has moved beyond anti-virus software and system updates. The latest strategies should assess system vulnerabilities, secure endpoints and implement applications that add layers to your IT security defences.
Proactive strategies include remote monitoring, access controls, cloud configuration and virtual desktops to name a few.
Governance involves ensuring you meet the recommendations imposed on businesses in relation to government policies such as GDPR. Check out our GDPR checklist for a quick fix.
Awareness relates to cybersecurity training for your staff but should ideally include plans to deliver ongoing awareness of the latest hacking techniques to watch out for.
2. Do you perform regular IT Security audits?
Audits are critical for identifying potential risks and determining the effectiveness of the cybersecurity solutions you have in place. If you don’t know where you are most vulnerable, there’s a higher chance of implementing the wrong resources.
Cybersecurity can be costly. Not only as an initial outlay you have to correct later down the line, but failing to recognise risks leaves open gateways for hackers to exploit.
IT security teams use threat intelligence software that provides insights into existing threats together with the potential for future data breaches. Regular audits consistently assess your internal defences together with analysis of the latest activities threat actors are deploying.
3. Who is accountable for what?
IT security is a two-way partnership. Whilst IT security providers are accountable for providing you with technologies and an effective cybersecurity strategy, it is the responsibility of you as a company to implement the strategy and utilise all the tools at your disposal.
For example, employees play a significant role in the protection of your business network. It is your responsibility to ensure you have provided cybersecurity awareness training and enforce defences like multi-factor authentication and security patches.
It’s important to note that in the event of a data breach, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will determine who is accountable for the breach.
Documenting your responsibilities and the responsibilities of your ISP enables will make this decision easier, but more importantly, helps you and your team to understand what you will be accountable for and where your responsibilities lie.
4. What is your response plan if there is a data breach?
A solid IT security strategy should never reach this point, but unfortunately, there are no infallible cybersecurity strategies because threat actors can create a technique cybersecurity defences do not have an answer for yet.
Whilst a data breach has the potential to put you out of business, an effective response plan can be the difference between sinking or swimming. A cybersecurity strategy should include a disaster recovery plan that priorities mission-critical data, minimises downtime and protects your most sensitive data among others.
Check out our article on how to implement an effective disaster recovery plan.
5. Are your SLAs flexible?
Understanding service level agreements can reveal a lot when quizzing IT support providers about cybersecurity services. SLAs define the level of service you can expect and document how to track performance.
Whilst ISPs have a standard set of SLAs, you may feel the IT security solutions need to be modified for your precise business requirements. For example, if you work in sectors where cybersecurity is highly regulated, the standard SLAs offered by ISPs may not meet the requirements of SLAs you are legally responsible to uphold.
The policies you have in writing must align with your compliance obligations. You want to be assured that the strategies and technologies you have in place will pass an audit.
IT Support Providers in Surrey
A data breach could put you out of business. If you don’t have the in-house expertise and need to ask IT support providers about cybersecurity measures, knowing how to identify the ISPs you can rely on is critical.
The information outlined above should provide you with sufficient insights as to whether the ISPs you approach actually have an effective cybersecurity strategy that can be customised for your business. If an ISP only offers a blanket service, you will be able to detect when they are not a good fit for your business.
Our cybersecurity specialists in Surrey provide a high level of IT security. Moreover, we have more than twenty years of experience in the IT field and work with businesses of all sizes.
The type of IT security services we provide includes, but is not limited to, remote monitoring, patch management, cybersecurity awareness training, cloud configuration, risk assessment and a disaster recovery plan.
For more information about what we can do for your cybersecurity defences, give our IT support specialists in Surrey a call. We’re happy to answer all of your questions.