What are managed service providers and how can they save your business?

What are managed service providers and how can they save your business?

Rob Slippey September 14, 2020
What are managed service providers and how can they save your business?

Along with the launch of Tech 360, we decided it was appropriate to discuss what a managed service provider is and more importantly why we’re here.

It’s no secret that cyber attacks are a huge threat these days. What you probably didn’t realize is that it can happen to you, the small business. In fact, there is speculation that small to mid-sized businesses are a prime target of hackers because they lack the IT support that big businesses have. A study by Verizon concluded that 43% of breach victims were small and medium businesses. In 2019, cyber-attacks cost an average of $3.92 Million Security Intelligence.

The managed service providers of the world, are here to help mitigate these threats. We’re the geeks, but not like in high school, this time we’re going to save you money, and possibly even your business.

What is a Managed Service Provider?

So what is a managed service provider (MSP)? An MSP is generally a small to mid-sized business, local to your business, that provides a range of services to help small businesses in their community with technology issues. Some MSPs specialize more than others, but generally you’ll find MSPs offer services such as:

  • Network & infrastructure management & security
  • Application management & security
  • Computer monitoring and management
  • Remote support
  • Business process consulting
  • Structured Cabling installation services
  • Project-based services such as installing a new server or adding Wi-Fi to an office building or hotel.

For example, a typical MSP will monitor all of your computers for threats, ensure the latest patches for your operating system have been installed, address any issues with the operating system, and monitor your network for issues or threats. A good MSP will help find problems, like a failing hard disk, or a backup that isn’t working correctly before you know about it, saving you downtime and money.

Being Proactive Will Save You

Many might be wondering why we bother to prevent issues when we can just fix those issues as they arise. Quite simply, it’s far more cost-effective to prevent issues beforehand. If that hard drive fails and there is no backup, there is nothing that can be done. If your network and server get breached there is no way to put the magic smoke back in the box. Prevention also takes a fraction of the time and can be done remotely versus sometimes costly onsite labor. An ounce of prevention is really worth a pound of cure, and then some.

Business Processes

You might think that business processes aren’t really a ‘tech’ thing, but truthfully, in today’s technology-driven world, they are. We’ve recently consulted with a client that was spending an unimaginable amount of hours performing repetitive data entry because they just didn’t understand that there was a better process. Implementing new processes that improve the efficiency and accuracy of your business are a benefit to your business, your employees, and your customers. We were able to design a simple process using the business’s existing software, generate the data they need, in the way they need it, and demonstrate how the business owner could perform these actions on their own. This shortened a several hours-long project to minutes by implementing simple processes in the business to achieve efficiency.

Security

You probably thought we already talked about security. Security is a huge part of what an MSP does, so we’re going to talk a little more about it. Did you know that 32% of attacks included phishing or social engineering? An MSP will help you develop, maintain, and implement policies that protect your organization from phishing attacks. The easiest way to prevent phishing and social engineering attacks is through basic user education. The man on the phone claiming to be from the bank and wanting to verify your password, yep, that’s probably a social engineer.

Malware accounted for 28% of breaches according to Verizon. As part of the above managed services, an MSP will help mitigate that risk by consistently ensuring patches have been applied and that virus protection has been updated. Further adding to the value of an MSP, ransomware protection includes a solid backup plan. Contrary to common belief, simply backing up to the cloud, or creating a copy of data to a USB hard drive are NOT backups. What happens if your building goes away? So has your backup. Ransomware has been known to also propagate to backups stored off-site. An MSP can aid you in the decisions necessary to mitigate the threats of ransomware and malware.

Leverage the Technology Available

In the IT space, there is a wealth of software available. We’ve found businesses have a hard time understanding, or better yet implementing this technology. The general result is either a misunderstanding of the technology they need, or huge costs for technology they don’t need. We’ve spent over a decade employing various technologies for our own needs and the needs of our small business friends. MSPs understand the technology and can guide you to making an informed decision about what software best suits your business.

What About Tech 360

The founders of Tech 360 have spent the majority of their lives in information technology. A passion for technology offers an interesting opportunity in life, but how did that lead to Tech 360? It starts with helping people. Businesses are people, especially small businesses. For years we’ve watched as businesses have made mistakes that sometimes cost them their livelihoods. Not knowing any better, businesses put their trust in large organizations that promised to protect their data, provide them with a reasonable service, or be there for them when things went wrong.

We’ve seen time and again how small businesses, in particular, think they’re secure and safe, only to find out things aren’t always what they seem.

  • We’ve met with business owners who thought they had a backup. As it turned out that backup was configured wrong and the drive had failed, who knows for how long.
  • We’ve seen firewalls that haven’t been upgraded in years
  • Another recent client had his website go down twice in a year. The reason? It had never been updated.

We have a simple goal in business; help others. We get it, you don’t understand all this technical nonsense, and we don’t expect you to. We’ll worry about the technology so you can get back to business, with peace of mind.

Need Help?

We’re currently taking new clients. If you’d like to discuss your business’s needs or your concerns, please contact us. We offer a free evaluation & quotes.

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