How outsourcing your IT can help to reduce cybersecurity risks
When you run a small business, the one thing you dread above everything else is something affecting your ability to trade and carry on as normal. Disruption can be caused by many things, machinery breakdowns, a pandemic, a break-in, a fire or flood, for example, but a major threat is a cybersecurity breach. We have spoken to many small business owners and they all think that criminals have bigger fish to fry and wouldn’t bother with them but this can be a mistake. Your company owns, sends and receives lots of data every day. It is a major asset to your business, so you should take the same precautions to protect it that you would with physical stock or your business premises. If you are not IT savvy or you don’t have the resources in-house to keep on top of technology, outsourcing your IT can reduce cybersecurity risks to your business.
If you are still not sure, here are a couple of questions for you and your IT team:
Do you keep pace with the latest technology?
Do you keep up to date with the latest cybersecurity threats and are you proactive in defending against them?
Do some of your staff work from home?
Is your email system secure?
Is your sensitive data encrypted?
Are you compliant with regulations such as GDPR, the ICO, and how it affects storing data?
Do you have an effective backup and disaster recovery plan?
If talking about IT makes your eyes glaze over and these questions have prompted you to think about the security of your business data, We Can Help.
In this blog, we will explain how outsourcing your IT can reduce cybersecurity risks. Even better, if your business is in Yorkshire or Lancashire, contact SquareCubed to talk through your cybersecurity concerns with an expert.
Outsourcing your IT can reduce cybersecurity risks by using the latest technology
Although you are familiar with your trusty, old system, outdated software presents a big risk to your business. Older software is difficult to integrate with new technology or devices and is more prone to failing. It also doesn’t offer the best protection against cyberattacks. In addition, in-house IT teams may not have the expertise or budget to be proactive, taking the more reactive approach of making changes after a hacker has got into your system.
Outsourcing your IT can reduce cybersecurity risks because your provider will be more proactive, implementing defences to prevent cyberattacks from happening in the first place. They implement patches and updates as soon as they are available, so hackers can’t take advantage of bugs or loopholes. They will also evaluate new technologies, explaining how you can take advantage of the latest advances to protect your business data against cybersecurity threats. They will ensure your sensitive business data is protected, freeing up internal resources to focus on making your business a success.
Another way outsourcing your IT can reduce cybersecurity risks is because providers are better placed at the forefront of the industry to recognise, detect, and protect against emerging cybersecurity threats. They are industry experts and will have more experience of breaches or security alerts than a small in-house IT team. This pool of knowledge, experience and security intelligence can benefit small businesses.
Working from home (WFH)
WFH became a necessity during the pandemic, but it has continued to be a major factor in employment. If you only have one person or a small team responsible for IT, you may not have the resources to protect home devices against the latest cyberattack trends.
Part of the support offered by an external IT provider is to ensure that security measures are in place to protect data when accessed from public networks or those with fewer or outdated security protocols. Outsourcing your IT can reduce cybersecurity risks through measures such as:
Recognising the need for, and implementing, a strong password and authentication procedure
Enforcing Multi Factor Authentication when logging on
Restricting access to confidential or sensitive data
Ensuring external devices have the latest security software installed
Setting up a VPN network for WFH
Is your email system secure?
We explored this topic in our blog ‘How secure is your email?’ a couple of months ago, so if you have concerns about your email security, it covers all the main causes for concern:
Security protocol for mobile or home devices
Email encryption to ensure the safe sending of data
Benefits of the Microsoft 365 Cloud
Types of Phishing and what to look out for
Our tips for staying safe including password policies and staff training
Is your sensitive data encrypted?
Encryption can be a difficult topic to understand, but it can be used to protect sensitive, confidential, or important data on your company’s network, leaving you less vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches. You encrypt or ‘scramble’ text, making it unreadable for anyone without the key to unscramble it – think of the Enigma machine! Outsourcing your IT can reduce cybersecurity risks through recognising the need for, and the implementation of, encryption programmes designed to protect sensitive data, files, folders, or even whole disks!
Compliance with regulations
When you outsource your IT to an external provider, they will have experience across a range of industries and will be aware of regulations such as GDPR and how these regulations affect their clients’ businesses. With the number and variety of cybersecurity threats on the increase, you should be confident that your business meets or surpasses industry best practice regarding the storage of, and access to, sensitive data. Therefore, outsourcing your IT can reduce cybersecurity risks by ensuring your compliance and reducing the possibility of fines or legal action for data breaches.
Backup and disaster recovery plan
We looked in depth at why your business should have a backup and disaster recovery plan in an earlier blog, but it is worth going through the main points of why this is so important:
Data backup - in case something goes wrong, and you lose access
Reduce downtime to make sure your business is up and running again ASAP
An external IT provider will not hesitate to ask you the difficult questions like “what data can you afford to lose?” Outsourcing your IT can reduce cybersecurity risks by making sure that you have a tested and verified backup and disaster recovery plan in place to protect business-critical data, thus minimising disruption to your business in the event of a security breach or system failure.
If your company is located in Yorkshire or Lancashire and you are worried about cybersecurity threats to your business operations, contact the experts at SquareCubed to discuss your options for protecting your business-critical data. We Can Help you to implement industry best practice and show you how outsourcing your IT can reduce cybersecurity risks.