Small and medium-sized businesses often don’t have the budgets to account for in-house cybersecurity and IT management. A more affordable and less time-consuming option is to hire a third-party cybersecurity vendor. They make implementing and managing security easy for you.
With a lot of options available, it’s important to know how to spot a great cybersecurity partner that can fit your business's priorities. There are several factors you can keep in mind as you search for a vendor that checks all your boxes.
Choose the right type of provider
Not every business will need the same level of protection. Luckily, there are different types of cybersecurity providers to help keep your information safe. Two common service providers are managed security service providers and cybersecurity consulting firms.
Managed security service provider (MSSP)
A MSSP IT service provider offers security as a service. Much like how IT providers do for your business technology, MSSPs provide cybersecurity tools and the strategy to keep your data safe. For example, WorkSmart is a managed service provider with both IT and security services.
Cybersecurity consulting firms
In addition to providing security solutions, a cybersecurity consulting firm helps companies make sense of regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, and FISMA. Having this level of security consulting guides you on implementing the appropriate practices to achieve and maintain compliance.
Look for a company that focuses on the big picture
Like other defense systems, your best protection against cyber attacks comes from layers of security. Your cybersecurity partner needs to help you build a plan with a combination of tools and best practices to keep your data safe.
The right technologies, not more technologies.
Adding more tools won’t improve security if they aren’t the right ones. Instead, you want to layer tools to fill any potential gaps. As a small business, having the right balance of protection and cost helps optimize your budget. Ask potential vendors to share how their tools and services will help manage risk as well as expense.
Check with the provider’s customers
When shopping for vendors, look for a transparent security provider. In cybersecurity, reputations hold weight. Asking for customer reviews is a great way to judge the field. If you can, speaking directly with customers will give you a fuller picture of a security company’s values.
What to ask?
It’s important to know what you want from a cybersecurity company. As with any service provider, communication is going to be critical. Ask an existing customer to describe their experience on being kept in the loop on potential security issues. Do they feel well informed?
And, an effective cybersecurity plan must align with the business’ needs. Getting insight into how the provider initially assessed needs and advises ongoing will be key in picking a partner that can grow with your business. Does the existing customer feel like their cybersecurity strategy continues to evolve? How often do they meet with the provider to review?
The big picture
Small- and medium-sized businesses have a large pool of IT management companies to choose from, but this doesn’t have to be a daunting task. When looking for cybersecurity solutions, remember to look for a company as well-rounded as you, so your data and sensitive information remains safe.
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