With growing cybersecurity concerns, more and more businesses are outsourcing their IT needs. Budget, convenience, and extended technological knowledge are all benefits of incorporating managed or co-managed IT into your business model.
Managing and securing networks is a task all IT providers must master. It’s important your technology grows with your business in order to handle operations. Below are 12 questions we recommend asking your current or potential IT provider.
How is the network secured?
Every business should have a managed firewall. Firewalls aren’t one-size-fits-all, it’s important your security caters to your needs and field requirements. It doesn’t matter if you store data in the cloud or on a server, firewalls protect leaks and intrusions from happening. Enterprise-level firewalls use accelerated processors to make intrusion detection and protection more effective, strengthening your security.
How is the network managed?
How’s your technology being backed up? If something were to infiltrate your network, would you be able to restore documents? Traffic on your network should be controlled and documented properly to maximize efficiency.
How is the software being patched?
Attacks on applications can impact your business just as much as ones on data centers can. It’s important to manage third-party applications. Patch management ensures software vulnerabilities aren’t exploited, this lessens your security risk and keeps company communication safe.
How is Microsoft Office 365 maintained?
Office 365 is a great tool for a smooth-running business. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook are included along with Teams, Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive. While these Microsoft tools are great assets, you can lose important information if documents aren’t backed up properly. Once emails or calendar events are deleted from your trash, they can’t be recovered. Backing up third-party applications ensures you can reaccess data you might not have planned on needing, F1 IT offers flexible plans anticipating your business needs.
Is the staff being trained?
No matter how secure your network, if your internal employees aren’t educated on cybersecurity practices, cyberattacks are possible. Ensuring your staff adequately understands how to navigate technological problems adds another layer of security to your IT protection. This will not only help your business, but will also benefit employees when preserving their personal online presence.
How is risk managed?
Acknowledging the threat breaches pose is an important part of maintaining an efficient network. Do you have an incident response plan? How will you go about resecuring your network if it’s compromised? Having a plan to fall back on decreases the impact breaches may have on your business continuity. Comprehensive disaster recovery plans include a restoration device (BDR) and a backup to speed up recovery in times of need.
What is your outlook on technology?
How firms view technology is telling to how a partnership with an IT provider will work. Is it a tool? A necessity? An asset? At F1 IT, we believe technology drives efficiency, productivity, sales and is the basic infrastructure upon which an organization grows, survives or perishes. As a partner, we become a client lifeline, the manager of infrastructure, so basic business isn’t distracted by minimal interruptions.
What makes up your network?
If remote devices connect to your network, they are more susceptible to attacks. Are employee devices being protected? Password management offers layered protection and tools for staff to keep all work and personal accounts secure. Security incident and event management (SIEM) and a security operations center (SOC) examines logs on all network devices to report abnormalities and prevent possible threats.
How is your network powered?
An uninterrupted power supply keeps your network functional at all times. How is your network configured to deal with a power outage or conserve energy? Without a backup generator, your network will go black with power outages. Network outages can impact customers and lose revenue. Don’t let power outages negatively affect your business.
Where is data stored?
What happens to all the stuff you save? Are in-house servers stored somewhere? Do you use the cloud? How well are data centers protected? The way you store data plays a large role in how easy it is to access, use, and how protected it is. Cloud server solutions sync local files enabling access anywhere; allowing your company to securely share files with clients and vendors no matter where you are.
Are anti-virus measures taken?
As hackers are becoming more advanced, your network has to withstand new attacks. Multi-factor authentication prevents non-employees from accessing confidential information. This simple security measure goes a long way in keeping your internal communication in-house. Endpoint detection software (EDR) remediates threats related to connected endpoints, it enforces longer passwords and offers a more comprehensive protection plan.
Are there personal benefits for employees?
Does IT management continue after hours? F1 IT manages employee passwords and accounts along with offering cybersecurity training to ensure they are protected in and out of the office. Continuing cybersecurity education better positions individuals, providing relevant skills as technological breakthroughs continue.
We, at F1 IT, make our clients’ satisfaction our top priority. Visit our homepage to sign up for a free consultation or ask any questions about our services as a managed service provider (MSP). Technology is essential to your business’s success, investing in it will help grow your business and improve efficiency like nothing else.