Can businesses protect themselves without going down the Managed Service route?

IT Security has always been a hot topic, but having entered a new era of data security, transparency, and financial penalties under the freshly-implemented General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it’s fair to say that it couldn’t be a higher priority for most than it is right now.

18 June 2018

Many argue that it shouldn’t have taken a dramatic change in legislation to focus people’s attention on how they can enhance their approach to IT security, but based on conversations that we’ve been having with some of our customers it’s very evident that it has. So what can and should you do to mitigate the risk of an attack that leads to infection, damage or a data breach? And where does the notion of a Managed Service Provider fit into that?

GDPR aside (because let’s face it, we’ve all heard it to death by now!), maintaining a good security posture is often the real challenge for organisations. Many of the questions we are asked centre on (or at least start with) technical approaches to IT security that address an immediate need, but increasingly turn to the value that we can add as a Managed Service Provider (MSP). Why? Security is unique in its unknowns; we have to accept that there will be scenarios where traditional protections either aren’t effective or let you down. In a similar vein, it’s not always possible for businesses to invest heavily in security solutions that provide the mitigation they might want in an ideal world.

Why opt for a Managed Service Provider?

Partnering with an MSP can be highly effective – extending capability out of the business and into a broader team that can add value and expertise when it’s needed. So what do we mean when we refer to Managed Service, particularly with regards to security? Managed Services come in many forms and it’s important to understand that using an MSP isn’t necessarily a question of “outsourcing”, as most people imagine. At GCI we offer a range of options – some are light-touch, some are reactive, and some are all encompassing. Take our Flexible Support Premium service as an example; we provide a pay-as-you-go, escalation-based support service that enables full access to the technical experts available within our Service Desk. You also gain access to a range of monitoring tools that help you to manage your estate, including an Advanced Security Monitoring platform in the form of an AlienVault USM appliance. At the other end of the spectrum are our Fully-Managed Services – fixed price, all-inclusive support arrangements that combine reactive and proactive support services to ensure you don’t need to worry about a thing. Naturally, there are also options in between those two.

Regardless of the option, access to experienced resources that can advise on and implement best practice alongside broad experience of what’s happening within the wider context of IT is assured and can be a welcome addition to any team. For us it’s always a question of working with our customers to provide the expertise and resource that’s needed when it’s needed, not adopting a heavy-handed approach where we take over. This is particularly advantageous when it comes to security where the need for a focused effort can ramp up significantly very quickly, or where – for some organisations – the volume of activity associated with managing security is just too much of a burden.

It’s definitely possible to do a great job of protecting your business without engaging a Managed Service partner, but the complex nature of security coupled with the severity or impact it can have when it goes wrong can make the inclusion of a partner in your plans a welcome safety net!

Want to know more? Get in touch to discuss how GCI's IT Support services can help your business at enquiries@gcicom.net.

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