The pulse of every company today can usually be measured by their digital presence. Almost everyone has a website and their business survives working on a network. As workers start their day, they have a cup of coffee or two in the morning. They sit at their desk answering calls and e-mails and things run smoothly as the workday hums along; until there is a problem with your network or device. But how can you be sure that the IT provider there to solve your issues has your businesses best interest in mind?
The Average IT Guy
Sandy in accounting comes in early. She has to get the invoices out today because she is leaving early for her cousin’s wedding and she can't wait. Sandy logs on and cruises through her e-mails. Sandy isn't really paying attention because in only a few hours she will be boarding a plane to Mexico for the wedding! She clicks on an odd e-mail, but the phone rings so she stops worrying about its unique look and answers the phone.
Sandy hangs up the phone and returns her focus to the job at hand, getting through the invoices. She tries to open the folder she uses to for billing the invoices. Suddenly, the background image of the computer changes. A pop-up screen reveals that the files are now encrypted! Then Sandy learns that she will have to pay to have her files returned. The file has sensitive customer information on it including their credit card numbers, what does she do?
As is the case for many SMB’s, Sandy’s company has an outsourced "computer guy", let’s call him "Ted". According to Ted, he's been in IT for years. He handles everything, so if there is ever a problem he’s got you covered. Sandy gives Ted a call to let him know what has happened. Ted says he will come by to look at it, but he's booked for the next couple of days. A couple of days? Chaos has already broken loose, Sandy needs this solved today!
Reality of your IT Services Plan
This is a made up scenario, but it’s one that could very well happen. Obviously, your business needs an IT partner who puts your needs first. How can you be sure you are getting the service that your business deserves?
Ask yourself, what exactly does my IT person do for me? Are they accessible in case of an emergency? Are they actively monitoring my network to watch out for issues as they arise? These are just a few of the important questions you should be asking yourself when assessing the worth of your IT partner's services.
The Importance of IT Services
The importance of properly managing risk and having cyber security has been a hot topic that is increasingly present in today’s discussions as we see large companies such as Verizon, Trustwave, and PwC express the importance of security and highlight the consequences of an attack.
Trustwave Security Stats reported that 63% of businesses don't have a ‘fully mature’ method to track and control sensitive data.
According to Global Security Performance, 37.2% of U.S. organizations had a botnet grade of ‘B’ or lower. Meaning that these organizations have a higher likelihood of experiencing a data breach. Scary, right?
The cost of the unknown is really important to evaluate. How much would it cost you to recover files in a situation like Sandy’s? What would it cost you if this attack took over other parts of your network? Would you be able to recover and if so how quickly? How will your customer react to this data breach? Your current IT partner should be available, professional, and provide service guarantees. Do you know exactly what you are getting when you hire a “Ted”?
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Originally published December 5, 2017, updated March 26, 2019