If you’re a hacker do you choose a Fortune 500 company with a team of IT security engineers or a small business with no IT protection? Hackers have created breaches in high profile companies like Home Depot, Target and J.P. Morgan — but the headline grabber for small to midsize companies is: 71% of cyberattacks occur at businesses with fewer than 100 employees. The average cost of a data breach for those businesses is $36,000!

Are you feeling the pressure to secure your network?

You have good reason for that uneasy feeling tapping at your subconscious. According to CSOonline, “The reality is that small and midsize enterprises are more attractive targets because they tend to be less secure and because automation allows modern cybercriminals to mass produce attacks for little investment.”

Hackers can no longer be regarded as basement dwellers. Today they’re far more organized and are often connected to crime groups. Breaches damage business brands, customer relationships and cost thousands of dollars to fix.

No matter what your size, closing the security gap is critical — not just for your company but the vendors, contractors and business partners who could be breached through your system. The shortage of IT security specialists in the pipeline make hiring difficult. Most gravitate to larger companies that can pay bigger salaries.

General IT and IT Security Engineers are not the same.

Most generalists in IT are not trained to handle today’s complex security issues. Hackers can break through firewalls, infect machines and use phishing schemes to access passwords and Social Security numbers. They can also gather up personal customer information in databases or infect systems with ransomware to lock all files and render them unusable until a ransom is paid.

Like doctors who specialize in medicine, IT security engineers are “specialists” trained to prevent and protect from security breaches. Outsourcing with a managed security service provider (MSSP) offers the benefit of tapping into an entire team of security engineers dedicated to securing your network and anticipating threats before they happen.

Choosing an MSSP — who can you trust?

Industries like banking, healthcare and other, non-regulated, businesses are asking questions like: Who can I trust to accurately assess the current status of my security? Where are the holes? What’s missing? If compromised, where do I go from here?

A quality managed security service provider should perform two basic services:

1. Device security management.

2. Continuous monitoring.

Security analytics, threat intelligence, security remediation, incident response, compliance services and loss prevention are other services that may be provided. A good MSSP will ask many questions and make no recommendations until an in-depth analysis of your business model is done — making sure they have a clear picture of your organization and customer needs.

MSSPs are not equal.

Look for a partner that offers:

  • Flexibility to make adjustments based on your budget situation.
  • Adaptability to take into account as much existing IT infrastructure as possible.
  • Scalability expertise to plan for growth or reduction in your organization’s size.
  • Capacity foresight to protect against under or overestimated investment in IT infrastructure.
  • Robust internal compliance, backed by an annual audit provided to current and prospective clients for review.
  • A strong knowledge of, and experience dealing with, real-world security trends.

Choose an MSSP that shares information. They should be your go-to experts on all things security. Expect implementation only after you fully understand all the details of their security recommendations.

Take the hacker's bullseye off your back.

The good news is — you are not powerless against the “bad actors” and you can mount a substantial defense.  Expertly skilled, managed security professionals now have the innovation required to offer high-performance, cost-effective security that can adapt to changing risk environments, even when unexpected traffic occurs.

Choosing a security partner is worth considering. You’ll breathe easier knowing you’re minimizing threats, saving on costs that you would incur in the event of a breach and getting reliable, flexible and scalable benefits that meet the needs of your business now and into the future.

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