One e-mail is all it takes to bring down your business. Whether an attacker infects your network with a Trojan Horse or lures unsuspecting victims to a phishing website, the aftereffects are the same.
Damages average about $200,000 per instance, and a blow this size can cripple many small enterprises with 60% of victimized small businesses closing permanently within six months of the attack.
For businesses operating any part of their business online, robust cybersecurity is a must. And yet, few small enterprises have taken serious preparations. Despite being the target of 43% of all hacker attacks, only 14% of small businesses have adequate defenses against them.
In many cases, cost (or perceived cost) prevent business owners from investing in needed protection. However, with many companies one bad blow away from insolvency, many are stumbling upon a surprising solution.
Managed IT Service Firms Offer One-Stop Tech Shopping For SMEs
The math couldn’t be clearer – at the best of times, IT employees are a budget-busting expense. If you’re a small company, hiring a two-person IT department will run you, on average, about $233,000.
These days, revenues are under extreme strain, while expenses remain constant. And so, the pressure has been on to cut the fat. However, you can’t just scan your balance sheet for the biggest expenditures and start slashing away. As pricey as IT employees are, they are essential to the operation of any 21st-century business.
You can’t do away with IT, but you can outsource many tech responsibilities. For example, this award-winning firm charges its customers in Washington, DC, no more than $100 per user per month for IT support. If you have a team of 30, that means you’ll spend about $36,000 per year on outsourced IT.
Here’s the kicker – with a managed IT services firm, you’re not just paying for an outsourced help desk. They cover most (if not all) of the bases that your in-house team currently does. To be specific, they also handle areas like network management, on-site equipment installation, and cybersecurity.
Managed IT Service Firms: World-Class Cybersecurity at a Fair Price
That last one is a huge deal. Of all the functions that in-house IT departments handle, cybersecurity is by far the most complex. Online threats are sophisticated and ever-evolving – to protect against them, you need a team that’s one step ahead.
As a small enterprise, it’s tough to afford a standalone cybersecurity expert. In DC, entry-level hires, at a minimum, command high five-figure salaries. As such, many firms task an IT generalist or help desk employee with stringing together a security solution. Given that about 60% of small businesses get hacked annually, it appears this strategy isn’t working out.
That’s why outsourced cybersecurity is a fantastic opportunity for many small businesses. As we mentioned above, managed IT service companies often offer cybersecurity coverage. For less than half the cost of an entry-level cybersecurity employee, DC businesses can protect themselves from cybercriminals.
What Threats Can Outsourced IT Firms Protect Against?
What cyber threats could a managed services IT firm protect your business against? We reviewed a top provider of outsourced IT services in the Washington, DC, area – here’s what we found:
Brute Force Attacks
This is the simplest, and thus, one of the most common cyberattacks out there. Experts estimate that more than 80% of Americans use weak passwords – 10% use the top 25 worst passwords. Even more worrying, 80% of Americans use the same password on more than one site. As a result, novice hackers can easily break into the average small enterprise server using a dictionary script. Managed IT service firms combat this by implementing two-factor authentication. In addition to a password, users must input a one-time code (often sent by SMS) to log in. Additionally, many firms will conduct a seminar on optimal password hygiene (e.g., using complex passwords).
More Sophisticated Network Attacks
Your network has other, less apparent vulnerabilities than your login client. From poorly-configured firewalls to SQL injections, the list is intimidatingly long. Hire a managed IT services firm, and they’ll find weaknesses others may miss. On top of this, they have monitoring systems that alert them to in-progress attacks. That way, countermeasures can be taken to defend your data.
Phishing/Social Engineering Training
All the monitoring systems in the world won’t help you if an unaware employee lets the bad guys in. These days, phishing e-mails look more legit than ever. As if that wasn’t bad enough, silver-tongued hackers have gotten really good at impersonating officials over the phone. Outsourced IT firms can set up seminars where they brief all employees on what they need to be watching out for. From weird URLs to “bank CSRs” attempting to “verify” sensitive information, knowing the signs can protect your business from a breach.
Don’t Let A Cybercriminal Put You Out Of Business
We’ve been through a lot this year – don’t let some two-bit hacker put you out of commission. Invest some cash in outsourced cybersecurity solutions – that way, you’ll be more likely to stick around for 2021 and beyond.