High five! Now that you know what a managed service provider (MSP) does, and you understand the pros and cons of outsourced IT services versus an in-house IT team, it’s time to talk about an IT security assessment.
This is Part 3 of the Seattle Business Owner’s Guide to IT Security. If you haven’t yet read Parts 1 and 2, you can check them out by clicking the links in the previous paragraph. If you’re caught up with every part of this guide so far, you know the drill; we’ll wait here for a moment while you fix your coffee.
Ready? Let’s talk about how you can tell if it’s time for an IT security assessment.
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that business IT is complicated. Here’s why: It’s extremely affordable to download a bunch of digital services, it’s expensive to buy new computers, and every piece of technology that connects to your network (phones, laptops, Fitbits, tea kettles…) requires constant security updates. All that, and we haven’t even mentioned software upgrades and licensing, or the fact that it’s hard to get rid of obsolete tech.
Considering all this complexity, it’s probably safe to guess that you don’t know if you have the latest version of every app on your phone, you’re not sure if you’ve installed every update for your computer software, you can’t remember the last time you updated your website [link to Phishing Kit blog], and you certainly don’t know about all the apps, software updates, and cybersecurity habits of your employees.
Here’s an important question: Do you know if your internet router firmware is up to date? Do you know the last time you rebooted it? You should.
An IT security assessment helps you identify your network vulnerabilities and threats to your cybersecurity because it looks for things like missing patches, inadequate antivirus, outdated operating software, inactive devices or users, troublesome password policies, unsecured ports, and a range of other network security issues.
To complete the assessment, an IT professional typically will come on-site to your business location, so they can test your various IT systems, and will then review their findings and prepare an extremely detailed report for you. You can usually expect to receive your report about a week after the on-site visit.
In total, the assessment should take 15 minutes of your time and about an hour of an IT expert’s time. It does not put your business at risk in any way, and it does not expose sensitive business data.
Because the assessment takes time, expertise, and specialized software, it can cost hundreds of dollars, but sometimes managed services providers will offer an in-depth IT assessment free of charge as a promotional activity for pre-qualified businesses.
Though tech is complicated, figuring out if you need a security assessment is easy.
If you aren’t sure that every one of your staff members has installed the latest security patches, or if you aren’t quite sure you could pass an IT security audit if you had to do one tomorrow… it’s probably time for an IT assessment.
That’s it. It really is that easy.
Feel like you might want to schedule your assessment? You’re in luck because one of Seattle’s longest-standing IT services companies, Interplay, is offering a free IT security assessment for qualified businesses right now.
Since 2001, Interplay has been helping Seattle organizations of various sizes take a deeper look at their IT systems and solutions. Interplay’s hands-on services make it easy for clients to get the most out of their existing tech every day while strategizing for their business’s long-term future.
Curious how your business security stacks up? Ready to shake hands with an IT expert who can tell you all about your IT vulnerabilities? It’s can be exciting (and a little scary) to learn about your IT security results – but once you know about the potential issues on your hands, you can get to work strengthening your company’s data security.
Schedule your IT security assessment with Interplay and find out how you can prevent hacking attacks.
Stay tuned for the next installment in our Seattle Business Owner’s Guide to IT Security: “What MSP Services Do You Need?”