4 Assumptions You Need to Stop Making About your MSP & IT

It’s easy to assume that if you have a Managed Service Provider (MSP) or IT provider, then all of your technology needs are covered. Actually – it’s easy to assume a lot of things when it comes to your technology. However, not all Managed Service Providers are the same. Neither is the service you receive. It’s crucial to be aware of the risky assumptions you may be making about your MSP, and why it’s so important to know the truth behind your information technology.

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After 25 years in the IT Service industry, we have found that business owners across a variety of industries commonly make these four assumptions, unaware of the truth behind their IT support and needs. That’s why we’re sharing our discoveries with you, in the hopes that you can work towards keeping your company protected from cyber-attacks.

Explore each assumption by clicking the boxes to the right, or by scrolling down.

My MSP will Protect my Company from Cyber-Attacks

The truth: cybersecurity is not the sole responsibility of your MSP. Therefore, you cannot assume that they will completely protect you from cyber-attacks. There will always be gaps in your company’s security. One of the easiest ways for attackers to infiltrate your systems is through your employees. In fact, 95% of breaches are caused by human error (Cybint). These social engineering attacks specifically target your people through a variety of methods, all focused on infiltrating your system. At the end of the day, your MSP can’t stop every employee from clicking malicious links in emails or downloading malware. However, a trusted MSP partner will offer routine employee cybersecurity training to minimize the risk of such an event.

More truth: you cannot assume that your MSP is doing the things they should to protect your company and themselves. Not all MSPs are focused on cybersecurity, but they won’t tell you that. If you have a team managing your emails, IT infrastructure, and technology, it’s easy to assume that the security of all these moving pieces must be included. In reality, few MSPs have team members focused on keeping you protected. Your MSP should involve you in discussions about cybersecurity as a partner since both businesses benefit from shared security measures. It takes everyone in the company, from the CEO to the intern, to stay protected with regular employee security training and involvement.

If my Company is Breached, my MSP will Handle Everything

The truth: in the unfortunate event of a cyber breach, you and your MSP must work together to save your business. You cannot expect them to wave a magic wand and fix everything overnight. In fact, a qualified MSP should offer to work with you to create an incident response plan that outlines what will happen before a breach ever occurs. (It is worth noting that this typically goes above and beyond regular MSP services, so an associated cost may apply). This ensures both parties understand their roles during such a lengthy and stressful event. The more prepared you are in the event of a cyber breach, the more likely your business is to survive. This is vital given that 60% of SMBs that fall victim to an attack will close within six months (National Cyber Security Alliance).

Your MSP will not be responsible for your company’s insurance, paying a ransom, and contacting required authorities – that falls on your shoulders. You will work with your insurance provider to engage a third-party breach response team, who will be your main point of contact in the event of a breach. However, your IT provider shouldn't be radio-silent during a breach. Like any good partner, there should be consistent communication and support for your team. That's what separates an IT partner from a vendor.

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My Company isn’t a Target for Cyber-Attacks

The truth: your company is the prime target for a cyber-attack. Why? Because your guard is already down with this mindset. It’s not a matter of if you’ll be attacked, it’s a matter of when. Hackers and online attackers are highly intelligent individuals looking for easy money (and data). Small businesses are prime targets due to minimal security, which means easy access.

Sure, you may not think you have anything valuable to hackers, but every piece of private information is a golden nugget to them. They can sell it on the internet for profit, or lock you out of systems to gain even more profit via ransoms. Either way, they know how to play the game, and it's your money at stake. The harsh reality is that a breach costs small and medium businesses a staggering $200,000 on average (Hiscox).

My MSP is Regularly Audited by a Third-Party

The truth: there is no set of standards an MSP is required to meet in order to be called an MSP. In other industries, this is absolutely not the case – lawyers must pass the bar exam, and CPAs must pass CPA examinations. These requirements are in place because of the complexity and importance of the information both industries are in charge of. That’s why it comes as a shock to many small businesses that their MSP has no set of practiced standards.

The good news is that there are voluntary audits MSPs can complete in order to show their dedication to providing quality service. One of the top attestations is the AICPA’s SOC 2 Type II audit, which actively reviews an MSP's practices and procedures to ensure they are following rigorous levels of security and privacy standards. Because of the high standards, the SOC 2 Type II audit requires, few MSPs have successfully completed it. We’re proud to say we are one of the only Portland MSPs to be SOC 2 Type II compliant (for two years in a row!).

While technology is constantly changing, one thing has been made clear in the last year – cybersecurity must be a part of IT. Cyber-attacks and breaches are increasing in frequency and magnitude, with no end in sight. If your MSP isn't prioritizing cybersecurity, it's time to find one that does.

Fixed Fee IT is an MSP with a people-first security mindset. Our team follows strict processes and procedures to ensure your compliance, as well as provide regular security training and content for your employees (plus much, much more). We partner with you to maintain a culture of cyber-security within your company, which in turn helps keep you protected.

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You deserve an IT partner that you can trust. Fixed Fee IT is one of the only SOC 2 Type II compliant MSPs in Portland, with over 25 years of experience helping small businesses stay protected.

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