Small Business Security Through an IT Managed Services Company
It has been over 100 days now since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. In that time, virtual private networks have stressed under increased loads as employees shifted to working from home and IT teams have scrambled to secure an emerging remote workforce. The tech giants Microsoft, Apple, Google and Facebook have added over $1 trillion in market cap as the world relies more heavily on technology to maintain productivity and connectivity through wide-spread lockdowns. Behind the scenes throughout this historical shift in everyday life, IT managed services companies (MSPs) have helped to fill the gap where internal IT departments are short-staffed and under specialized to manage the unprecedented disruption in the status quo. Even before the pandemic broke, the incorporation of IoT devices into our daily lives as well as the rapid shift to the cloud for business productivity applications and data warehousing was already fueling demand for MSPs. According to Mordor Intelligence, successful deployment of managed services will help in reducing IT cost by 25-45% and will also increase operational efficiency by 45-65%. This reduction in cost and improved efficiency has been shown critical for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) to persevere as near-term economic growth remains uncertain.
But beyond the reduction in costs and improved efficiency, SMBs also benefit from improved network and system security as they partner with an MSP to adopt a security-first mindset. In addition, MSPs bring the latest security software and configuration expertise to the table to help organizations adopt technologies such as multi-factor authentication, DNS filtering, cloud access portals and virtual firewalls. Today MSPs work in tight partnerships with hardware manufacturers to offer the latest security solutions efficiently. This presents an opportunity for SMBs to establish a more tightly woven security implementation encompassing all devices from endpoints to firewalls as hardware vendors further integrate with leading security services. A great example of this integration between hardware and security software can be seen in WatchGuard’s acquisition of Panda Security. Through the merger, WatchGuard’s partner MSPs will be able to offer their clients an industry-leading integration of WatchGuard’s already solid firewalls combined with the award-winning deep learning threat detection and advanced endpoint protection from Panda Security.
Mergers such as the WatchGuard and Panda deal provide opportunities for small businesses to improve overall security while still maintaining costs. Two-thirds of small businesses have no IT staff dedicated to cybersecurity but they still account for over 1/2 of the data breach incidents each year. In working with an MSP to manage cybersecurity, SMBs see simplified setup and management along with easy licensing as they work with one supplier. Through the WatchGuard and Panda merger, SMBs can see this same efficiency spread all the way down to their endpoint threat detection and response implementation. As Jonathan Whitley, sales director for Northern Europe at WatchGuard puts it,
“Customers want one supplier that can provide endpoint and perimeter and then manage it from a one single pane of glass,”
As cyber threats continue to increase year over year, SMBs need to leverage every efficiency they can find. Enterprise businesses have the advantage of scale and the resulting larger budgets which SMBs simply don’t have. Yet SMBs still need to consistently implement and manage the latest security solutions to keep their businesses running. For most of them, partnering with an MSP is the solution.