The Power of the “+” – Making a secure connection between hardware, software, and your invaluable data.
In today’s tech environment IT Management and Security Management have become not only interdependent, but inseparable.
Whether you’re at your desk, in the car, or enjoying a meal at the kitchen table, you’re surrounded by technology. It’s everywhere. There are all the things you can see such as computers and phones and even thermostats. Then there are the apps, programs and web extensions, the technology required to make all these things work but which you can’t necessarily see.
All of those things are intrinsically interwoven and interdependent. And all of those things have security implications, especially in business. Because any device that is connected to the internet, whether it’s a business technology or a toaster oven, can act as a gateway to your data for hackers, malware and viruses.
Of course, in business the thing we are most dependent on is data. We’re talking about the ability to create data, work with data, preserve data, access data, and most of all, the ability to protect and secure that data.
How real is that threat? It’s scary real. In fact, according to Varonis Data Lab, over “58% of companies have over 100,000 folders open to everyone” and the 2018 Cost of a Data Breach study reported that the global average cost to a company experiencing a breach of data is $3.86 million.
That’s why we say “IT+Security equals business continuity.” Because unless your IT management and your Security management have the same hand-in-glove relationship that your physical devices and the programs that run them have with each other and with the internet, you expose your business to unnecessary levels of risk.
You know the perils of poor IT Management. Slow connections, frozen screens, devices that won’t talk to each other, staff downtime, angry clients and customers who are far from being happy with you. If you’re not experiencing any of these pains it’s easy to be lulled into thinking that everything is working as designed. But just because it’s working today doesn’t mean it’s supportable for the future, or that it’s secure. Hardly.
You might not know the perils of poor Security Management until you’re hit with a ransomware demand or a call from an angry customer who has just learned that their Personally Identifiable Information has been leaked. Or you may never know that the reason your competition is always one step ahead of you or is systematically calling on all your top clients is because they’ve had a pipeline into your customer data. (You’ve never thought of your competition as a security threat? Now you know.)
The truth is that nearly everything your IT Manager does impacts Security. Every device, every software license, every new user setup has configuration options that must be managed strategically and precisely. You know we’re always diligent about those details whether you’re hiring us to manage your security or not. But there are some real advantages to having one provider in charge of IT+Security, as well as some real risks to essential business assets such as data if the two are not in sync.
Consistency in configuration and documentation
While there may be situations where the right hand should not know what the left hand is doing, your business technology is not one of them. When it comes to IT+ Security, the more each “hand” knows about what the other one is doing the more secure your business becomes.
As more and more business processes have become technology-dependent, the technology itself in turn has become more complex to meet those demands. Configuration options have become more nuanced, and the ideal configuration for any device or program will depend on a master strategy for optimizing the network performance and security. Each choice or change in configuration must be documented both to prevent future changes being made that negate the benefits of what is implemented today and to allow the fastest response to any IT or Security issue. Having multiple providers trying to collaborate over separate strategies and levels of documentation can create inconsistencies and leave gaps where security threats can easily slip right in.
It’s important that both your IT Manager and your Security Manger understand your individual business structure. Some of the biggest risk factors we’ve seen were created because one or both providers failed to understand the needs of the business or failed to understand the other provider’s strategy and solutions. It’s not uncommon for one vendor to implement their solution without fully comprehending the configurations the other vendor has put in place, or more importantly, the reasoning behind that configuration.
So, a solution that one vendor puts in place might not be wrong in and of itself, but it could violate the security of the entire network because it wasn’t compatible with what was already in place.
However, when your IT+ Security experts play on the same team you know they’re working together to create an optimal tech solution and environment for you. In addition, they’re also working from a single strategy and communicating with each other to make sure that strategy is seamless and protects things such as business data.
Multiple experts, single point of accountability
Certainly you need IT experts. And you need security experts. What you don’t need is to spend your time going back and forth between the two trying to resolve an issue.
We laugh when we say that we give you “one throat to choke,” but it’s not really a joke. You may have had a situation where you called one vendor’s help desk only to be told that it was the other provider’s problem. Then called that provider’s support only to be referred back to the first vendor you called. You might be laughing with us, but you’re laughing because you know it’s true.
When we’re providing IT+Security, not only do you have experts who are on the same page, but we can’t very well point fingers at “the other guy” because the other guy is us. That means faster response and resolution times and less confusion, frustration, and downtime for you.
You’re completely covered without an overlap of costs
Many of the solutions you get with Managed IT are also included in standard Managed Security contracts. Anti-virus and firewalls are just a couple of examples. You may not realize you’re paying both vendors for the same functionality, but it’s likely that you are.
The greatest savings, however, comes in not having to pay the two vendors to work together as one (not that they ever could work as one). If a client brings in a separate vendor to handle Security they will still have to pay their IT Manager to brief their Security vendor and collaborate with them on the solution. The same if they bring in a new IT Manager, their Security vendor will bill them for working with that vendor as well. It’s not only logistically complex, but with you and your team’s busy schedule it can be next to impossible to accomplish.
When you choose one partner to manage your IT+Security you have as much or more experience and expertise at your disposal. There are more eyes on all the balls you have in the air. There’s a comprehensive strategy for all the technology your business depends on. And you get a consolidated bill that covers everything. Our job simplifies your complex world.
Technology is a wider and deeper field than ever before, and business technology is not going to get any less complex, or any less vital, anytime in the near future. We believe you should have one team that you can depend on to deliver the greatest level of business continuity and peace of mind, don’t you? And if you don’t want to do that on your own, we’re here to help. Just give us a call at (866) 826-5966 or, you can use this handy contact form.