In today’s digital world, businesses of all sizes need to be proactive about their cybersecurity. Whether it’s protecting customer data, preventing online fraud, or guarding against malware, a secure IT infrastructure is essential for success. Fortunately, businesses don’t have to go it alone. Outsourcing IT services can help companies increase their cybersecurity and reduce the risk of a breach or cyberattack.

By taking advantage of the resources, experience, and skill of an experienced IT provider, businesses can create a custom security plan tailored to their unique needs and ensure their data remains secure. Outsourcing IT services can also provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing your data is being monitored and protected by a team of experts. With the right IT partner, companies can trust that their data is secure and their customers’ data is safe.

The importance of data security

From customer leads and account information, businesses of all types are collecting and storing more critical data than ever before. Unfortunately, the more data that companies collect, the more attractive they become to cyber criminals.

Businesses of all sizes have become increasingly susceptible to cyberattacks in recent years. In fact, more than 66% of SMBs reported a cyberattack over a 12-month period. Unfortunately, these companies are often ill-equipped to defend against sophisticated threats that target their data. Hackers know this and are quick to exploit it, taking advantage of businesses’ overreliance on outdated security measures.

Both small and large organizations have been impacted by data breaches and cybersecurity threats in recent years. Unfortunately, these types of threats are expected to rise in the coming years.

While no business is immune to these threats, many can take steps to reduce their risk by implementing robust security strategies. Outsourcing IT services can help businesses reduce their data security risk by providing a customized security plan and the resources and expertise to implement it.

Common IT security challenges

The sheer amount of data collected and stored by businesses has created a vastly complex digital landscape. As companies have become more reliant on technology, they’ve also become more vulnerable to cyber threats. Businesses of all sizes face unique challenges when it comes to data security, but there are a few common challenges that almost all organizations face.

  • Organizational challenges — Businesses must overcome organizational challenges that stand in the way of effective security practices. Some of the most common challenges include siloed security teams, a lack of employee education, a lack of visibility into data flows, and insufficient support from the top.
  • Lack of resources — Many businesses lack the necessary resources and expertise to effectively protect their data. While many companies recognize the need for robust security practices, they simply don’t have the resources in place or the skills to implement them.
  • Lack of visibility into data and data flows — In order to protect data effectively, businesses must have visibility into what data they collect and where it’s stored. Without this information, organizations are unable to adequately protect their data.
  • Data security is not a priority — Many businesses don’t recognize the need for robust security practices. While companies may recognize the dangers and challenges posed by cyber threats, they often fail to prioritize data security as a result.

Why outsourcing IT services makes sense

A robust security strategy is crucial for protecting your data. While businesses can develop and implement security practices internally, it’s often more effective to outsource this process to an experienced IT provider. Outsourcing IT services can help companies develop and implement a security plan tailored to their unique needs. What’s more, outsourcing IT services provides businesses with access to the necessary expertise and resources to implement strong security practices. With the assistance of an experienced IT provider, organizations can implement comprehensive security practices that protect their data from common data security threats.

How to create a secure IT infrastructure

Regardless of the size of your business, you’ll need to create a secure IT infrastructure. While each company’s security strategy will vary, there are several practices businesses should implement to create a secure IT infrastructure.

  • Define your IT security goals — First, businesses should define their IT security goals. Without goals in place, it’s difficult to determine what practices are necessary to achieve those goals.
  • Create a security plan — Once businesses have defined their goals, they can create a security plan. The security plan is where companies can outline the practices they’ll use to protect their data and create a plan of action.
  • Implement the necessary practices — Once businesses have created their security plan, they can begin implementing the necessary practices to protect their data. Ensure employees are actively engaged in security practices and follow the plan.

Steps to ensure your data is secure

Businesses must first create a secure IT infrastructure, and from there, they can implement the necessary security practices to protect their data from common threats. While each business’ security strategy will vary, there are several practices companies can implement across their entire organization to protect their data.

  • Data Discovery — Businesses must understand what data they collect before they can effectively protect it. By first identifying the data they collect and where it’s stored, companies are better positioned to protect that information.
  • Data Classification — Data classification is critical for businesses to properly protect data. By classifying sensitive data, organizations can determine what security practices are necessary to protect against common threats.
  • Data Governance — Effective data governance helps businesses identify and manage risks associated with that data. Data governance helps companies ensure their data is collected, stored, and transmitted appropriately.
  • Data Protection — Once businesses have created a secure IT infrastructure and implemented the necessary security practices, they’re better positioned to protect their data against common threats.

Data security solutions offered by IT providers

There are various solutions offered by IT providers that can help businesses protect their data. These solutions often include a combination of security practices, technologies, and solutions designed to protect companies against common threats.

  • Identity and Access Management – Through identity and access management, businesses can identify who has access to the network and the data. From there, organizations can manage user access and control who has access and what they can do once they’re inside the network. This helps to prevent malicious actors from accessing data and allows IT teams to monitor data access.
  • Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) – Focuses on protecting endpoint devices (such as laptops, desktops, and mobile devices) within a network in real time. EDR solutions provide organizations with visibility into endpoint activity and the ability to detect and respond to security incidents in a timely and effective manner. This can include the ability to detect and prevent malware infections, unauthorized access to sensitive data, and other security incidents. In addition, the top EDR solutions feature machine-learning capabilities that provide threat analysis and reporting functions to help organizations understand the nature of any threat and take appropriate action to remediate it.
  • Data Backups – Ensures a modern backup strategy is developed, maintained, and based on industry best practices. This includes local and cloud-based backups with disaster recovery capabilities that allow for the quick recovery of IT environments should an incident occur that results in data loss.
  • Security Awareness/Phishing Training – Security awareness and phishing campaigns can help end users identify and avoid phishing attempts by threat actors and other cyber security threats that will help businesses protect their data. Users are the last line of defense of security because, ultimately, their actions could allow network and data-resource access to threat actors. By investing in these training programs, individuals and organizations can reduce the risk of data breaches to protect themselves from the consequences of a breach.
  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) – SIEM is a type of software that provides logs and analysis on a variety of network devices which includes things such as user activity, network traffic, and other system logs. An SIEM can use this data along with analytics to identify potential security incidents like suspicious network activity, attempts to access the network, and other infections. An SIEM tool can also respond to such incidents by blocking unauthorized access attempts, disabling accounts, or containing incidents that prevent possible spreading of the infection.
  • Vulnerability Scanning and Patch Management – Vulnerability scanning can assist in identifying potential security weaknesses and vulnerabilities in various systems and applications. Patch management allows operating systems to have their vulnerabilities repaired.

To this end, SmartSource offers a next-gen EDR solution, backed by a 24×7 Security Operations Center, that monitors and eliminates threats before they can harm your systems. If you want to learn more about outsourcing your IT security, or incorporating our EDR solution, SmartSource is happy to help. Contact us today.