3 Ways Managed IT Can Help Web Designers and Marketing Firms

Posted: August 12, 2021

When you design and develop a website, or help a client fulfill a marketing campaign, you are representing that company’s public appearance. Often, you are also working with a lot of sensitive information. Multiply this by all of the clients that your agency works with, and you can see why your organization is an ideal target for cybercriminals and other online threats.

Is Your Victoria Business Really at Risk?

It’s fair to say that ransomware is top of mind these days as businesses big and small, private and public find themselves targets of bad actors. Even non-profits aren’t exempt from being targeted for cyberattacks. If you’re not investing resources into fighting cyberattacks, you are placing your business at risk, and you need to focus on cybersecurity.

In reaction to the pandemic, most businesses increased reliance on their online presence to conduct business. The side-effect of this shift has made them targets for cybercriminals who found themselves scores of organizations unfamiliar with cybersecurity best practices to target, usually in the form of ransomware.

While any business can be a target, some industries offer a more significant attraction to cybercriminals. Industries such as legal, accounting, oil & gas (as we have recently seen with the recent Colonial Pipeline attack), manufacturing, and healthcare have all been prime targets. Agencies that primarily work with other businesses and deal with valuable, sensitive information are the best targets for cybercriminals, and the most susceptible to attack. What makes these types of businesses a high-level target for cybercriminals is the type of information or services they provide. While financial or personal data has always been considered fair game, today’s generation of cybercriminals has evolved. Today’s cybercriminals are targeting any organization that provides a necessary service hoping that the disruption can cause enough difficulties for customers that the affected business will be pressured to pay the ransom.

As we can see by the continuing press about ransomware, it’s working. This means that cybercriminals will continue their attacks on businesses, and with 43% of cyberattacks targeting small to medium-sized companies, you can’t assume that you won’t be a target. Now is the time to look at your website design and make sure it won’t present a risk to your business.

If you provide web development services, it’s likely that a portion of your workload is protecting these websites from the wide range of threats and attacks that are out there. Keeping the technology you use secure and updated is paramount to protecting your clients’ websites. The same goes for every other piece of technology and connected solution you use. That’s where managed IT comes into play.

Even if you have an internal IT department handling most of the day-to-day technology support, there are plenty of ways to take some of the strain off of your team to harden and protect your technology infrastructure, and most importantly, your client data.

Four Huge Ways Managed IT Can Protect Your Firm

  1. Spam Filtering: Let’s start with a basic one. Do you get spam in your inbox? Right now, the most prominent attack vector used to deliver ransomware and other threats is email. Whether you get the occasional spam message or it feels like you need to sift through junk to get to your real email, it’s likely that the same is happening for most of your staff.The more unsolicited email your team receives, the greater the risk that eventually one of them will contain a virus or link which will compromise your network. The best way to reduce the chances of this occurring is to limit the number of suspicious emails your team receives. By installing Spam protection (and Content filtering), you prevent a majority of Spam from ever reaching your team’s inbox, reducing the chance that one of them will click on a malicious link.;
  2. PCI Compliance: If your business uses your website to conduct online transactions, you may be targeted by cybercriminals seeking to gain the sensitive information your database contains. Cybercriminals still value financial details, so you must keep your data protected. Additionally, if you do accept credit cards, your organization must be PCI Compliant.Not following best practices regarding PCI Compliance can expose your business to considerable repercussions, making understanding PCI compliance a must-have for your business. By ensuring your business is following best practices regarding PCI compliance, you reduce the opportunities for a cybercriminal to gain unauthorized access to your customer’s data.
  3. Network Security: While Spam protection and content filtering are practical solutions to reduce the threat of cyberattacks due to social engineering, they are only the first layer of protection your business needs to keep your data safe. The best method to secure your data is with multiple layers of security. Like most of your online resources, your website is connected to your data and, if compromised, can expose your business to cybersecurity threats.Your website needs to be treated the same way as your other online resources, creating layers of protection to protect your data. These layers should include:
    • 2FA required to access the ‘back end’ of your website
    • Access privileges to ensure only authorized team members can access it
    • Ensure your website is backed up regularly.
  4. Everyday IT Maintenance and Monitoring: This is a big one. Just like how websites and web hosts need constant uptime monitoring and careful deployment of updates and patches, all of your in-house technology does as well. Your workstations need to be kept updated, and your servers need to be kept secure, regardless of the type of technology your agency uses.We mentioned this briefly, but we work with businesses of all sizes, including those that already have in-house IT departments that handle the upkeep of all of the technology that the business depends on. Larger organizations like this often rely on Digital Sky Solutions to either handle large, complex IT projects that get back burnered or sidelined, or have us handle the day-to-day maintenance and support so the internal team can handle new initiatives. Either way, this helps free up valuable resources and time while ensuring that everything gets done on time and within budget.We’re happy to discuss how we can supplement your existing IT staff, and if your agency doesn’t have an IT department, we can certainly treat your network like it’s our own to make sure you are protected against threats and downtime is kept to a minimum.

Let Us Focus on Your IT While You Focus on Your Clients’ Success

If your role is delivering results, we can help keep the underlying technology moving so you can focus on your clients. On top of that, we can help you make your technology work the way you need it to, instead of forcing you to work around your IT. There are no projects too complex for us. Call (250) 483-5623 today to schedule a consultation.

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