Internal IT Departments Can Look to Co-Managed IT to Strengthen Cybersecurity

Posted: April 15, 2021

Your internal IT staff brings a lot of value to your company. They handle day-to-day support needs, keep your infrastructure running smoothly, and manage IT projects to implement new technology solutions to keep your business relevant. That said, if your IT staff has been working for you for several years, they might not be working with technology that is outside of their initial skillset very often. It’s not their fault—there’s only so much time in the day, and they can be pretty busy. It’s likely that they aren’t keeping up with the deeper end of cybersecurity solutions and implementations.

We’ve said this before; co-managed IT brings a wealth of benefits to your business. Co-managed IT brings an experienced team of technology professionals whose goal is to supplement, not replace, your existing IT team. Co-managed IT elevates your technology to a modern and competitive standard. Investing in co-managed IT will allow your IT staff to break through the technology bottleneck they may find themselves in, allowing your business room to grow.

Unfortunately, many IT departments have misconceptions about outsourcing IT; they might feel that it is a threat to their jobs. The reality is the service brings considerable support to your existing in-house IT department. Some of these advantages include:

  • Increasing your team’s technology IQ
  • Doing the projects they have no desire or skill set to perform.
  • Ensuring your business will be ready to embrace the technology of the future.
  • Handling some of the day-to-day support when your current team is under a crunch or on leave.

While investing in co-managed IT brings a wealth of advantages, one benefit that often gets overlooked is the benefits outsourcing IT can bring to your data security.

How Co-managed IT Benefits Cybersecurity

It is fair to say that cybersecurity has become the central area of concern for most British Columbia businesses, regardless of size or industry. While cybersecurity best practices are well-documented, it is surprising how many companies still fail to enact them. With ransomware attacks on the rise, don't assume that a bad actor won't target you because you're not a larger organization or in finance. No business is safe; not even Victoria charities and nonprofits.

Co-managed IT benefits your organization's cybersecurity protocols by breaking the existing cybersecurity paradigm your team may have grown too accustomed to. The reality is the majority of cyberattacks, especially ransomware, are due to phishing.

Phishing is when a cybercriminal contacts a member of your team, usually via email, and fools them into sharing sensitive information such as passwords and other credentials. With these credentials, the bad actor gains access to your system and begins their malicious assault.

Despite the variety of industries or size of the business, the pattern is usually the same; it begins with a phishing attempt. If successful, the breach occurred due to poor cybersecurity practices, such as no 2FA, a lack of password management, and no segregation of access privileges. The lack of cybersecurity process manifests itself in various poor practices, such as:

  • The communal sharing of a single password to make it easier for remote or temporary workers to gain access to a business’ system.
  • Retaining EOL (end of life) and unsupported routers, firewalls, and other networking technologies, because "They're still working."
  • Not updating software because legacy equipment can't operate on newer versions, which isn't being replaced because the original team installed it.

These areas are a sample of common issues with managed organizations and reflect how organizations are often stuck in the past. These businesses view and maintain their cybersecurity protocols based on how cyberattacks were and not how they are. How they treated spam or their Wi-Fi setup may have been following the best practices of the time, but unfortunately, they no longer are. This mismatch between their level of knowledge and the time we're living in can create an opening for a successful cyberattack.

When your co-managed IT partner evaluates your system, the first step they take is to assess your cybersecurity protocols. It is not uncommon for them to find, especially in older, established networks, that cybersecurity best practices aren't followed and most likely never have been. Of course, these errors weren't due to any malicious effort by your team; it is just a matter of them becoming comfortable with the status quo.

The most dangerous concept to any business' long-term survival is the belief that, if it's working, why change it? Cybercriminals count on companies not updating out-of-date software; they thrive on weak passwords and know they are one click or download away from accessing your system.

It’s Time to Stop Being Comfortable With the State of Your Cybersecurity

Your data is the greatest asset your business has, and if you lose access to it, you risk losing your very business. Your co-managed IT team brings with them a wealth of cybersecurity best practices and experience. Their goal is to help your business buttress your data security protocols and protect your data from compromise.

If you haven’t performed a cybersecurity or IT audit, now is the time to do so. Call (250) 483-5623 today to schedule an appointment. Digital Sky is British Columbia’s Managed IT specialist. As your IT partner, we can give your IT department the boost they need to help your business become more efficient, reliable, and protected from dangerous threats.

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