In spite of the lockdown, traditional less-tech-forward professional industries, notably the legal and engineering professions, have experienced the biggest learning curve as they rushed to implement remote work solutions for their employees.
In particular, companies are assessing their IT operations to launch new ways of working, communicating and defending against ever-increasing cyberattacks. Industries are also increasingly turning to managed services providers (MSPs) to gain access to the expertise of cybersecurity professionals.
In this article, we will discuss the value MSPs give to their clients, and why it’s so important to make sure your organization is cyber-secure in today’s environment. We’ll also discuss why we predict this trend will continue due to the increasing adoption of remote work across all industries.
The Ever-Evolving Threat of Cybercriminals
Cybersecurity is a priority for many organizations. According to the cloud computing firm Iomart, large-scale data breaches increased by 273% in the first quarter of 2020 alone. It makes sense that, with more people working online - from students to professionals - there would be more opportunities for cybercriminals.
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The recent announcement from SolarWinds in December that they had fallen victim to a data breach that impacted thousands of users (some of them important US government agencies) underscores the fact that no one is completely safe from cybercriminals. Companies must have real-time access to cybersecurity professionals who can not only protect against hackers but monitor systems closely to detect security breaches quickly and thus mitigate damage.
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The legal and engineering professions, in particular, have had to shift gear and place a heavier focus on cybersecurity as the need for online solutions increases. For example, due to the pandemic, many courts have decided to launch online systems that allow citizens to submit important paperwork online.
People who normally would have to show up in court or at the police department to physically fill out a form for a request such as a restraining order can now do so easily online. However convenient this solution is for individuals, it places a huge burden on organizations, who must now ensure that all private, sensitive data is protected to the highest standards of the law.
Keeping clients and employees safe from cybercriminals requires constant vigilance, and additional protections need to be implemented as new attack methods unfold. “Remember that web application security is constantly evolving,” says cybersecurity expert Mark Preston of Cloud Defense. “New threats arise every day, so remaining agile and adaptable is just as important as mastering web application security practices.”
Along with cybersecurity concerns, industries are experiencing an increased need for managed IT services and business continuity solutions, as well as streamlined communications methods.
Digital Transformation Acceleration
The pandemic has made it abundantly clear that industries cannot continue to use technology that is outdated and still remain competitive. It’s not enough to be able to adapt to the current demand for remote work for all but the most essential employees.
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These employees need to have the proper tools and procedures in place to protect them from cybercriminals, who are always ready to pounce when a vulnerability is detected.
In response to these growing threats, many companies are requiring completely integrated, secure cloud-based networks that are synced to an army of portable devices, rather than simply relying on geographically based servers, PCs and desk phones. It’s clear that companies need to invest more in technology, and an MSP can be the perfect solution for those who need the accompanying expertise as well.
Additionally, if your remote workers are logging in to their devices using their own Wi-Fi, they should always rely on a proxy server, which serves as a substitute IP address to help hide your online identity. Without a proxy server, it’s incredibly easy for hackers to locate their IP address, view their browsing history, or even find out exact home addresses. It doesn’t take a powerful imagination to see what negative scenarios can arise when malicious hackers have access to your clients’ data.
However, embracing technology and technical professionals doesn’t have to be a drain on an organization’s budget. In many cases, by allowing employees to complete work remotely, organizations can cut down on the costs of running an office, as well as benefit from having a more satisfied workforce with a higher retention rate.
How MSPs Can Help Companies in 2021
MSPs will continue to experience a surge in demand, so it’s important that MSPs do their utmost to provide the highest service and value to industries who will increasingly depend on them. The MSPs who focus on IT solutions and cybersecurity must emphasize communication with organizations, as cybersecurity awareness among all levels of employees is one of the top preventative tactics against cyber-threats.
MSPs must take into account growing demand and increased labor and material costs and ensure that their services are priced competitively but fairly. Cutting corners or working on a restrictive budget for a client can result in lackluster protection for your client.
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After all, in many cases all it takes is one large cybersecurity incident or data breach to affect your entire MSP’s reputation and undo all the work you’ve done for a client.
The digital transformation has resulted in many traditional professions increasingly relying on managed services providers to gain access to the expertise and tools needed to adapt to the pandemic.
With the huge shift towards remote work and online solutions comes an increased responsibility for organizations to protect clients and employees. Since cybersecurity is such a concern in today’s world, and new threats evolve nearly every day, an MSP who can take charge of IT operations is an ideal solution for many industries.
Working together, MSPs can provide outstanding value to their clients as they enable them to do what they do best in a more efficient, secure way in a digital environment.