The number of cyberattacks has soared in the past year, with an increase of 300 to 400 percent as more employees are working at home due to COVID-19.
“Remote work extends the perimeter of a business, as employees are accessing the same apps, files, and networks from locations other than a centralized office,” says Eric Thal, Managed Services Manager at Blue Technologies. “In addition, they may be working from their home PC, so businesses need to refocus on security, doubling down and adjusting a network that was built for people to come into the office and work in a secure environment. Look at how your network was initially architected and partner with a Managed Services Provider to adjust for the way your employees work now.”
Smart Business spoke with Thal about how a Managed Services Provider (MSP) can help your business stay safe, move seamlessly to cloud computing, transition to VoIP and increase your speed of service.
How are businesses reacting to the increased threat of cyberattacks?
In the first half of 2020, no one paid attention. Businesses rushed to address their immediate needs, having employees work remotely and replacing desktops with laptops. In 2021, they’ve been able to take a step back.
With people working remotely and across multiple devices, companies have started to budget for things like mobile device management, which allows an MSP to locate mobile devices and remotely monitor and maintain them. If a device is lost, an MSP can wipe corporate data off the device, so it is not compromised while preserving personal data.
How can an MSP help make that transition easier and safer with many businesses moving to the cloud?
Many companies struggle with negative effects when transitioning, adopting the cloud too quickly, without adequate planning. An MSP can help normalize a company’s architecture and correct issues that resulted from moving too quickly. Email migration can be tricky, calendars can fail to sync and companies can lose a lot of data, leaving employees struggling to access information previously housed in the office.
Migrating ERP — the software and systems that manage the core supply chain, manufacturing services, financial and other processes — can be painful. Rushing to the cloud sounds easy, but a new cloud system is not one-and-done; it can take weeks, if not months, of fine-tuning to get it to work the way you want it to. Employing the expertise of an MSP, who has done this thousands of times, gives you a deep bench of resources to allow the project to happen more quickly, safely and at, if not under, budget.
In addition, many companies are still using legacy PBX phone systems, which have limited capabilities, designed for people to sit at their desks in front of a phone, with no ability for remote communication. An MSP can help you analyze, identify your pain points and work with you to determine the solution that best meets your needs, allowing you to communicate from anywhere. Ideally, the MSP should be agnostic, with no investment in your choices, ensuring that together, you identify the best VoIP decision for your unique situation.
How can partnering with an MSP improve the speed of service?
Many companies are making decisions now faster than ever before and expect more from their IT support teams. They don’t accept any downtime.
Service-level agreements have shortened, despite a squeeze on resources, and supply chains have been affected by COVID-19. It can take weeks, if not longer, to source new workstations, networking gear and data equipment, and this trend is expected to continue well into 2021. To combat this, MSPs have increased their inventory of assets by increasing their number of suppliers, so they can lend out those assets or replace them as needed.
As technology continues to carve a path for business growth in 2021, forward-looking organizations will continue to leverage Managed Services Providers to ensure compliance, collaborate securely and limit downtime. Working with an MSP can help your business adapt to changes more quickly and efficiently as the marketplace continues to evolve.
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