Cyberattacks, whether they take the form of a phishing scam, malware attack, or network intrusion, can threaten your company’s survival. In fact, reports found that an attack can cost organizations $200,000 on average, with many shutting down not long after the incident.
For the most part, managed security services providers (MSSP) can prevent your company from experiencing these outcomes. They provide the tools and expertise needed to ward off various security threats.
However, some providers are more capable than others. There are plenty of MSSPs in Kansas and Oklahoma that are ill-equipped to handle increasingly sophisticated threats. So if you’ve recently suffered a cyberattack or you’re worried that your current provider doesn’t have what it takes to protect you, watch out for the following signs.
1. Provider keeps pushing one-size-fits-all solutions
If your MSP is constantly proposing expensive security solutions that claim to fit every type of business, it may be time to switch providers. Without analyzing your company and considering what it actually needs, your provider can’t hope to protect your business from the most imminent cyberthreats.
In other words, they’re not recommending you a solution; they’re just trying to make a sale.
A reliable provider is flexible in their approach to your security needs. They ask questions and conduct vulnerability assessments to truly understand your company’s security risk before submitting a proposal.
Furthermore, top-notch providers account for stringent security requirements — like those in healthcare, finance, and legal services — to ensure businesses are compliant with industry standards.
Whatever recommendation your provider makes, they should justify its costs with data and customize the solution to your company’s IT infrastructure.
Your provider should be vendor-agnostic, meaning they’re not tied to specific security software developers. Instead, they must care more about your unique needs rather than making a quick buck by selling cookie-cutter solutions.
2. Limited security expertise
You want to make sure you’re placing your trust in a company that has in-depth skills and expertise in security. Essentially, your provider must have access to a team of technicians with globally recognized qualifications like Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and CompTIA Security+ certifications.
However, a hallmark of a good MSSP is if they employ experts who pursue ongoing education on specific areas of cybersecurity.
For instance, there are security engineers who spend years of training in cloud security and endpoint protection. Others have robust expertise in ethical hacking and forensic investigation, which are paramount if you rely on an MSSP to conduct vulnerability assessments and incident response.
Meanwhile, there are experts solely dedicated to staying on top of ever-changing compliance regulations like HIPAA and PCI DSS.
With this level of specialization, you can rest assured that your MSSP has the right professionals and skills within its ranks. But if your provider only has a general understanding of security risks, you should talk to a more capable MSSP.
3. Infrequent and shallow cybersecurity assessments
Cybersecurity is an ongoing process, especially since new threats are constantly emerging. That’s why you need a provider that thoroughly and periodically reviews your systems to better fortify your defenses. These reviews should involve:
- Vulnerability scans to find weaknesses in your systems
- 24/7 network monitoring to quickly identify and address any signs of attack
- Proactive patch management of business and security software
- Penetration testing to see how your systems perform against real-world attacks
- Password testing and phishing simulations to evaluate security awareness
4. Unable to offer a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy
Don’t stick with a provider that only implements traditional defenses like firewalls and antivirus software. After all, hackers are becoming much more proficient at circumventing these defenses, attacking from many different angles and vulnerable entry points. It’s therefore imperative that your provider takes a holistic approach to security with:
- Network perimeter security – serves as a barrier between your network and the internet, such as next-gen firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, and email filtering software
- Endpoint protection – protects company devices with anti-malware software and mobile device management platforms
- Identity and access management – secures accounts with multi-factor authentication, mandatory password settings, and role-based access privileges
- Advanced encryption systems – converts data in storage and transit into indecipherable code — often a key feature in top-notch virtual private networks
- Cloud backups – stores data in secure off-site servers that can be accessed from the internet
- Security training – teaches staff healthy security habits like phishing scam awareness and good password hygiene
5. Subpar customer service
When you have a security issue, the last thing you need is an MSSP that is unresponsive and offers inconsistent service delivery. Technicians with poor problem-solving and communication skills can make a support call unbearable and leave you with more questions than answers. This can potentially lead to unresolved security vulnerabilities, increased downtime, and money down the drain.
Examples of poor customer service you should look out for include:
- Long wait times on hold due to the increased volume of support calls and not enough technicians to answer them
- Confusing tech jargon that doesn’t take into account the expertise of the person on the other end of the phone
- Frequent call escalations because the first customer service representative doesn’t have the technical expertise to resolve issues right away
- Rude behavior or apathy for your current situation
- Scripted and rigid speech
6. Lack the capabilities and resources to support your company
The right cybersecurity provider has the capacity to effectively safeguard your business in the long run. For starters, their solutions should be able to scale with your company as it changes and grows. You’ll want a provider that can centrally manage your ever-expanding network of devices and implement security software licenses at the drop of a hat.
Secondly, don’t hesitate to ask your provider for proof of financial stability and how long their organization has been in business. If your provider has a shaky track record, they’re likely to go out of business and leave your company completely unprotected.
What’s more, your provider must have documented procedures and security measures in place so you can be assured that your data is in the right hands.
Ask them how they secure sensitive information in their servers, how frequently they monitor clients’ systems, their procedures for accessing client networks, and their hiring process for finding security experts. If they can’t clearly answer questions related to these topics, their ability to provide robust cybersecurity services is questionable at best.
The important takeaway is that you must have higher standards from your providers when it comes to cybersecurity. Your systems and data are the lifeblood of your organization, and you need a security partner who’s fully dedicated to keeping them out of harm’s way. If you’re ready to strengthen your cyber defenses, call the experts at Summit Advisors today. We have state-of-the-art solutions to ensure your company’s most precious assets are safe.