What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?

What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?

Are you in a position to lose all of your data due to fire, cyber-attacks, or otherwise – and bounce back without data loss in a reasonable amount of time? If the answer is “no,” then it might be wise to hire an MSP.

An MSP (Managed Service Provider) is a third-party company that offers remote (and onsite) services that assist companies in asset management, network security, and much more – essentially taking over the day-to-day IT side of the company leaving you to do what you do best – run the company.

The goal of managed services is to stop issues before they have a chance to cause damage – proactively monitor and manage the network and its endpoints.

Why You Need an MSP (Managed Service Provider)

MSPs can add significant value to your business with 24/7 monitoring, improved security, comprehensive reporting, and cost-effectiveness.

Differentiate yourself from your competition by promising your customers increased cybersecurity.

Managed service providers handle the mundane, time-consuming, and repetitive IT work so that you can focus on your business with confidence, and without worrying about potential security risks.

24/7 Monitoring

Most MSPs guarantee 24/7 monitoring with upscale networking monitoring tools. Nine to 5 is long gone and most systems and many businesses have a more 24-7 model, especially those with online sales.

Hacker tools don’t sleep. Once set in motion, these tools – and sometimes the hackers too – are constantly running with only one goal – find a weakness in your network.  This could be a poorly configured firewall or a lazy admin that left weak or no passwords on admin accounts; could be a computer on your network that doesn’t have important security patches installed; all of these are generally handled (automatically) by an MSP like Proactive Data.

Improved Security

All businesses should assess security risks. With 24-7 monitoring comes increased security. MSPs offer detailed security solutions that act on uncertain behavior.  And please do not make the mistake of thinking you are too small for an attack. Many, a large percentage, of cyberattacks wind up in the laps of small businesses.  Proactive Data works with a wide range of businesses from 2-3 people up to 2500 or more.  Anywhere in between can fall prey to malicious code, hackers and the like so the only option is to be prepared.

Security is a major issue, as over 260 million records containing sensitive information were compromised in the first four months of 2018.

Benefits of an MSP include disaster recovery plans for a number of incidents. They will also back up your data – just in case their preventative methods fail.

Compliance

By outsourcing your IT managed services, the tools that we bring to you directly affect compliance requirements such as PCI, HIPAA, and more. Rest assured that you are satisfying these just by having extra tools and securities in place that come with your Managed Services!

Disaster Recovery and Data Backup

It is not if it fails, it’s when – yes – we’ve all heard this. So then why do SO many companies ignore it, then come to us when it’s too late?  OR — pay exorbitant amounts to have their data restored in a clean lab (yes, we are talking 10’s of thousands in many cases)?  A little time and planning NOW can save your data, your job, and/or your entire organization down the line.  Like car insurance, you hope you never need it but it’s required by law for a reason – backups should be required by law as well in our opinion! Not just any backup, but an enterprise-proven backup that actually works when the time comes to restore – tapes, spinning USB drives, file copies – these are all legacy methods and while definitely better than nothing, should not be considered efficient and ‘up to par’ by today’s standards.  Please speak with a respected MSP to find out how to do it right.

Asset Reporting & Life Cycle Management

Another benefit to using a managed service provider is receiving a comprehensive report on your current assets and IT infrastructure; this reporting is sent monthly or quarterly at no extra charge and can help identify replacement needs and overall posturing for your equipment and budgeting for future replacement or expansion

Increase Your Efficiency

Please do not be one of the companies that try to do it all to save money, while only costing more in the long run.  A cyber attack is not only costly, it can be an end game for many if you don’t have proper backups offsite or backups in a segregated network that cannot be affected by the attack(s).

We, like most MSP’s, can provide these backups and security – prevent them in the first place – that is the goal – but should they get through, making it like nothing ever happened can be only 15-20 minutes away.

Cost-Effective

Cyber attacks can not only be expensive, but they can put any company at risk of failure – this is only true if the company is not prepared. At the wrong time, the worst cyber-attacks can cause bankruptcy for clients. With an MSP such as Proactive Data, you can easily be recovered from any cyber attack within minutes, not days or weeks saving potentially thousands – and/or your entire company.

The threat may not always be coming from outside. Sometimes employees make mistakes. MSPs watch patterns and identify odd behavior. They can then interrupt trends that affect your bottom line.

But day-to-day operations can be expensive as well. In fact, 41% of businesses cite ongoing IT maintenance costs as the reason for low ROI.

Most MSPs operate on a subscription-based model. Clients pay a monthly or annual fee and receive an agreement tailored to their needs.

An MSP can save you money and maximize resources by providing high-level IT support. Not only does it give you access to a pool of experts and lower recruitment costs, but it also allows you to budget better. Paying a monthly fee is more budget-friendly than unforeseen costs associated with cyber disasters.

A Competitive Advantage

Today, customers are concerned about their data. They want to know where it is stored and how it is handled.

MSPs level the playing field by giving small businesses the same impressive IT security that clients would find from a large company.

If you would like to learn more on how Proactive Data can help your company, contact us today!