Every business, large and small, uses IT services for their day-to-day business practices. But not every business owner knows all the ins and outs of IT services and how to use them to improve and protect his or her business. This is where IT managed services providers come in.
A brief IT managed services definition
IT managed services providers are IT services providers who provide a set of services to its clients. IT services providers can be proactive in the services it provides or offer then on an as-needed basis.
A list of IT services offered
IT managed service providers can offer a suite of IT services to their clients. From software and computer support to data storage and security here are the most common IT services provided by IT managed services providers:
- Systems management
Systems management is an umbrella term for a number of IT services. Systems management may include hardware services, server availability and monitoring, software installation and inventory, activity and capacity monitoring, security management such as anti-virus and anti-malware, and storage management. The time saving and cost benefits of systems management IT services vary by organization size. For instance, a small business of only ten computers may find conducing systems management on each computer more efficient than trying to learn how to centralize such management. Meanwhile a larger business with thousands of computers would clearly save time and money by leveraging an IT managed services provider.
- Remote network monitoring
Remote network monitoring is often the first IT service businesses think of when they hear IT managed services provider. Your IT managed services provider will keep track of significant system events on a continuous basis and interpret them to determine the level of risk they pose to your system information or data.
Through remote network monitoring, all unauthorized behavior and inbound connections that may involve a hacking attempt are tracked. Once tracked, trends can be analyzed to determine where remedies are needed. Protecting your business’s security can be one of the most important reasons to use a profession IT managed services provider.
Data loss can be catastrophic to small businesses and large businesses alike. According to a data breach study conducted in 2014, data loss due to malicious attacks caused the highest cost to businesses of all data breach incidents. On average, data loss resulted in a cost of $246 per compromised record. The average organizational cost of a data breach in 2014 was $5.9 million. Through network security, IT services providers can prevent unauthorized access. To do this, IT managed services providers apply authentication methods to block unauthorized access.
Identification is the process of stating or indicating a person or thing’s identity. In authentication, the validity of that claim is confirmed to be true. Authentication can prove problematic in electronic communication. The American National Institute of Standards and Technology has a generic model for digital authentication which involves three processes: enrollment with a credential service provider, authentication through the receipt of an authenticator such as a token and verified user name, and life-cycle maintenance whereby the credential service provider maintains the user’s credential throughout his or her lifetime of use.
Authentication with a credential service provider is essential to preventing unauthorized access because usernames and passwords are simply not enough these days. A whopping 92% of users will reuse their passwords. This means that securing your network isn’t enough. If your network users have the same password for multiple accounts, a hacker could uncover their ID and password on another system and then use those credentials to hack into your system. An IT managed services provider can help prevent such breaches.
IT managed services providers are experts in the realm of IT services, from improving business functionality through systems management to protecting your business and customers with security systems. Whether you’re a small business of only a dozen computers or a lager organization with thousands of employees, outsourcing your IT services to a professional managed services provider can save you time and money. Leave the technical aspects of IT management to the experts. It managed services providers will work behind the scenes to keep your business running in top form and allow you to spend your time on your core business needs.