Businesses are embracing managed services for many reasons. There’s a raft of data proving the multitude of business benefits of having a third party take responsibility for remotely managing your IT infrastructure and end user systems.
Managed services are part and parcel of the information technology transition to align IT and business strategy while addressing today’s workforce need – also known as digital transformation.
Insight’s own research (2018 Insight Intelligent Technology Index) highlights productivity as a key driver for digital transformation, with the end goal to:
- Increase efficiency
- Boost employee productivity and engagement
- Elevate end-user experiences
Despite these compelling benefits, some IT teams worry about handing over responsibility for data security and compliance to a third party, especially in a managed cloud environment.
In reality, businesses that adopt managed services find they benefit significantly from improved security and better compliance, with improved resilience to security breaches. Here’s how…
1.) Software updates and patching
A properly administered managed service ensures that software updates are performed regularly, so that all services are kept up-to-date.
Unpatched software is one of the most common reasons behind successful cyber-attacks. Vendors provide regular updates to address security issues in their applications, as well as enhancing features, fixing bugs and improving stability. Keeping all applications up-to-date – especially security software – is a critical step in protecting against malicious threats.
Due to the general lack of critical security controls across cloud services, employees will inevitably (and inadvertently) select risky cloud services to use. While the vast majority of cloud service users are simply looking to become more efficient and productive, they can nonetheless put enterprise data at risk. Of the 1,935 cloud services in use at the average organisation, 173 of them rank as high-risk services (8.9%).
2.) Advanced security features
An end-to-end managed service should incorporate modern desktop IT for end users that includes comprehensive threat protection features.
Microsoft 365 Business offers Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), a suite of features to help safeguard your business against phishing and ransomware attacks. Sophisticated attachment scanning and AI-powered analysis, as well as automatic link checking, detect and discard dangerous messages.
Conditional Access provides identity and access management features, which help protect your organisation from sign-in risk. The capability enables access control based on username, group and role as well as location and other parameters.
3.) Bridging the security skills gap
Your managed service provider (MSP) should become an extension of your in-house team. The additional skills that an MSP brings to enhance your team’s capabilities can transform a small team into a larger one without the expense of recruitment and training. Partnering with an MSP that sees security as a core competence will enhance your organisation’s ability to protect its online presence from cyber-attacks.
An MSP with expertise in security will have up-to-date knowledge about compliance regulations across different regions and industries. To complement their managed services, they may offer security audits and incident response to mitigate and remediate the effects of a cyber-attack.
4.) Remote access, done securely
Providing support for remote and flexible working is one of the cornerstones of the modern workplace.
An effective remote working platform makes it easy for employees working flexibly to access critical applications and data – without compromising security.
Some businesses have proficient tools and protocols for coordinating work, but they don’t work when IT administrators limit access to technology and information that’s off-premise due to security concerns. As businesses deal with ever-greater volumes of data, 43% of IT decision-makers report that securing that data in dispersed environments is their top challenge.
With secure technology, restricting access to data shouldn’t be necessary. Take single sign-on, for example. Once you’re authenticated on your device, you have access to everything – all the resources and systems you have authorisations for – without having to log on repeatedly. Organisations using modern desktops incorporating features like single sign-on reduce the risk of a security breach by 40%.
5.) Improved business continuity and disaster recovery
Enabling business continuity in the event of an outage requires careful planning and investment in robust disaster recovery measures. Some 41% of IT decision makers see modernising data protection and recovery as a top priority.
Using managed services can improve disaster recovery capabilities. Most service providers take responsibility for ensuring the availability of both your applications and data. They will typically allow for failover to a new location within a specific recovery time. Because MSPs provide business continuity services for multiple customers, their disaster recovery measures should be proven and robust.
Insight Managed Office for peace of mind
Insight’s managed service – Insight Managed Office (IMO), is an end-to-end, flexible solution that addresses the adoption and management challenges faced by businesses when introducing productivity technologies to their workforce. IMO comprises professional and managed services that help IT teams to set up, manage and support a modern desktop and mobile working environment. The service addresses the needs of end users as well as procurement and contract teams.
IMO addresses security, governance and compliance for both hardware and software, giving businesses a managed service solution that is capable of managing today and transforming tomorrow.
To find out more about Insight Managed Office, download: Insight managed services brochure.