The “always-on” nature of today’s businesses — with an increasingly mobile workforce, the Internet of Things, and the ability to engage customers 24/7 — demands 100 percent up-time. When IT systems are down, productivity and customer service suffers. Many business operations will come to a screeching halt because businesses and their customers have become more reliant on technology to function, the cost of downtime is more severe.
According to Gartner, the estimated cost of downtime per minute is $5,600. A survey by Information Technology Intelligence Consulting found that a single hour of downtime costs more than $100,000. Hardware and software misconfigurations, equipment failure, human error, power outages, adverse environmental conditions, and cyber attacks are prevalent causes of downtime. Fortunately, many of these drivers can be effectively controlled and even prevented by managed services.
Managed services offer a remote monitoring solution, which is the continuous process of tracking vital systems and actions of a business’ IT infrastructure to determine whether the systems function optimally and all business-critical processes are on-track. Simultaneously, this solution ensures early detection of potential problems, which lowers the risk and cost of downtime. More importantly, it helps to identify security threats and anomaly by zeroing in on troublesome patterns to improve the company’s data compliance and cyber-security.
Risk assessment offers businesses insight into the risk posture for key assets and systems, procedures, policies, and controls. It also helps to evaluate and mitigate risks when sharing information, especially with third-party vendors, and address emerging threats so that you can integrate new technology for better security.
Vulnerability and Penetration Testing
Vulnerability testing entails the proactive approach of identifying shortcomings in IT systems. With this testing method vulnerabilities can be promptly discovered and addressed through simulated hacking attacks and software scans. Although the testing process does not typically include a network-wide security assessment, it usually focuses on the perimeter and the loopholes that hackers may leverage to enter the systems without the proper authorization.
Penetration testing is often a periodical event commonly used to augment a Web Application Firewall (WAF). The test involves the attempted breaching of various application systems (e.g., Application Protocol Interfaces (APIs), front-end/back-end servers) to uncover vulnerabilities like unsanitized inputs susceptible to code injection attacks. Insights generated from the test can be used to refine the WAF security policies. By implementing these testing procedures, Managed Services Providers (MSPs) help companies prevent cyber threats, thereby increasing up-time.
Managed services also cover endpoint protection. This protection service secures all a business’ network access points. Given that today’s businesses are largely implementing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies to allow employees to work from any location, at any time, this managed services solution assures that the organization’s network is the same irrespective of how its employees work. Without this feature, it is difficult, if not virtually impossible, to know whether a network has been breached in any way.
When choosing an MSP, the most crucial factor to assess is their ability to meet your up-time requirements. The right MSP will help your organization and systems be more resilient to downtime by enforcing rigorous processes and following best practices. As a result, the risk of human error will be reduced, response times will be shortened, and issues will be corrected before end-users and customers feel the impact. If your network or system is disrupted, adhering to proper procedures will make it possible for your MSP to quickly restore your data and applications with minimal, if any, downtime. If you are ready to learn more request a free consultation today!