Top 5 managed IT security services questions to ask your IT partner
Learn what to ask your IT partner about cyber security to keep your business better protected
As a business owner, you need your IT partner to be reliable, trustworthy, and capable of offering extensive security services to keep your data safe from cyber security threats.
Equipping your business with a well-established system to keep your information safe is more important now than ever before. Cyber crime is expected to cost businesses worldwide $10.5 trillion dollars annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion in 2015. 
Knowing what to look for and exactly how to protect your business from these threats can greatly reduce the chances of a data breach. That’s why it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of your IT partner’s depth of knowledge and service options when it comes to cyber security in order to best keep your company safe.
Continue reading to learn the questions you should ask your IT security services partner to ensure your business is being best protected.
#1: How do you handle my business’s sensitive information?
It’s important that your IT partner is appropriately managing your business’s sensitive data to best avoid any data breaches.
Understanding how they handle your data, where backups are located, and what security measures are in place can help give you peace of mind that your data is properly secured.
It’s also a good idea to ask how many employees have access to your business’s sensitive information. If only employees who need the data have access to it, this can greatly decrease the chances of it being compromised.
How to protect your customers’ sensitive information
#2: What are the credentials of your employees?
Employees have a critical role in keeping data secure, and cyber security can be extremely complex.
That’s why it’s important that your managed IT security services partner’s employees have the right experience and training to best protect your business’s data. It’s also a good idea to ensure that your managed IT security service provider has all technicians and support staff undergo a thorough background check before onboarding them as an employee.
#3: Does your company use the latest version of all software?
Hackers are known to exploit security vulnerabilities in old software, increasing the threat of cyber attacks. Many companies and IT partners continue to use outdated software despite this risk—89% of IT chiefs say they use outdated applications. 
Your IT partner should regularly update all of your software and operating systems in order to best protect your information against cyber threats.
#4: How will you communicate with my business and employees?
A clear and established line of communication with your managed IT security services partner is crucial. Be sure to check how you can communicate with them in case of an emergency—you may need to communicate with them urgently if there is a threat of a cyber attack or if a cyber attack ends up happening.
Talk to your IT partner and agree on the frequency and means of communication for updates and progress on any issues, so that both parties are clear about expectations.
#5: What protections are in place against data theft?
There are many ways hackers can gain access to your business’s data, and your IT partner should have protections in place to guard against hackers.
A few of the most common safeguards to look for include:
- Firewall protection: Prevents hackers from entering your computer or network by tracking any suspicious or unnecessary traffic and then blocks them from accessing private data.
- Two-factor authentication: Requires someone to enter a password and a one-time code sent to their phone via text or call in order to log in. This extra step helps to prevent hackers from being able to access information even if they’ve managed to obtain passwords.
- Strong encryption: Guards data by using codes that scramble data. Without the encryption key that provides a secret code, the data will be unreadable to the hackers.
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1: Cybercrime Magazine | Cybercrime To Cost The World $10.5 Trillion Annually By 2025
2: Information Age | 89% of IT chiefs admit to using outdated applications despite vulnerability to security