One of the biggest threats to businesses both small and large is the ever growing prospect of data breaches. More and more we are seeing headlines from some of the world’s biggest companies where millions of customers data has been hacked or somehow accessed by a third party. This can end up costing the customers millions of dollars as the information can be used in a multitude of identity theft crimes.
This leads us to one of the most important topics of 2018: the ability to ensure that your data is safe from hackers and that your IT security is up to par.
Compliance And Other Requirements
Depending on the industry that your business is in, compliance may be very high on the list in terms of importance. For example, HIPPA compliance is a huge deal for doctor’s offices, hospitals, clinics, and other businesses where patient records will be handled and stored online.
Ensuring that your office and IT is HIPPA compliant can be a big drain for an IT team, so this is one area where outsourcing to a managed IT company might be the best and most economical choice for your company. This frees up your in-house IT staff, and leaves the dirty work of keeping 100% up to date on ongoing security threats up to a professional IT company.
Another compliance area is payment transactions. The huge Target data breach a few years ago spilled hundreds of thousands of user credit card numbers onto the black market, and many people found themselves the victims of fraud, including myself(!).
Ensuring that your payment systems are secure is one of the areas where hiring an IT services company is probably the best choice.
Choosing an IT Company For Security
If you decide to hire an IT company to run your business’s security, then there are definitely a few things to consider when choosing a company.
Local is better: if you have the choice, go with a small to medium sized local company. Using national companies can get tricky and you won’t get much in the way of personalized service. Local companies will have less of a client load and offer much more personalized and fast service in the event of an emergency.
Ask around for recommendations: either businesses in your industry or friends and family that might be able to recommend a good IT company. Recommendations are probably the best way to hire a good company. In fact, one local San Diego IT support company AMA Networks claims that almost 100% of their current business is from client referrals.
When contacting and interviewing potential companies, ask them for references as well. Any good IT company will be happy to let you contact past customers as they should be proud of the work that they’ve done.
Meet the companies in person if possible to get a feel for their business practices, personality, and the morale of their team (if possible). This can go a long way in sussing out companies that might leave you hanging in an emergency.