As an MSP, you know that cybersecurity is no joke, and hackers and scammers only seem to get getting smarter and more creative. Whether you’re new to the world of managed service of an industry veteran, the following practices will help you provide the best service to your clients and ensure their critical data is secure.
The Houston IT services team at ICS recommends the following strategies to help keep your customer sensitive data secure.
Tailor Your Approach
Not every client has the same needs or faces the same security risks. As an MSP, it’s your job to recognize this and tailor a security solution to your client’s needs and industry. You might focus on mobile security if your client often sends technicians into the field or beefing up desktop security for clients who mainly work from an office. Furthermore, get to know your clients to determine which security practices they may adhere to and find ways make those security practices easier to follow if possible.
Follow the Law
MSPs don’t have a responsibility to keep up with laws that pertain to their clients, even if the clients operate in a different jurisdiction than the MSP. Keeping up-to-date with the latest changes is necessary to avoid fines and to ensure that your clients’ data—and potentially the data of their customers—remain safe.
Keep Up With Patches
Because new security threats arise every day, you must be ready to apply patches and harden vulnerabilities for your clients. This is doubly true if those weaknesses are made public, even if the actors who do so have good intentions. It may seem like a never-ending job, but if you take a day off, you put your clients and your reputation at risk.
Create Backups and a Recovery Plan
Of course, there may be issues that you just cannot predict. Hardware could fail, a software update may overwrite data, or your client may be the victim of a ransomware attack. These issues are no doubt frustrating, but you can mitigate them by making a backup. Creating redundant backups offers even more protection should the first backup fail. In addition to having backups, you need a recovery plan that outlines the process of recovering or restoring data after a security incident. If your backup is older than the client’s current data, you may overwrite important files. Or you could find yourself performing unnecessary tasks without a clear recovery plan. Even with a plan, there may be some downtime, which means a potential loss of income for your client, so you want to minimize downtime in every way possible. Make sure that both you and the client are on board with the plan when it comes to recovery. This leads us to our final point.
Teach Your Clients the Importance of Security
Finally, MSPs must teach their clients about the security landscape and all of the risks that can be found on it. We know that the human element is typically the weakest link of any security setup or plan. Just look at how much information can be gleaned if someone falls prey to a phishing attack and gives up their login credentials. Without your client’s cooperation and compliance, your efforts to tailor security solutions to the client, abide by the law, and patch security vulnerabilities may all be for nothing. Like patching, teaching is an ongoing process, and you don’t want to overwhelm your clients. Start with a basic foundation and provide periodic updates, especially when significant new threats arise.
When you protect your client’s data, you strengthen your reputation, and that word of mouth can lead to more clients. Perhaps more importantly, you avoid costly mistakes that lead to data breaches and lost productivity.