Managed Services Raleigh
Managed Services in Raleigh and all over the country have really taken off over the last decade, especially for small businesses who aren’t easily able to afford an IT department. But why has the popularity of Managed Services in Raleigh taken off, and why should you consider Managed Services in Raleigh for your business’s IT needs?
In the past, before Managed Services Raleigh became popular, contracting an outside IT company was a lot like purchasing insurance… You know how insurance pays you only when something bad happens? A car accident, illness, home flood or even death? That’s typically the same model outdated IT contracting follows.. You only call them when something bad has happened – a breach, or your network went down – only you are the one paying, and you pay a lot for those services.
But what if your health insurance agent was also a certified trainer and nutritionist who got you out of bed every morning to go for a mile run and made you a kale and blueberry smoothie for breakfast? Or what if your car insurance agent was also a mechanic who gave you an oil change every three months and checked the air in your tires before you went on a long trip?
That is the difference between Managed Service Providers in Raleigh and old-fashioned IT contractors. Managed Services in Raleigh are proactive. They don’t clean up messes, they try their darndest to make sure you don’t make a mess in the first place.
Why Managed Services in Raleigh?
How do Managed Services in Raleigh work to make sure you don’t make a mess? Well, it’s essentially like paying for a subscription… your business pays a certain amount each month and your Managed Services Provider proactively tends to your IT needs by:
- Regularly updating patches and vulnerabilities
- Making sure your networks are secure
- Keeping your antiviral software up-to-date
- Backing up your data often
- Creating a disaster recovery plan, in case something does happen
- Storing and managing your data
- Anything else you or your Managed Services Provider deems pertinent and necessary
Most importantly, Managed Services in Raleigh provide you with peace of mind. Not only do you have someone to clean up your mess if you make one, but you have someone whose sole job is to make sure that any messes you make are minimal in the first place.
Just like anything else, though, there are pros and cons of Managed Services in Raleigh. Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first!
Cons of Managed Services Raleigh:
- It’s not inexpensive. Like anything else, you get what you pay for. Often you will pay some sort of set-up fee, and then a fixed rate each month, plus variable costs if you need something extra.
- The Managed Services Raleigh Provider may not be in close proximity. Often times, the Managed Services Provider is… elsewhere. This means that if you have a physical issue that needs immediate attention, like a copy machine error, it may take a little longer to fix. Your managed services provider will need to walk you, or an employee, through it. Fortunately, with the ease of video chatting, that’s not usually a huge issue, but it is something to consider! And if you’re a Raleigh area business, we provide Managed Services in Raleigh.
- Your Managed Services Provider may not be able to cover all your IT needs. Managed Services Providers are people, too. They may be able to cover a vast majority of your IT issues, but make sure they let you know up front what aspects of IT they cover and which ones they don’t, so you aren’t surprised if there’s something they can’t help you with.
- Not all MSPs keep current on NIST (National Institude of Standards and Technology) standards! Just a little digging will prove that there are best practices under consideration in 2019, and not all MSPs are following them. Here is a summary from https://www.nccoe.nist.gov/projects/building-blocks/managed-service-providers:
“Many small and medium sized businesses use managed service providers (MSPs) to remotely manage their organization’s IT infrastructure, cybersecurity, and related business operations. As a result, MSPs have become an attractive target for cyber criminals. When an MSP is vulnerable to a cyber attack, it also increases the vulnerability to the small or medium sized business that it supports. This project will provide guidance to MSPs on how to improve cybersecurity by implementing a secure IT architecture that reduces vulnerabilities to attacks such as ransomware.
This project will also provide MSPs with informed guidance that will enable them to adopt cybersecurity technologies and techniques that result in better security for themselves and their SMB customers. The goal of this project is to provide a cybersecurity reference model that MSPs can customize to fit their cybersecurity program needs. In the laboratory, the NCCoE will build a standards-based, modular, and end-to-end example solution(s) that will address a set of cybersecurity challenges aligned to the NIST Cybersecurity Framework v1.1. The approach may include architectural model definition, logical design, build development, test and evaluation, and security control mapping.
This project will result in a publicly available NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guide, a detailed implementation guide of the practical steps needed to implement a cybersecurity reference architecture model that addresses the challenge.”
Ask any Managed Services Provider in Raleigh if they practice NIST recommendations for cyber security. If they don’t, they are not a good choice. Our standards exceed the recommendations set by the NIST, and may we be so bold as to say that we have a few recommendations for them as well?
Had, is more like it. We had a few recommendations for them. We already gave our recommendations to them. They were seeking feedback up until November 8th, 2019 on a draft project, Improving Cybersecurity of Managed Service Providers. We made sure they knew about patented technologies such as keystroke encryption and hard disk firewalls, which really should be required for any MSP.
If a Managed Services Provider in Raleigh didn’t have any feedback to give, you should wonder why they don’t have much to offer.
Or why they aren’t very involved with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
We ARE, by the way.
Benefits of Managed Services Raleigh:
- Managed Services Raleigh offer proactive solutions. As Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This axiom is just as true today as it was in 1736. Not only is it more cost-effective, but it also provides you with peace-of-mind about the cyberhealth of your business. Instead of waiting for the inevitable “bad thing” to happen, your Managed Services has you covered.
- You have experts looking after your IT needs. Having an in-house IT guy is great for certain things, but one person usually can’t do it all. And if s/he can, their salary will probably cost you an arm and a leg. With Managed Services, you have access to experts in multiple IT fields. Perhaps your IT professional is a wiz when it comes to software or hardware, but how much do they know about HIPAA compliance or the differences between NIST SP 800-171 and NIST SP 800-53?
- Managed Services offer you all-around security. Managed Services provide you with emergency plans. Managed Services provide you with proactive solutions. Managed Services Providers in Raleigh will be there if something bad happens. And IF something bad does happen, it won’t be nearly as bad as it would have been had you not had your Managed Services Provider there to keep everything up-to-date.
So what’s the verdict?
While there are some risks involved when deciding whether or not to contract Managed Services Raleigh, as you can see, the benefits far outweigh the risks… especially if you are a small business who can’t afford a full-time IT employee. Managed Services Raleigh provide you with affordable, proactive solutions in multiple areas of IT. It may cost you a little bit to pay for prevention, but it is cheaper and easier than having to purchase a cure!