Did you know that the average cost of a cyberattack to a small business is $200,000? This figure is so high that it puts 60% of affected companies out of business. It’s also estimated that there is a successful cyberattack every 39 seconds.
When cybercriminals are making attempts at your business constantly, you need to think about increasing cyber security. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by hiring a cyber security firm to maintain and protect your IT infrastructure.
But there are so many different options for hiring managed IT services companies that specialize in security. How do you know which will offer the best support?
In this article, we’ll give you the best questions to ask when hiring a cyber security company.
Why Your Business Needs a Cyber Security Firm
Before we get to the questions, we’ll first of all address why your company needs cybersecurity protections and what a good managed services company should offer.
Cybercriminals will use a variety of highly evolved techniques when attacking your business. As technology develops, so too does the threat from cybercriminals.
A good Cyber Security Firm will ensure you have round-the-clock protection from the various threats that your business will face. This may come in the form of system monitoring, auditing, or IT support.
It is essential that you make the right choice, not just because they are there to protect you from cyber security risks, but because they might also be managing your network.
Many IT security companies act as managed service providers. This means that they will take control of your entire IT network and manage every aspect of it.
To do this, you will need to give complete control of your network to a third party. For this to happen, you will need to trust that you are placing your network into safe hands.
What Experience Does Your Company Have?
Before you hire a cybersecurity firm to protect your data, you will need to find out about the level of experience that they have.
Many companies will talk about the products and services that they offer; however, this does not mean that they can deliver on their promises. They may have a small number of clients or have only dealt with smaller companies.
Find out about how many other companies they service, and the scale of the IT infrastructure at the different companies.
How Many Security Engineers Do You Have?
The company that takes on your IT security needs should have a sufficient number of highly qualified staff. Too few employees, particularly in roles that are specific to your IT security support needs, should ring alarm bells.
You need to consider that the security engineers at any reliable cyber security firm will be servicing contracts with other companies too. This means that they need to be able to give all of their clients the attention that they need.
Compare the number of security engineers that the company has working for them with the number of clients that they serve.
What Qualifications Do Your Engineers Have?
Not only should there be enough staff, but they should also have relevant professional qualifications. If they hold certifications, then these should be renewed as required.
The world of cybersecurity is a changing field. There are new threats emerging every day. It is essential that security engineers at a managed IT service provider keeps up-to-date with all of the current and emerging threats.
All of their engineers that are employed should have IT security certifications. Some might have specialties such as the Cisco network engineers certifications CCNA, CCNP, or CCIE.
The best way that any engineer can do this is by attending regular refresher training that meets an industry standard.
In addition to having the right qualifications and certifications, IT security engineers will need excellent problem-solving skills, and the ability to think and act quickly.
For security engineers who provide over the phone or email support; excellent interpersonal skills are essential too.
Ask about the companies engineers and see if you are able to talk with any before committing to their service.
Do Your Provide Training for Our Employees?
Find out more about how your potential IT managed service provider treats their employees.
A company that is invested in developing and training their staff will be more likely to have a highly motivated workforce that is able to work to a high standard.
Evidence of employee training will also be useful in understanding how keen the company is on developing its existing products and services. A progressive cyber security firm will always be looking out for areas of improvement.
A company that is invested in the development of their teams is more likely to attract and retain the brightest and the best employees.
What Is the Biggest Threat to My Business?
Before you agree to sign up for a cyber security firm, get them to assess your business. Ask them what they believe the biggest threats to your business will be.
There are several different types of security threats, and all of these should be considered a risk to your business to some degree.
However, if your cyber security firm just blindly offers a suite of different security products without telling you what the specific threats are, how do you know that the correct threats are being accounted for.
Some of the common issues that may be the most concerning to certain businesses include:
- The theft of customer’s credit card details
- The theft of customer’s personal data
- The theft of patient records
- Website or network downtime due to a security breach
- Loss of intellectual property due to a data breach
- The threat of ransomware
It is important that an IT cyber security firm is able to identify and understand the core concerns that would affect a business working within your sector.
Are You a Member of Any Security Organizations?
Is the IT cyber security firm a member of any specific professional organizations?
Having a membership in a professional organization shows that a managed IT provider or security firm will be a vested interest in working alongside other cybersecurity professionals to share and learn insights.
This will demonstrate a real commitment to their sector. Rather than just being out to earn profits, a security company that can demonstrate active professional memberships will show that they believe in what they do.
Who Will Carry out Any Work?
If you hire a specialist company and you get sent the newest employee with the least experience to carry out any work for you, you’re going to feel a little short-changed.
If you’re paying for a service that is advertised to be delivered by an experienced and qualified team, you should get exactly that.
Find out who your cyber security firm will get to carry out any of the work needed.
Worse than having an underqualified team member working on your systems might be if the cyber security firm provided recommendations and expected you to carry out the work yourself.
Be sure that your cyber security company is clear with you about who exactly will do the work on your systems.
Have You Ever Taken a Network Down During Testing?
Having your network go down will be very bad for your business. But rather than focusing on asking questions about a cyber security firm’s successes, as about their failures.
Network failure could cost your business dearly. However, accidents do happen. It is possible that an engineer could accidentally knock your network temporarily offline.
Of course, this is a catastrophe. But the real lesson is how would a situation such as this be dealt with.
There are several questions that you might want to ask about any negative experience that the company had to go through. This will include:
- How did the IT service provider cope with the situation?
- How long did it take for them to notice the error?
- How long did it take to get the network back up-and-running?
- How did they communicate their error with the CEO of the company?
Sometimes it is better to see how a company deals with a disaster than to hear about a string of achievements.
Dealing with disaster is essential for a managed service provider specializing in cybersecurity.
Will You Provide Training and Support for Our Team?
There are many instances where cybersecurity risks can be avoided if they are managed correctly. WIth human error playing a part in threats such as phishing scams, it is essential that your teams are briefed on how to avoid falling prey to this type of threat.
Find out if your managed service provider will give your employees and support and training in this regard.
You might find that your managed service provider will also be able to provide support when it comes to managing passwords and access to your systems.
Speak with your cyber security firm and ask them about how they will manage access levels for all employees.
How Will You Communicate With Us?
You are planning to put the security of your IT systems and potentially the entire network in the hands of a third party company. Where others are in control of your systems, communication is vital.
You will need to know that your managed service provider will be able to communicate effectively with you and your team.
Find out what their preferred method of communication is. If they prefer direct, over-the-phone conversations, then you will be able to get to the point quicker. Phone conversations leave less room for misunderstandings too.
That said, you should always insist on confirming everything that has been said in a phone call via email. That way, you have everything in writing in case something goes wrong.
Effective communication will be vital. You need to know that your managed service provider will be able to respond to any queries or issues promptly.
Find out as much as you can about the cyber security firm’s customer service department and IT support desk. You should also find out about how a data breach of serious incidents will be reported.
You should ask the following questions:
- Who will you inform?
- How will you inform us?
- When will you inform us?
It is essential that serious breaches are communicated immediately. And, depending on the severity, there is a system in place for contacting senior employees within your organization.
Will You Need Anything From Us?
Before signing up for a managed service provider, find out whether you will be required to provide anything.
Many firms will choose to carry out a full audit of your system before they commence making any changes.
Often, an audit may shed light on many areas that may be lacking in proper security. There may be a great deal of work that needs to be completing.
Find out if you will be required to provide any support in terms of staffing to assist in carrying out this work. Alternatively, the managed service provider may carry out all of the work themselves.
You should also find out whether they will be any additional spending required following an audit.
What Services Will Be Provided?
Finally, you will want to know exactly what services the cyber security firm is proposing to offer you.
You should be offered a bespoke service that is based on the specific needs of your business. Find out which elements of their products and service they believe apply directly to you.
Signing Up With Your Chosen Cyber Security Firm
Once you are happy that your chosen cyber security firm has answered all of these questions in a manner that fills you with confidence, you can sign an agreement.
Remember, picking the right company to manage your IT security is essential. You need to be 100% happy that they are able to take care of your business. Asking plenty of questions is essential. Be sure and check out the rest of the site for more informative tech articles.