What to consider when choosing a cybersecurity partner

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For small and medium-sized businesses, one of the important decisions they often need to make is how to implement a robust IT team.

While some companies do choose to augment their staff with dedicated IT members, for many businesses it makes more sense to outsource some or all of their IT needs to a managed services company. But when you’re looking for the IT partner who will handle your critical cybersecurity needs, how do you make sure you have the right team?  

Look for strong credentials

Your new partner shouldn’t just look good on paper, they should be able to tell you what they’ve done right, who they’ve done it for, and what they use to do it. They should be able to give you a strong rundown on what software and protection they use to protect your company’s critical functions and information. They should be willing to talk to you in language that makes sense to you about what they’re going to do, and how they’re going to do it.  

Always ask for references but don’t just talk to their cherry-picked partners. Ask around and talk to other businesses who have worked with the company. What was communication like? Were they satisfied with the service?  

The company should also be able to tell you of any certifications they have and you should be able to verify them.  

What struggles are being faced by your company?

When you choose a partner to manage your cybersecurity, it’s important for you to understand what your company needs. What are the challenges you’re facing and what do you want your new partner to take over?

The business you’re considering working with should be asking you questions about this, but you need to be well prepared with answers. Even if the answers are “I don’t know what we need,” be honest. A good partner will help you figure out the best solution for your business model.  

How will you communicate?

The days of set it and forget it IT are long over.

Attacks are constant, brutal, and steadily evolving. IT companies are evolving along with attacks so you should plan for your managed services company to be in regular contact with you. They should be able to update you on how many updates and changes are going on. They should also be offering training points for your staff on, for example, how to avoid phishing attacks and the dangers of insecure passwords or sharing passwords. They should also be constantly evaluating your security and making you aware of any updates they would recommend in the future.  

Is the company a cultural match?  

Any managed services company worth its salt should be considering the complications that mobile security presents to the average business, but some companies use mobile and disparate workforces more than others.

If the cybersecurity partner you’re considering primarily works with companies in large offices with dedicated servers while your company is focusing on cloud-based applications and a workforce that works anywhere, it’s unlikely that the company will be able to give you what you need.  

Finding a cybersecurity partner for your business is as complicated as finding any other partner for your company – and for good reason. Cybersecurity is crucial for your business, especially as it becomes more dynamic in order to cope with your business’s growth and growing security threats. Small businesses should follow best practices and get robust security in place early and medium-sized businesses should be looking at how to make sure their cybersecurity scales with their business as they continue to grow.  

To learn more about how Stetson can help your business protect itself against cybersecurity threats, contact us today.

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