The job of a Managed Service Provider (MSP) or IT Provider has taken a drastic turn in the last couple of years and in addition to being responsible for strategy, security, patches, updates, monitors, failures and helping users with technology, we are being asked to protect our clients from criminals with an arsenal of software weaponry and access to the front door of every business and home in the world with an Internet connection. And, these criminals are trying every key and every trick to break inside or get you to open the door.

It wasn’t all that long ago that a colleague from our local Chamber called and asked if he could pick my brain about IT. Since I love IT and love helping people I said “absolutely”. His question was simple. He asked “Bob, I’ve started working for a larger company and I don’t know what I should expect from my outsourced IT company, can we talk about it?”. We had a great discussion about how we work with our customers, however, if my friend were to ask me today my answer would be a bit different.

I would tell my friend that as an MSP we are being asked to implement systems to eliminate the risk of a hacker getting into our customer’s network. That we are being tasked with helping users identify threats so they don’t open the door and accidentally let a hacker in. We are being asked to teach users how to identify email that looks like it’s from their boss, co-worker or friend when it’s not. That our customers want us to monitor emails and other data for threats without compromising privacy or interrupting productivity. We are also being asked to make sure our customer’s physical networks and wireless networks are protected while still allowing them in to work remotely. Let’s not forget that it must also be affordable.

I think those are awesome challenges for MSP’s and the industry is definitely stepping up to the plate! If you have some knowledge of the task at hand (and this article is a great start) there is an opportunity to work with your MSP to strengthen your network protection, improve user security and lower the risk of an attack. While you’re at it you can also improve your ability to recover gracefully if something bad does happen. Following are some security areas that you should be thinking about:

  • Firewall Protection including services such as Intrusion Prevention (IPS), Malware and Virus protection, Web, Content and Email filtering, Alerts and Monitors
  • Phishing Attack investigation, protection, alerting and training
  • Endpoint Protection for computers, servers and mobile devices
  • Patch Management and updates for all devices including computers, wireless access points, Printers, Video Surveillance, IoT devices and anything else connected to the network
  • Wireless network management and monitoring
  • Device management and monitoring
  • Compliance – If your organization has compliance requirements ask how your MSP can help
  • Password security, Single Sign-On (SSO) and Multifactor Authentication (MFA)
  • Cybersecurity training for everyone in your company
  • Backup, disaster recovery and planning for on-premise and cloud data.

Take action and schedule some time to talk with your MSP or IT Provider about these areas and how/if they affect you.


arielMIS is a Managed Service Provider (MSP) providing businessCARE™ IT services designed to keep you and your employees productive and safe. Contact Us if you're interested in learning more about our services.