28 Dec The Best Practices of Managed IT Service Providers
The Best Practices of Managed IT Service Providers
As managed IT service providers serving the Orlando area for the past 20 years, we spend a lot of time educating our customers about best practices that optimize the security and productivity of their IT. When you take the 30,000-foot view, it’s easier to decide how to spend your budget wisely. Here are a few of the most important items:
Outsource IT: Be Progressive in Your Thinking
- Integrate to automate!
For example, we recently integrated a 3CX Cloud Phone system with Google Calendar, so our customer’s weekend service personal would receive incoming calls based on their weekend schedule.
- Go digital.
Create a paperless office and track workflow through your business process. We can integrate Microsoft Office 365 with QuickBooks online, which helps you track vendor notes and emails in QuickBooks, so nothing is missed.
- Use GPS.
GPS can be used to streamline field operations, work schedules, appointment notifications and timesheets.
- Think security.
Assume there will be an attack before it happens. Ask for a written one-page report from your managed IT service provider detailing what has been done on your behalf to secure your company’s data and assets. This includes backups, locked IT rooms, physical security and employee awareness programs.
- New is not always better.
But sometimes it is. Have an open ear and mind to new ways of doing old processes.
Protect What You Have: Best IT Practices
Managed IT service providers face a daunting challenge every day. With major security breaches and widespread hacking reported fairly consistently, users are looking for security and privacy when it comes to anything IT related. Unfortunately, achieving total privacy and total security can’t be guaranteed. However, the risks can be mitigated significantly.
Below, we have listed some of the best IT practices. Through these tips, you can ensure a higher level of security and privacy online. Furthermore, they’ll reveal what the best managed IT service providers near you should be doing. When you are looking for managed IT help, make sure you get a free consultation to see where your company can increase security and best practices. Search for “ MSP IT services near me ” to get a head start on selecting a good provider.
Individual User Best Practices for a More Secure Network
Here are some of the best IT practices that individual users can adopt moving forward:
- Beware the email scare
Email is a risky area. Some of the most common viruses start because users click links in emails. Many people don’t understand that links can be dangerous. For your own safety and privacy, avoid opening emails from senders that you’re not familiar with. Open only emails that you can trust.
- Check the sending domain for authentic senders
Even some emails that seem trustworthy can be sketchy. Always verify a sender’s authenticity. For example, there is a difference between americanexpress.com (the real website that’s associated with American Express) and amexcards.com (which is not a site by American Express but used to fool people because it’s similar).
- Change your passwords more frequently
High-quality passwords protect you from security breaches and help to promote a more secure network. What protects you further is changing them often. A bi-annual or more frequent password change policy is recommended.
- Change Wi-Fi passwords upon employee turnover
Update your Wi-Fi passwords after employee turnover. This will ensure former employees won’t be able to access company Wi-Fi.
- Initiate two forms of backup
Ideally, you’ll want two forms of backup for a secure network: one local and another remote—such as a cloud backup. This protects data in the event that it’s hacked or is deleted for any reason. This can save you time and money.
- Report any issues to your managed IT service provider and provide screen shots when possible
If there are any issues that you run into, report them as soon as possible. Even if it’s something minor, it could be significant if left unattended. To help your technician solve the issue, provide screen shots when possible to clearly communicate what you’re seeing.
- Listen for beeping, grinding or no fan
Alert your managed IT service providers of any weird noises—like beeping or grinding—or if the fan isn’t running on your computer.
Choose the Best Managed IT Service Providers
Below are criteria to qualify the best managed IT service providers in your area.
- Start with the power grid and its protection
First, surge-protect the power entry of the space you occupy. Second, ground all the internet and local area network equipment and the rack. Third, protect the equipment itself. Pick the best equipment to protect yourself. It will cost more, but your system will not be down when there’s a lightning strike or other power surge.
- Eliminate the physical server if possible
In-house servers provide a point of attack and potential breakdown of security. All servers used to be physical, but now with virtualization, it is possible to have the server in the cloud where it is safe, backed up and supported by your IT company. If the MSP IT service providers you are interviewing can only supply a physical server solution, be leery of their advice. Virtual servers cost less to service and therefore they may be thinking of their own best interests, not yours.
- List applications that will be used in the cloud
Provide a list of the main applications you use to see if your outsourced IT partners can support them on the cloud or as a single desktop package that connects to the cloud for storage. If your goal is to move away from server-based applications, the best managed IT service providers will be able to suggest reliable alternatives.
- Pick a secure, HIPAA-compliant cloud file server solution
For those operating medical offices, look for more specialized services. Specifically, you want your managed IT services providers to be knowledgeable about HIPAA compliance.
- Be able to rebuild your IT from scratch—even if the building burns down
You’ll want to ensure that in the face of a catastrophic event, you have the means to recover all of your data if you lose it. Work with MSP IT services that have a plan to support your business after a fire, hurricane or other event.
- Lock down endpoints or any device connecting to managed networks
You’ll want to be able to control devices that are entering these databases to prevent data from leaking. You’ll want the MSP IT to provide you with extra security features.
- Set up notifications from compromised switches and firewalls
In the event of a breach of your secure network, your digital security system should be set to alert you immediately.
- Set up notifications for health indicators
In addition to breaches, you should be aware when system health indicators are showing a possible future compromise. You can be notified before breaches arise in order to strengthen your security in those areas.
- Setup monitoring software for all IP-based devices
Ensure there is monitoring software in place for all the devices that are connected to your secure network. This further enhances security.
- Secure and protect browsers
A lack of browser security leaves your network vulnerable to attack with every search.
- Place employee monitoring software on users’ PCs
Employees don’t mean to, but they can invite security issues to your entire network just by opening a simple PDF file.
- Report to owners
There should always be open communication between you and your managed IT service provider. Your technology partners should provide regular information to make sure they are staying on top of any future threats and the overall health of your company’s security.
Best Managed IT Service Providers Near Me
Onsyte Computer, a division of Consortyo Networks & Security, has been in business since 2002, helping small and large businesses with their onsite and remote IT requirements. We also help small businesses and medical practices with their digital and physical security needs.
Call us for a free consultation and to receive an estimate for optimizing your office security. We are a one-stop managed service provider and a single point of contact to support and protect all your office technologies. Learn more at our website or by calling us at (407) 389-1670.
Our service area spans Central Florida, including all of Orange County and Seminole County, specifically: Downtown Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Altamonte Springs, Oviedo, Casselberry, Winter Springs, College Park, Thornton Park, Lake Mary, Longwood, Apopka, Fern Park, Winter Garden and Ocoee.