What's the best use of your IT staff's time?
Companies increasingly have the option to hire IT expertise to handle their IT infrastructure – from your website to your hardware to your servers to your network security, there is an service provider that can do it for you.
Why would you consider outsourcing some or all of your network and other IT functions to someone, particularly network security?
I'm going to focus on two here:
Let's tackle time first.
There are 168 hours in a week. Let's say your IT staff spends 20 of their 40 (more likely 50) working hours patching software, troubleshooting user issues, and simple care and maintenance of your network and IT infrastructure.
That's 20 hours wasted.
While an SMB IT team isn't going to spend 20 hours patching each week, patching does take time (you have to test that the patch work and then double-check that it doesn't break any connections with other software packages – it's not as simple as a simple download and, voila, you're done). There's a lot of patching needed:
According to the National Vulnerability Database, there were a total of 4,313 counts of high vulnerabilities in 2017 compared to 2,470 in 2016, and a total of 8,897 counts of medium vulnerabilities in 2017 compared to 3,357 in 2016. That is almost a 126% increase for high and medium vulnerabilities combined, and there are no signs of it slowing down. (Source: TechTarget)
That time spent patching is time away from monitoring for threats, planning for the future, or improving business processes by smart application of IT.
Network security is too important to be left in the hands of someone who only mostly knows what they're doing. Cybersecurity attacks – including ransomware – are on the rise as cybercriminals realize they can make easy money stealing data from unprotected businesses and consumers. Every year, there are new viruses, more sophisticated phishing attacks, and new technology to protect.
Your internal IT team almost certainly doesn't have the time to stay up-to-date on the intricacies of keeping a network secure. This isn't a knock on your IT team – cybersecurity is a career that requires deep expertise and knowledge. Plus, your IT staff has other responsibilities to support your business.
There aren't enough qualified candidates to fill the need for these security experts either; the cybersecurity hiring gap.
Take a hard look at your internal IT team, budget, and business goals and ask yourself:
Do you have the time and expertise to managed network security yourself?
If aren't sure of the answer, or decide you could use some help, managed network services could be a great fit for you.