managed service provider in WA

MSP Best Practices: A Managed Services Report

The pandemic also highlighted the importance of modern technologies in providing first-rate experiences for customers and employees alike. Customers now expect ultra-convenient digital experiences that allow them to shop, socialize, and be entertained in their homes. Likewise, employees now expect more flexible remote and hybrid workplaces that would enable them to tailor their schedules and environments to their individual needs. But, first, organizations must adopt a few best practices while opting for a managed service provider in WA.

These are:

SOC2 Compliance

SOC 2 defines the criteria for managing customer data depending on five “trust service principles”—security, complete availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. This industry-recognized compliance program comprises several controls that measure the extent of detail and accuracy with which an organization is accomplishing the things they’re supposed to be doing. For example, when you get a new joinee, do you onboard them correctly and consistently? Do you patch your servers regularly? Do you have a robust risk management system? Of course, no organization that implements these controls are 100% secure, but it’s a sign that they’re at least taking all their controls seriously. On top of that, they should introduce an external auditor and challenge them to find proof of gaps in security controls that are purportedly in place, as mentioned in the documentation. This way, an impartial third party can quickly generate a report, giving customers more peace of mind.

Named Accounts and Multi-Factor Authentication

Everyone should be doing this, not just the MSPs. It’s a fundamental step that is absolutely a best practice. Previously, it was common to have an administrator’s account for which everyone who had access had a password. Then, when somebody left the organization, you had to go in and change that password. An improved way is to set up named accounts, each protected by multi-factor authentication that permits only that individual to access a given environment. This applies to internal company employees and external managed service providers that work in the background.

Because everything is logged in, it’s possible to see precisely who entered the environment and when and what they accomplished there. While this certainly isn’t a new technology, its adoption has accelerated because bad actors continue to increase along with increasingly sophisticated techniques they use to breach even the most protected systems.

Regimented Vulnerability Management

Every MSP conducts patch management for its clients on a fixed basis. But how well are they quickly reacting to odd events and potential mitigating threats? While installing patches, doing it monthly or quarterly is usually the norm; real-time patching is even more effective. For example, if a critical firewall update comes from the vendor, installing it has no time lag, and the client remains as safe as possible from cyber threats. Is that method longer and labor-intensive from a managed service provider in WA perspective? Unfortunately, yes. But they are keeping clients’ risk profiles as insignificant as possible is well worth the effort.

Disaster Recovery and Data Immutability

Some of the most high-end ransomware doesn’t merely impact and lock all the files on your server. It also affects and locks your backup files. Though that doesn’t happen often, it’s becoming more prevalent and can be disastrous. Businesses are particularly vulnerable if they’ve installed easy-to-manage environments with an integrated backup solution that employs common passwords for access. In those cases, it’s easier for a bad actor — who might have been lurking in the environment for weeks or months, doing their homework and waiting for the right moment to strike — to break in and encrypt all those files. That’s where so-called “immutable” backup solutions come in. They’re off-site and cannot be easily changed or deleted. As a result, even if everything else is compromised, immutable backups are likely to remain. This means cybercriminals can’t hold the primary data for ransom. Blackmail doesn’t work without leverage. (Here’s more on disaster recovery for SMBs that work with MSPs).

Ebullient Services provides a wide range of IT services and helps you manage all challenges in a remote work environment. Get in touch with our team now!

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