June 18, 2015

10 Important Security Questions to Ask Your IT Managed Services Provider

When choosing your IT managed services provider, make sure you know the correct questions to ask to ensure you are getting the best service possible. Not only will this save you money, but it will also increase the security of your data and protection against disaster. Knowing what to ask is an important first step when shopping for a good managed services provider. Ask the following questions to your service provider:

Who has access to my business data?

Does your managed services provider have a screening process for their employees? When your managed services provider gives access for system analysis, monitoring, updates, and environment upgrades, ask to be notified.

How safe will it be to move data from my existing platform?

A knowledgeable team of IT professionals should be handling your data during this move. Security should be in place in order to ensure that no data is corrupted, lost, or compromised.

Where is my data stored?

You should be aware of where your managed services provider sets up shop. Find out about the building where the servers are located. Who has access to their backup systems (and what kind of backup systems do they have: Power, Network, Cooling)? What other companies are hosted in their facility?

What services am I paying for?

You should find out what services are included with your managed services provider in order to ensure that you are not paying too much for minimal services. Are your payments subscription-based? Can your infrastructure be quickly and remotely accessed if diagnosis and correction is necessary? Does your managed services provider create history reports and do they record errors and trouble-shooting requests? Will you have a dedicated customer service consultant or account manager at your disposal? Is your managed services provider proactively preventing issues from occurring? Do they offer active and remote monitoring?

How often are the security systems updated?

Is system performance ongoing or is it only done as requested? Does your managed services provider monitor your system constantly in order to provide updates immediately?

How is my data separated from the information of your other clients?

Is your data being stored in the same place as the data of other companies? Is your storage space a private or shared cloud storage? Are there security measures in place, such as firewalls and encryption, to avoid data leaks?

When is IT support available if a problem arises?

Is consistent support available? Do they have an experienced support staff? Do they offer online support?

Can my employees be trained to use the system in order to further manage security?

Can your employees be trained to use your system properly in order to prevent inadvertent threats? This will help employees become comfortable with the system, helping your company and your employees.

Do you have a Disaster Recovery procedure?

Some people are worried about the cloud’s security. However, not only is the cloud secure, but most managed service providers should be able to offer disaster recovery protection and system testing. Do you need uninterrupted system access? Find out if you can get quickly retrievable cloud-based backup. Also, have you done a backup test to ensure your procedures are flawless?

Can you accommodate a growing business?

What will happen if your business grows? Does your managed services provider offer customizable apps and IT services that will adapt to your business’ growth? Make sure you choose the amount of storage and network capacity you really need so you don’t overpay. Most importantly, make sure your provider can handle your future capacity needs.

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