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When Is It Time To Switch IT Providers?

For many organizations a great relationship with the IT provider is vital. Most business owners have retained the same provider for years. However, if your IT company is not performing to a high standard that relationship is harming your business. With so much reliance on technology, you might be a data breach away from disaster. Once issues arise you will see the true color of any organization especially your IT provider.

Indicators You Need To Change

Below are six key trailing indicators that should trigger concern.

  • Performance is not what it used to be- this happens when key employees leave the IT provider for example. Many IT providers out there are powered by amazing firefighters, not process. So, response time increases when key individuals leave because that company has more tickets than time to deal with them.
  • Poor communication- whether it’s loss of internet or a server that is down, recent research suggests for the average company in North America an hour’s worth of downtime costs the organization around $300,000. Communication is a vital part of business success. So, when you can not obtain clear answers and directions then you clearly have a problem.
  • You constantly struggle with the same technical issues- your provider should be able to track and resolve reoccurring issues. Quarterly meetings with your vCIO should help identify repeat issues with remediation steps taken.
  • Repeat extended downtime- if your IT provider is slow to respond to critical downtime issues you should move on. Lost productivity can cost an organization, clients. Your provider should be in a position to identify issues before they become a problem.
  • Your IT company is failing to keep your systems up to date- certainly, a huge security risk- CEOs have no idea what is being completed. With advances in technology, many updates can be completed via automation. In your organization lack of timely updates, upgrades could potentially create a serious security issue.
  • The IT company no longer meets the needs of your business- What your business required five or ten years ago is most likely not the same today. Often the technology relationship does not mature creating a gap. Mostly found with smaller break/fix providers and some MSPs or Managed Service Providers.

Security Landscape Has Evolved

Recent breaches of organizations that lead to subsequently published data on the dark web are long and detailed, let’s take a look at just a few of those examples. below-

  1. Hacker leaks 900 VPN credentials onto the dark web- Threat intelligence firm KELA shared a list of more than 900 Pulse Secure VPN enterprise server usernames and passwords with ZDNet, which a hacker had posted on the dark web in plain text.
  2. 1.3 Million Havenly Accounts posted to the dark web- this information included name, telephone numbers, email addresses, geographic location, and passwords – Havenly has become the latest online firm to suffer a serious breach of customer data after hackers published the information for free on the dark web.
  3. 142 Million MGM Guest Accounts Leaked – for a small fee of around $2,900 hackers will sell you this data to do with what you want. Whilst social security information was not contained basic information was together with dates of birth and phone numbers etc. Leaked Details Of 142 Million MGM Guests Found On The Dark Web For Sale.
  4. Roughly 100gb of data was taken and shared via the dark web taken from Xerox a company we all know very well. Doing business in over 160 countries once again personally identifiable information clearly was included. Maze ransomware operators claim to have stolen more than 100 GB of files from Xerox and will make them public if the printing giant doesn’t engage in negotiations for a ransom payment, BleepingComputer reports.
  5. At least 13 managed service providers were used to push ransomware this year – A new report published this week by threat intelligence firm Armor puts the number of managed service providers (MSPs) that got hit with ransomware this year at 13, possibly more.

The days of anti-virus, a decent IT department have long gone. Criminals take this data, sell the data, or reuse the data for further attacks.

Cyber Criminals Automate Hacking

With data readily available either to be purchased or simply available for free on the dark web you can see there is no shortage of data available. That engineered campaigns are easy to implement.

Because stealing your data is a business, a very profitable and growing business, they are investing in tools such as AI and automation far quickly than small business owners or IT companies can keep up with. In simple terms with the share amount of data available plugged into criminal’s tools they are able to attack and collect money at scale. A recent study by Norton indicated that 43% of small businesses are targeted by cybercriminals, so taking a chance on a company that is doing an okay job clearly is dangerous to your clients and your business.

How Do We Win Against The Dark Web?

Visibility is key together with training your users to watch for phishing scams. The relentless release of data on the dark web shows no sign of stopping. Small business has enabled the continued growth of the dark web and its various outlets for making a profit.

The dark web will continue to be a very serious threat to your business and you should adjust accordingly. History has proven that we are slow to react and respond to changes, criminals are always one step ahead.

Talk with your current provider to understand your cybersecurity standards and process. The dark web is just one method of compromise of your business data however it continues to increase. Solving this problem starts with the education of both yourself and the leadership within your organization.

What Should I Do?

Change is hard, truth is in most instances unless your business suffers a catastrophic failure of some kind, you will simply stay with your current provider. Unfortunately, we cannot make that change for you, we can help identify three core items your business needs to address today however to reduce your risk and improve productivity. Reach out to us today to schedule a Rapid Business Assessment to gain some additional valuable insight. No sales pitch, no “special offers” – just simple, clear, concise guidance for your business to improve on your current technology challenges.

Do you need help preparing your technology for the future? Our vCIO team is ready to tackle your challenges. Contact us today to find out what a vCIO can do for your business.