Technology risks in business
It’s hard to imagine how businesses operated before modern computing technology. Because of this, the technology risks in business are constantly growing and evolving, especially the risks associated with cloud computing and data storage. While the cloud offers a world of benefits, such as increased performance and lower costs, it also includes increased security risks.
There are a number of different ways that information technology risks can have an extensive impact on a business. None of these risks are great enough to dissuade companies from expansive use of technology, but they are things that should be planned for and protected against.
Perhaps the biggest threat to business IT risk management is a data breach. Whether it be the personally identifiable information (PII) of customers or proprietary data that gives a company an edge over competitors, data exposure is a major issue.
The best way to protect against this type of technology risk is to develop a comprehensive risk management plan. This is a set of policies and practices that are applied across an organization’s networks, data, and devices. Technology risk management policies may include, among others:
- Do not share login information or passwords with anyone, including co-workers
- Do not open emails or files from unknown senders, which could include malware that gives hackers access to business data
- Install security updates as soon as they are available
If a hacker’s job becomes harder — even by just a small margin — a company will become a less inviting target. Sadly, too many organizations ignore these simple best practices and end up paying a big price in the end.
Personal devices on company networks
There has been a recent push to allow employees to use their personal mobile devices and laptops for company business. The issue for businesses then becomes how to manage these devices. Personal devices may not be up-to-date on the latest security patches. They also have the ability to download suspect material that company-owned devices block, and they are at an increased risk of being lost or stolen.
To fight against these issues, companies can create a set of mobile technology risk management policies that employees must follow. These help employees remain cognizant of the risks of using their mobile technology on a company’s network.
Threats to business continuity
When an organization’s technology system goes down, the business grinds to a halt. That is why it’s important for businesses to have a continuity plan in place with their IT service providers.
The plan should map out how a business will get back online if service drops. This plan should include a number of factors. Chief among them is a list of emergency contact information for a company’s MSP. Customers need to know who they can contact when service goes offline at 3 a.m., and there is nothing more frustrating for a client than having to hunt for the right person to contact.
Any of these scenarios is incredibly costly for a company. While large companies like Google and Amazon can potentially absorb an outage, even at great cost, typical small-and medium-sized business cannot. This is especially true during peak business times. An outage in the middle of the night is problematic, but if fixed quickly, may only be a small inconvenience. An outage during a peak time — such as during a weekday afternoon following the release of a major marketing plan — can have catastrophic results.
As a result, MSPs need to take every precaution to avoid these types of risks. While risk cannot be removed completely, companies want to know their MSP is taking every step imaginable to keep systems running and in working order.
The Power of Risk Intelligence From N-able
N-able™ has become the premier provider of risk mitigation solutions for MSPs. N-able offers a number of technology management products, including MSP Risk Intelligence, which can help MSPs support their clients with comprehensive, data-driven security insights and financially-based information on how to mitigate technology risks as part of a layered security approach.
MSP Risk Intelligence provides companies with a business case for sensitive data protection and helps them decide which areas of information technology security services need to be made an immediate priority.
Some of the powerful features of the platform include:
- Dollar-based risk assessment and technology risk intelligence reports
- Sensitive data discovery
- Deep vulnerability scanning
- Inappropriate access discovery and alerts
- PCI compliance scans
Typically, companies collect large amounts of personal data like credit card payment information and social security numbers over time. Risk Intelligence looks for this sensitive data and the potential vulnerabilities that surround it in order to keep it protected. This also helps organizations maintain compliance with strict regulatory requirements such as HIPAA and PCI DSS.
Manage technology risks on one platform with MSP RMM
N-able RMM is another powerful tool for MSPs. An all-in-one dashboard, this tool lets MSPs see everything that is happening in their IT environment at one time, along with information on potential threats.
Too often, MSPs have fragmented systems where multiple windows or programs are needed to view the full environment. With MSP RMM, IT professionals and MSPs can view the full environment and get alerts to any suspicious activity. N-able RMM also collects information on security trends from around the world and sends alerts based on that information. That can help MSPs proactivity fight any threats before they become a larger problem.
With these tools, MSPs can greatly reduce the amount of technology risks their business partners face. As the MSP market becomes more crowded, the providers that have the best service and security will succeed.