“Important updates are pending,” reads the white-on-blue alert on your computer screen. “Ready? Restart now. Not ready? Pick a time that works for you.”
At the bottom of the blue box is a button you’ve been pressing every day for the last two weeks. It says, “Remind me later.”
Why is it that these updates always come when you’re in the middle of something important—watching cat videos on your lunch break, for instance? Don’t they know you can’t be bothered to restart now or—worse still—to pick a time? Gross.
When you think about cybersecurity, your mind probably goes in a couple of different directions. For a lot of people, it might go to the ubiquitous image of the creepy hooded figure wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. Your mind might go instead to famous 2017 Equifax data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people.
One place it might not go is to the story at the beginning of this article, that about being inconvenienced by pesky software updates and patches. As it turns out, these pop-up alerts do not exist exclusively to annoy you. They are actually really important.
Developers, especially big corporations with millions of users like Microsoft, know their applications and operating systems may have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. Because of this, Microsoft and others are constantly searching for and “patching” these vulnerabilities to keep their users safe (as well as improve functionality, usability, and performance).
The reality is, however, when your business or organization trusts its employees with accepting updates and patches—and some applications do not even automatically alert the user that these are available—then the whole company is put at risk.
A key service offered by a trusted managed service provider, or MSP, is remote maintenance. This allows the provider to schedule and push out the updates to your systems regularly and after-hours, eliminating potential downtime (that could be better spent watching those cat videos).
Like those annoying pop-up alerts but entirely useless, spam is everywhere. According to Statista, global email volume in September, 2019, consisted of 54.68% spam. Comprehensive spam protection and filtering available through a trusted MSP can keep the junk out of your inbox, saving the time it takes to sift through it and keeping you protected from malicious links or attachments that can easily be clicked or downloaded by mistake.
The security benefits don’t stop with spam protection. In fact, the number one reason customers adopted managed services, per CompTIA, is to “improve security.” Since a trusted MPS’s whole business is IT, they have the latest and greatest in security tools, from access control solutions and intrusion detection systems to web application firewalls and sophisticated encryption. These solutions are largely invisible to your employees, making for a seamless and productive workflow.
Don’t be the next organization to suffer a preventable security breach. Enlist the help of a trusted MSP. How do you tell a trusted MSP apart from the rest of the pack? You interview them, of course!