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Tips for Choosing the Best Business Internet Security Provider

Sep 23, 2011

By:  InsideUp

Safety and security on the internet are a primary concern for nearly any kind of company. It’s crucial that the information customers share stays confidential and secure.

Despite the growing importance of business internet security, few companies can afford sufficient in-house staff to maintain true network security. If this is your situation, a managed security services vendor can provide real-time, 24/7 monitoring of your organization’s infrastructure and activities.

Managed business network security services provide a dedicated staff that focuses exclusively on the safety and security of your company so that you’re free to focus on other business matters. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right provider: 

Knowing your objectives and reasons for outsourcing your network security is the first step in choosing a provider. In a 2009 study, Forrester Research asked small to medium business managers, “What is your primary driver for using a managed security service provider?”

Below are the top four answers to that question.

Increase competency (specialized skill set)

     31%

Reduce cost

     24%

24/7 coverage

     19%

Reduce complexity

     19%

When it comes to working with an outside provider, your company should look for a partner it can trust and ensure the partner can meet your expectations and business objectives. Here are some vital steps to finding that provider:

Find a Trusted Partner — Select a managed services provider that you will be highly comfortable working with. Begin by seeking out a service provider with an excellent  reputation. Ask trusted vendors, telcos, or security service providers about managed security services. Large outsourcing companies get a lot of their business through existing clients. It’s important to work with someone who understands your environment and with whom you have established a certain level of trust.

All IT service providers are required to have an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certification. This will ensure that your MSSP is legitimate and does not proffer any false claims. It also ensures validity for your e-commerce website. A valid SSL certificate always protects data and all information regarding your customers.

Learn all you can about the company by talking to some of their customer references. Try to gain an overview of each provider’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to be comfortable with the managed services provider you’ll be working with, so choose a someone who understands your company’s environment, and with whom you have a certain level of trust.

You will also need to decide if you want to go with an onshore or offshore provider. You can save money by using an offshore vendor. But if your experience with offshoring is limited, you might be better off with a company that’s closer to home.

If you do choose an offshore model, be sure to investigate factors such as compliance regulations, service disruptions, and political concerns.Once you’ve narrowed your choices, perform due diligence. Select a business internet security provider with expertise in the area you want to outsource.

Before signing a contract, clearly outline your expectations. You will want to have a solid service-level agreement in place so that both parties fully understand the level of service to be provided. Finally, make sure you retain key decision-making responsibilities. Even as your relationship with the vendor builds, you should always retain authority when it comes to setting policies and making other strategic decisions.