Now I know you may think you have good IT people or guys and think they would never, ever, destroy your trust in such a way, by letting you fall victim to cybercriminals who end up destroying your reputation and eventually your family’s livelihood. Naturally, however, even good people can be led astray.

As I mentioned in a recent webinar I did, I personally fell victim to cybercriminals and hackers due to me falling into our default natural extremely lazy human nature. While a third-party website was breached it was really my lazy behaviour that was the cause. The thing was I had changed my ways earlier in my career. All of this goes to show that anyone, no matter how diligent they are, can make a mistake, and their mistake can cost you big in damage to your reputation and your family’s livelihood.

Now thankfully for me, the damage caused was very minor. I just had a lot of my own passwords to change. It also taught me some very important lessons and one that I’m happy to say has stuck. It’s also what has inspired me to do everything in my power to make sure I educate as many practice managers, equity principals, partners, and directors about the dangers of hackers and cybercriminals and why most IT services or IT support companies are not taking this threat seriously.

You may be asking how is that possible?

There are IT support companies out there, that unfortunately, are just not staying up to speed with the rapidly escalating cyber security threat landscape. Alternatively, they may think you won’t invest in your firm, so they never recommend anything to protect you against these threats.

Naturally, many IT services companies I’ve dealt with in the past were happy to sell their client “expensive” solutions but not be running the same or better solutions in their own business. Now, this puts you the client at risk. How you may be asking? Well, if an IT services or tech support company is breached, it can lead to all their clients falling victim.

One only must look at the incident that took place earlier this year, in July 2021, where common IT services remote management software was exploited by hackers. This then enabled them to break into the IT services company’s systems and deliver ransomware to their clients. In all, approximately 1500 businesses worldwide were affected by this, and the cybercriminals demanded a ransom of US $70,000,000 to decrypt everyone’s computers. To cause further heartache and grief to those affected, the cybercriminals also encrypted all the IT services company computers.

Imagine, for a moment, you the equity partner, principal, director, or practice manager of a professional services firm, suddenly, without any warning and any action being taken by your team that could have caused it, had your computers pop up a message saying your computers are locked with ransomware and you’re unable to operate or service any clients.

You try to call your IT services company, however, they inform you they can’t help at the moment as they have no access to their systems and are locked out due to ransomware.

Ask yourself this.

  • What if you and your team were working on a very important matter for a very important client to who you, personally promised an outcome to and now it’s not going to get done?
  • Would you be impressed with your IT support company’s inability to provide a service when you most need it?
  • How would you be feeling in this situation?

So, what do you need to do to avoid this situation?

  • Obviously, you want to work with an IT Services company with extensive cyber security experience that understands the impact the websites and software as a service application can have on your organisation and which ones are relevant and those that are not.
  • Ultimately, the IT services or tech support company must also practice what they preach and lead by example or eat their own cooking as one of my mentors is fond of saying.
  • Naturally, and it goes without saying, there must be ongoing IT and cyber security services that are configured in a multi-layered approach across all your IT systems either in-house, in the cloud, or a hybrid system. The services must have guaranteed response times and you must know how long the data is going to be retained.

Things such as advanced next-generation firewalls, cyber security protections, and IT systems, in general, require constant care and maintenance for them to perform at an optimal level. This is not a one-and-done solution, where you can implement it and then forget about it. Would you buy a car and then never get it serviced by a mechanic at regular intervals?

Do you want to learn more about protecting your reputation and your family’s livelihood now but don’t know where to start? Click here and watch a quick video about the three biggest problems professional services firm equity principals, partners, and directors face with protecting their reputation and family’s livelihood and how to solve them.