The right software and firewalls protect us reasonably well but there is still a bit of work you have to do to keep your professional services firm safe.

Computer viruses are not unlike the common cold. 

Imagine yourself in a garden with a high fence.  Inside the fence are all of your colleagues.  No one has a cold.  You are all healthy and working well.  The fence is your protection against those with a cold on the outside.  For the most part the germ ridden air flows over the top of your fence and leaves you and your colleagues germ free on the inside.

Then comes a knock on the door.  It looks like the postman.  You open the gate, take the parcel he gives you and shut the gate.  But when you look more closely you realise it isn’t actually addressed to you.  It is a wrong delivery and it brings with it the germ infested air from outside.  Your protected space is no longer free from infection.

Most computer viruses are downloaded by the user.

This may sound fanciful but the reality is that most computer viruses are downloaded by the users themselves, whether they realise it or not.

How can you protect yourself and your professional services firm?

  • Make sure your advanced endpoint security software is fully up-to-date and monitored 24x7x365 by a security operations centre.
  • Regularly run a full system scan.
  • Take a moment to question emails and attachments before you open them. If you’re not sure ask someone else in your office or call us for a second opinion.
  • Ensure your backups are working, being tested regularly and are being taken offsite. This is best handled by a backup service that replicates offsite to cloud storage.
  • Ensure you have ongoing 24x7x365 organisation wide cyber security monitoring services with a guaranteed response time.

A staggering amount of infections are coming through emails that are designed to get you to click and open an attachment or unzip a file.  Some are even designed to look like they come from someone you know.

If you are not expecting an attachment or the email sender address looks a little odd don’t open it.  Instead take a moment to pick up the phone or email the sender yourself to confirm they did send you an attachment.  A few minutes of checking could save you hours, possibly days of lost time and income that may result from a computer virus.

But I’m an unlikely target.

We understand that antivirus, antimalware and firewalls can seem expensive at first glance.  Many professional services firms can’t see how they would be a target and therefore choose to save by not investing in proper protection.

Before you make that choice just take a moment to think like the bad guys. Are you more likely to target the large mansion with the sports car on the drive and the heat sensor alarm system, the three drooling guard dogs, the automatic lights and the spiked fence or the small house next door with no fence, no lights, no guard dogs, no alarm and a window slightly ajar?

Sometimes it really is necessary to keep up with the neighbours.

What is Managed IT?

Managed IT services involves an IT company installing a computer program on your professional services firm computers, laptops, iPads, iPhones, Android devices and Servers to manage the device and ensure its operating effectively. As part of this they charge you a monthly packaged fee to maintain your firm’s information technology environment and they generally provide you a “helpdesk” where you can call them, and they will fix issues up to a point remotely.

What are the benefits of Managed IT Services?

Your professional services firm is hopefully going well however every time you or your team have a computer problem you have to call out your IT company. Each time you call they tell you they need to come on-site to fix the problem. At times, they may be able to send someone straight away, but mostly there will be a delay from when you make the request, to when an engineer arrives on site to fix the issue.

Right there your immediately up for travel time both way plus the amount of time it takes to resolve the problem. Depending on their hourly rate charge to fix the issue and the number of computer issues you have per month this can add up very quickly.

This doesn’t even include the lost productivity of your team not being able to complete their tasks which for all partners and directors of professional services firms is lost income.

Managed IT services provides the ability to get IT support for a monthly fee that is delivered remotely via phone and email. Some of the benefits you get from this are;

  • Quick response times to your IT issues.
  • Proactive recommendations and ongoing reviews to make sure your system is going to allow you to reach your goals.
  • Increased team productivity due to fewer computer issues and eliminating downtime.
  • Protection from the escalating number cyber security
  • Peace of mind leaving you to work on your professional services firm