Small and mid-sized businesses are beginning to experience more attacks from electronic criminals, according to the Wall Street Journal this month. From gas stations to bookstores, thieves are hacking into electronic data storage to harvest digital records that contain financial information. Small businesses are at a particular disadvantage in this situation; because they usually lack any IT staff, their security systems are easily compromised.
Visa estimates that more than 90% of credit card data theft occurs in small business settings, and the U.S. Secret Service reports that in 2010, more than half of cyber attacks on business affected firms with fewer than 100 employees.
Managed Services as a Solution
Businesses of that size may feel that they lack the resources to employ a full-time IT professional to manage their network security and monitor for breaches. The solution for such businesses is to work with an IT company providing Managed Services instead. With the advent of the internet, it has become possible for IT professionals to work remotely to supervise and safeguard the computer systems used by a business. This ability to work remotely means that IT firms can serve many businesses from one central location; it is no longer necessary to do all the work onsite.
Even software installations can be performed from a remote location. With managed services, upgrades of virus definitions and other necessary maintenance can be accomplished at night when there will be little to no interference with daily business use of the systems.