Can you tell the difference between an IT consultant with in-depth security expertise and one that doesn’t have it? In a world where proposals reign, it’s hard to designate the difference between an IT company or individual with the right security expertise from those that just don’t have it. It’s always interesting to me when companies pick one IT provider over another because of price. I wonder if they know exactly what they’re missing out on. Recently our Director of IT and Security earned one of the most prestigious security certifications in our industry. While it may just look like some words on the end of his name, this particular certification is one of the most well-respected in our industry. But what does having that level of IT security expertise mean exactly for a client? Here’s why your IT company’s security expertise matters so much:

  1. Your innovation is dependent on your IT provider’s knowledge.
    While is a pretty obvious statement, you’d be surprised how many don’t consider security expertise in their selection of IT consultants or Managed Services Providers. Despite TechTarget reporting it as a 2016 priority in their year-end report less than a year ago, many companies still use the RFP and numbers as the final word in their selection of an IT provider. But how much gets lost in that bit of paperwork and focus on numbers? The fact is that your technology innovation is dependent on the IT providers knowledge of IT security. For example, a piece of hardware is only as good as its configuration. A proper firewall configuration completed by a technician and team trained in security protocols can protect your organization much more effectively than one that is just installed with factory settings.
  2. Their tools are more sophisticated.
    Companies that are well versed in IT security go beyond the standard antivirus and anti-malware tools. They often use more tools, like filtering software that monitors visits to certain websites and protects your network in real time. They will also better-configure your antivirus, customizing scan frequency and tailoring it to an organization’s unique needs. Compare that type of proactive action to a company that just scans for viruses every now and then and you can see how much you can save in the proactive monitoring end.
  3. An internal emphasis on security.
    Those that are certified and trained in high levels of IT security take their own IT security very seriously. This is important, because they are not only sometimes hosting your data and applications, but also holding all of the administrative credentials to all your technology. It may not be something that you think to ask often, but the fact is that you need to be asking your technology providers what kind of tools and protocols they’re utilizing to ensure their own organization is as well-protected as yours.

A great IT company is so much more than a number on paper. Next time you vet out an IT consultant or Managed Services Provider, ask them what types of security training they have and if they have a role specifically dedicated to IT security education. With so many organizations being infiltrated with ransomware and dealing with data loss, you can’t afford to deal with a company that doesn’t have it together from a security perspective. Your company is your livelihood. Don’t trust it to just anyone.