F12 Blog

8 Questions you MUST Ask your IT Provider

As a business owner or key decision-maker for your organization, you must know the critical questions to ask your IT provider. This way, you’ll ensure that your company’s network, computers, and workforce are appropriately secured.

Read below as we layout those essential questions. And we’ll carefully examine why you should make these inquiries with a new – or even existing – provider to ensure everything is updated and running smoothly.

1: How Do You Store My Network Passwords?

Your IT support team has the keys to your digital kingdom, making managed IT providers a prime target for hackers and fraudsters. What system do they use to secure and control access to your critical passwords? Find out what safeguards prevent a former employee or hacker from stealing your passwords.

2: Who Validates Your Security?

Any IT support team must work extremely hard to keep on top of rapidly evolving cybersecurity measures. Your IT provider likely has many suggestions to improve your security. 

But who is validating their security? 

Find out if your IT provider is externally audited (SOC2), satisfies Canada’s minimum standards (Cybersecure Certification), and whether they employ third-party security services, penetration testing, and vulnerability scanning.

3: Where Does Your Cloud Infrastructure Come From?

You should know if your IT support team uses their own cloud. Or do they use a third party for their cloud? It’s a vital distinction since a third-party vendor won’t necessarily share the same security standards as your IT support. Conversely, a managed IT support team that hosts its own cloud, has more control over security and can incorporate more rigorous standards.

4: Are You Implementing a Network Monitor System?

A lack of a network monitor system comes with many pitfalls, starting with disastrous security threats. Alternatively, businesses gain a much-needed layer of protection with network monitoring services. To further elaborate, these features pinpoint tiny discrepancies before they evolve into more significant issues.

The result?

Your company will avoid detrimental amounts of downtime and disruptions, offsetting service/repair costs. At the same time, your overall network security will bolster.

5: What’s Your Plan for Protecting My Business?

A managed IT provider should instil the utmost confidence that they’ll keep your organization well-protected from cybersecurity threats.

You need to be part of this process, so you have a relatively firm grasp of what’s going on. The service provider should have a well-developed plan that they can break down for you upon request. Beyond that, it should be uniquely tailored to your company’s needs, focusing on how to protect your specific network from cyber threats.

6: What is Your Method for Data Backup & Recovery Plan?

As an employer, you should be ready for the following mishaps that can lead to data loss:

  • Employee mistakes
  • IT mistakes
  • Hardware failure
  • Cyberattacks
  • Acts of God or natural disasters

Expect the unexpected and be prepared no matter what.

While lying in wait for some data-related disaster sounds unrealistic, it’s much more straightforward when you hire a managed IT support team. Regardless of what happens, a service provider should have measures in place to help your organization obtain backed up and recovered data in case of a data-specific blunder.

Your ideal managed IT solution should provide data recovery via offsite storage. Furthermore, a managed IT team should have a thorough plan to handle any form of data-related disaster or catastrophe successfully.

7: Can My Employees Immediately Access Live Help Desk Support?

When there’s an IT problem, your employees shouldn’t struggle to access help.

The IT support team you hire should offer live help desk support that provides immediate assistance in the face of any technical problem; this would offset any wasted downtime since they would handle the situation quickly. And during a cyber-attack, you shouldn’t wait on hold while your data is stolen or your network is vandalized.

8: What Proactive Security Measures are You Providing Me?

A proactive approach from your managed IT provider means they’ll continually be looking for optimized solutions against cyber threats and various malfunctions. They’ll be concerned with providing you with the best outcome that saves you money in the long run versus waiting for a disaster to happen before springing into action.

The answers to these questions are the pivotal difference-makers in differentiating IT-pretenders from IT-contenders.

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