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Ottawa, Do You Have Confidence in Your IT Service Provider?

MSPs go out of business every day. How do companies protect themselves in case of an IT service provider failure? What questions should a company ask when looking for a trustworthy MSP?  

If you are like many businesses, once you find a managed service provider (MSP), you forget about them. As long as the network is up and your business isn’t suffering a security breach, you’re comfortable. It doesn’t take much of your time. Maybe a quick phone call or a meeting every three months, just to check-in.

Then,

You receive a letter telling you the service provider has gone out of business. You have 48 hours to remove your data from their servers, data centre, or the cloud. After that, all access will be denied and the information will be destroyed. Your company has terabytes of data. It will be physically impossible to transfer all that data in 48 hours using an Internet connection.

What Do You Do When Your MSP Fails?

Several businesses have had to answer that question. Many wished they had asked more questions before signing up with an MSP.

  • Where will your data be stored? MSPs have options. Your data can be stored on physical or virtual servers. The data can be onsite or in the cloud. Where the data is stored determines how you retrieve it in case of business failure.
  • In what format will your data be stored? IT providers that offer backup services may or may not store information in a readable format. Some providers use proprietary software for backups. If you don’t have the software, it will be impossible to restore the data.

Companies that have fallen victim to a defunct IT provider wish they had spent more time looking for the right MSP and less time looking at the price.

Where Does Your Data Go?

If you are unable to get all your data, what happens to it? Does the IT provider really destroy your data? What happens if they don’t? A business in Ottawa found out what can happen if your data is not erased.

An IT provider went out of business and was locked out of their office space for lack of payment. The landlord did not touch anything in the office until much later. As he was clearing the office space, he found hard drives full of customer information from businesses that had used the defunct IT provider. The information included banking information, passport data, and corporate records. Fortunately, the landlord had the hard drives scanned before trying to sell or destroy them. Who knows what would have happened if he had not?

It is essential to ask questions about data security. Even though the IT provider did not secure the customer information, it was the responsibility of the business that acquired the customer data to keep it safe. Whatever entity acquires the customer information is responsible for its safety through its lifecycle. When looking for tech services in Ottawa, be sure to ask:

  • Is your data separate, or is it intermixed with data from other businesses?
  • How is data destroyed?
  • Do they provide a certificate of disposal?

Those three questions can save a company from unpleasant consequences if the information is breached.

Who Do You Trust?

Managed service providers are growing exponentially. Unfortunately, that growth rate means that not all MSPs are created equal. Before you pick an MSP, get answers to the following questions:

  • How long has the MSP been in business?
  • Does the MSP have facilities to build, test, and operate an infrastructure?
  • Does the MSP use virtual machines?
  • Where is the hardware for the virtual machines housed?
  • Is the staff well-trained?
  • What type of support is provided?
  • What assurances do you have that the MSP will be there 24 hours a day for 365 days?

Getting answers to all these questions is time-consuming, but small and midsize businesses need to do their due diligence when looking for Ottawa Tech Services.

Published On: 14th December 2019 by Ernie Sherman.