Let’s face it: the cyber threat landscape of today is an ever daunting one, and it can be taxing for any IT department to keep up with it, on top of staying ahead with their other work duties. In these times, it makes sense, especially for banks and other types of financial institutions, to outsource their IT need to a third-party vendor.
This entity is known as a Managed Service Provider, or MSP for short. They literally become your second IT Department. So, what are some of the main benefits of using one? We will review some of them in this article.
The Benefits of Using an MSP for Banking IT Needs
Here are some key reasons why you should seriously consider using an IT Services Company (or MSP) for your bank or financial firm:
1. Your staff will be free to work on other things:
As just mentioned, IT departments and even IT Security teams have far exceeded their breaking points, especially given that the Remote Workforce is now a permanent fixture in the American society. By hiring an MSP, your banking staff will be augmented with other skilled IT professionals, thus allowing them to focus on what is most important for your bank.
2. You will be able to keep up with the rapid changes of technology:
There are new threat variants coming out on a daily basis, and your existing IT department probably does not have the bandwidth to keep up with all of it. Many MSPs also have highly trained cyber professionals on their staff that you can make use of that are keenly aware of what is transpiring. Thus, you can utilize them in order to fully ensure that your lines of defenses are as beefed up as possible.
3. Receive greater levels of scalability:
When your bank hires an MSP, you do not have to hire the entire staff that they offer to you. In other words, you have the complete freedom of scalability here. This simply means that you can hire as many additional people as you need and ramp up or down according to your future IT requirements. This alleviates the problem of time wasted in putting up job postings and going the interview and background check processes that is involved when hiring full time people.
4. Support is always available:
Given the virtual world that we live in, technology never sleeps. But human beings need to. When making use of an MSP, after your staff shuts down for the day, the extra staff that you have hired through them can then take over, and make sure that all of your IT assets, especially from the cyber standpoint, are running at optimal levels. Then your permanent staff can take over for the next day. As a result, you have a 24 X 7 IT department at your disposal
5. Gain the ability to stay on top of compliance:
The banking and financial industries, as well as others, are now much more heavily scrutinized than ever before by regulators. This is in part driven by the recent passages of the GDPR and the CCPA, especially when it comes to the data privacy.
The chances are fairly good that your bank has not been able to come up to “snuff” with these new laws. But, when you outsource to an MSP for banking IT, they will have the resources that you will need in order to conduct a full audit to see where the gaps and vulnerabilities are prevalent in your IT and network-based systems.
From there, they can also provide advice to you in how to implement new controls or optimize any other ones that you currently have in place so that you can avoid a time-consuming audit, and possibly face some harsh, financial penalties.
6. It is much more affordable:
Probably one of the biggest benefits of working with an MSP is that managed IT services are affordable. You simply pay a fixed price for an engagement, and when you don’t need them anymore, you merely terminate the contract that you have with them. Or if you do need their services at a subsequent point in time, you can always renew that contract. As a result, there is no extra expenditure with paying salaries, benefits, perks, giving out raises, etc.
7. You will have greater access to other areas of expertise:
If your bank is not a multinational one, you may not have a full time CIO or CISO in order to direct and guide your IT initiatives. Hiring such an individual can be very cost prohibitive, and the turnover rate is quite high, at about 1.5 – 2 years. When you choose to hire an MSP, you will also gain access to other areas that you may need help and advice in, as well.
A typical example of this is what is known as the Virtual CISO, or vCISO for short. You can also hire this particular kind of individual for fixed price and contract. They can provide advice to you on how to refine and optimize your current IT processes, as well as even help to oversee the maintenance of the new and further enhanced controls that you have put into place.
8. A quicker recovery:
If your bank is ever shut down because of a large-scale security breach or even a natural disaster, you will of course want to resume mission critical processes as quickly as possible. But this can be a daunting task to accomplish if you don’t have the right plans and procedures in place.
By partnering with an MSP, not only will they ensure that you have these documents in place and they are practiced, but they can help you to resume operations in a fraction of the time it would take your IT department to do so.
MSPs: The Best IT Solution for Banks Like Yours
Overall, this article has examined some of the strategic advantages of hiring an MSP for banking IT needs. But caution must also be taken. For example, you will need to have a thorough vetting process in place. You will also want your MSP to have a solid track record that can meet your IT, security, and compliance needs. They should also be established for a long period of time and be able to provide references when requested.