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How to Choose a Cybersecurity Provider for Your Business


Almost half of all cyber attacks recorded in the US are aimed at small to midsize businesses (SMBs). The reason might be that only 14% of them are prepared to face an attack.  

But why?  

If you're reading this right now, you probably already have an idea. 

Finding a cybersecurity provider that can effectively address your specific needs and provide reliable protection is a tall order. A vast array of security services and vendors are available in the market, making it difficult to choose the right one. In addition, many SMBs don't have the internal expertise to assess the capabilities and expertise of different providers. But don't fret; we can help you with that. 

Intelligent Technical Solutions (ITS) is a managed security service provider (MSSP) that has helped hundreds of SMBs bolster their cybersecurity posture and protect their networks. In this article, we'll go over all the essential factors to consider when choosing a cybersecurity provider for your business. That way, you can make a smart decision and find a security partner that meets your needs. 

a person using a secured laptop

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cybersecurity Provider 

When selecting a managed cybersecurity provider, several key factors will help you find the right one for your organization. Here are some important things to look for: 

Expertise and Experience 

Assess the provider's expertise and experience in the cybersecurity field. Look for a track record of successful engagements, relevant certifications, and a team of skilled professionals with deep knowledge of cybersecurity best practices.

Range of Services 

Evaluate the range of services offered by the provider. Cybersecurity is a broad field, and you may have diverse needs, such as network security, data protection, vulnerability assessments, incident response, or compliance support. Ensure that the provider offers cybersecurity services that align with your specific requirements. 

Industry Knowledge 

Consider the provider's understanding of your industry's unique cybersecurity challenges and compliance requirements. They should have experience working with organizations like yours and know industry-specific regulations and standards. 

Proactive Approach 

A reliable cybersecurity provider should take a proactive stance toward cybersecurity. Look for a company that emphasizes threat intelligence, continuous monitoring, and proactive threat hunting to identify and address potential risks before they turn into major incidents. 

Incident Response Capabilities 

It's crucial to evaluate a provider's incident response capabilities. Inquire about their response time, the expertise of their incident response team, and their processes for managing security incidents. Ensure they have a well-defined incident response plan and can effectively support your organization during critical situations. 

incident response plan

Scalability and Flexibility 

Consider the provider's ability to scale their services as your organization grows or your security needs change. They should be able to accommodate your evolving requirements and offer flexible solutions that align with your business goals. 

Reputation and References 

Research the provider's reputation in the industry. Look for customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies to gauge their reputation and the quality of their services. Ask for references and speak with existing clients to gain insights into their experiences with the provider. 

Security Standards and Compliance 

Ensure the cybersecurity provider adheres to recognized security standards and frameworks such as ISO 27001. In addition, check if they have experience assisting organizations with compliance requirements of your industry, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). 

Clear Service Level Agreements (SLAs) 

Review the provider's SLAs to understand the level of service and support you can expect. Pay attention to response times, availability guarantees, and the scope of services covered under the agreement. A clear SLA also means there are no hidden charges that might surprise you later on. 


While cost should not be the sole deciding factor, evaluating the provider's pricing structure and ensuring it aligns with your budget is essential. Consider the value you'll receive in terms of the services provided, expertise, and the level of protection offered. 

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Red Flags and What to Watch Out for in a Cybersecurity Provider 

Now that you know what to look for in a cybersecurity provider, let's talk about what to watch out for. These are the signs that a prospective provider might not be ideal for your organization: 

Emphasis on Selling Products 

Is the provider already selling you security solutions before conducting an in-depth assessment of your network? That could indicate they're more interested in getting products off the shelves than protecting your network. 

A trustworthy provider will only offer you something if your organization will actually benefit from it. To find the right solutions, they must conduct a thorough security assessment of your IT environment and infrastructure before concluding what you need. They will also consider your company's size, industry, and budget before making any suggestions. 

Pushing for Immediate Decisions 

Does the provider seem pushy or impatient when you need to make a decision? That might indicate they're not confident you'll choose them over their competitors. Or worse, they might be trying to hide something. Regardless, you should avoid providers who try to muscle their way in. That means the person you're talking to isn't concerned about your business; they're worried about their quotas. 

A good provider knows that choosing a cybersecurity partner is a huge decision. It's a partnership that should last years or even decades when done right. They won't push you into making a commitment that you haven't thought out.  

Poor Explanation of Services 

How well do you understand the solutions and strategies they are offering you? Cybersecurity is a complex topic; some providers might have trouble explaining it to you, while others might take advantage of the fact that you don't understand enough to make wise decisions. 

A worthy cybersecurity provider will take the time to explain things to you in a way that makes sense to you and your business. They want you to understand because it helps ensure that you make the right choices when it comes to your security. 

Unsubstantiated Claims 

Be wary of any claim that seems too good to be true. It probably is, especially when it comes to cybersecurity. If they're offering services that they say have zero chances of failing, it's a lie. That's because no solution or provider can give you 100% protection. 

At most, reliable providers will offer you a multi-layered and proactive approach to security as well as a detailed incident response strategy. They know cybercriminals will try everything to get through to your network, so they will have fail-safes in place should a threat penetrate your defenses. 

a person using a secured phone

Ready to Choose a Cybersecurity Provider for Your Business? 

Finding a cybersecurity provider that meets your organization's needs can be difficult. There are a lot of companies to choose from, and not all of them will have your best interest in mind. That's why taking a closer look at a provider's expertise, experience, and track record before making your choice is essential. 

Since you've read this article, you can now assess a cybersecurity provider's capabilities to ensure they meet your specific needs. That way, you can make an informed decision to protect your organization's digital assets and infrastructure. 

ITS has been helping SMBs build and bolster their cyber defenses for over a decade. Find out how we can help you protect your organization from cyber threats by scheduling a free IT security assessment. Or you can check out the following resources to learn more: 

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