When you take the smart step of partnering with one of the many cyber security companies out there (most commonly in the form of managed service providers), you get the peace of mind that your company and data are protected from attackers.

But HOW exactly do cyber security companies shield you from harm? And why should you chose to bring one into your business? We’ll explain.

Cyber security companies make sure everything on your network is up-to-date and patched to the most recent version.

This is important because ransomware searches for vulnerabilities in your software and operating system to find a way in and carry out its malicious plans. The WannaCry ransomware discovered a security hole in the Windows operating system and used it to spread across networks.

Vulnerabilities can be found in anything, like your email client, internet browser, server, and nearly any other software that connects to the vast internet. Vendors issue patches for their software very regularly, which your cyber security company will install as soon as possible. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Want an example of what harm waiting can do? Microsoft had issued a patch for the vulnerability a month before the WannaCry attack, but unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of computers hadn’t installed it.

And if you’re using an outdated operating system that is no longer supported, a responsible managed service provider will make sure you’re aware of the danger and likely recommend a viable replacement so they can fully protect you.

Cyber security companies can minimize your attack range.

A managed service provider will try to plug the holes in your network as best they can. All major operating systems need to be fully protected with an advanced firewall, especially if they’re being used inside office walls. Your managed service provider will ensure the firewall is always turned on, and only open ports that your company absolutely needs.

With that being said, a cyber security company will turn off operating system features and software that you don’t need and could pose a risk. It could include file-sharing services and browser plugins like Flash and Java, which are rife with security holes, according to TechCo’s article on how your favorite browser plugin may be a major security threat.

Another measure that your cyber security company may take involves keeping some staff members on a limited account as opposed to an administrative account. By not using an administrative account for everyone, you’ll be successfully limiting the access of the malware in the unfortunate case it does strike.

Cyber security companies will monitor and manage your trust.

Attackers often use phishing to deliver ransomware. Phishing is a type of scam that involves targeting victims with legitimate-looking messages that contain malicious links or infected attachments. Since the targets think the email comes from a trustworthy source, they’ll download and open the attachment, which will then deliver the ransomware.

Your managed service provider will monitor the emails you receive, and advise you to not open any attachments unless you’re absolutely certain of the source. In case there’s any doubt, always train your staff to verify the authenticity of the message with the sender.

Another tip: always be very wary of certain file formats, including Microsoft Office documents (.doc, .xls), executables (.exe, .bat), and compressed archives (.zip, .rar). Cyber criminals commonly use Word macros to perform ransomware attacks.

The good news? With proactive monitoring from your cyber security company, you can rest easy at night knowing you’ve got a team of professionals protecting your data.

Cyber security companies have a solid and tested backup plan.

A legitimate cyber security company is always prepared for the worst. While there have been certain scenarios where ransomware encryption has been successfully reversed at no consequence, for the most part, nothing short of paying the attackers will decrypt your files. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

That is exactly why you should have a managed service provider that keeps solid backups of your files. If you want to take matters into your own hands, external drives can work well, but they’ll be useless if they’re connected to your computer when it becomes infected. Sorry.

Cloud backups can be a solution, but always make sure you and your managed service provider are aligned. Ransomware can go through all your local drives and encrypt their content, whether they’re on your hard drive or in the cloud. Ask your cyber security company if they have experience with protecting the cloud.

Lastly, a good cyber security company will make sure your archive shared folders are sealed. Certain breeds of ransomware will scan your network and find unmapped shared folders and encrypt their content too.

All in all, partnering with the right managed service provider (that has a cyber security offering) is your best bet to protecting your company from digital invaders. Don’t wait.