Managed IT Services: Everything You Need to Know

Managed IT Services in the office

The term ‘Managed IT services‘ permits the contraction of IT operations to a third-party IT professional(s) or company. These professionals, also called Managed Service Providers (MSP) take total or partial responsibility for all that pertains to the business or organization IT operations. The agreement is based on a Service Level Agreement (SLA).

Since an hourly billing system might not be convenient for both parties, the clients pay for the IT service management regularly. Usually per month payment. While the pricing system is in three forms, namely:

  • Per user
  • Per device
  • An all inclusive flat rate system

What Are The Benefits Derived From Managed IT Services?

  • Gives the Client time to focus on other business duties:
    Contracting your IT operations to MSP gives you the time to focus your attention on departments that needs your attention.
  • High level of efficiency and productivity:
    There is no distraction as there might be in a company, therefore making the MSP focus their attention on the work. There is also the availability of all tools needed and robust technology to accomplish any task. All this increases the level of efficiency of the MSP.
  • Cyber attacks risk reduction:
    Though cybersecurity services are not part of the basic services offered by MSP, however, there is a bridge of gap now. As many MSP have included cybersecurity in their tasks. This new role is taken up by most MSP, which helps in reducing the rate of cyberattacks as most embark on services like cloud infrastructure security and monitoring services.
  • Reduction in labor and control cost:
    IT managed services contraction reduces labor and control costs drastically as you only make payments for services rendered. Unlike a fixed cost per month to in-house IT staff. The labor cost also reduces as there is no need for training for the IT professionals contracted to be in charge of the IT service management. Unlike regular training usually conducted for in-house staff to boost their efficiency and know-how.
  • Faster services with professional touch.

What Are The Types of IT Managed Services?

There are many companies that major in IT service management. Some of them are IBM, Accenture, Wipro, Infosys, and many others which can be found here.

Some of the major IT managed service offered are:

  • Security Management:
    Part of the role of MSP is to make sure there is an up-to-date antivirus and efficient firewall to prevent threats or malware. Also, MSP checks for application compatibility, provide software patching and maintenance. Therefore, it an MSP role to protect and secure all the devices and tools of an organization.
  • Data Analytics:
    MSP IT managed services includes providing suggestions, areas, and ways of improvement. This should be back up by corresponding data to prove it after multiple observations and investigations. New trends and technology that can move the organization to break more grounds could be analyzed also. Then MSP can help the organization take proactive steps.
  • SaaS and Communication support:
    MSP offers communication supports that enable workers in an organization to exchange information. This could be through voice and video conversations or any other medium from any location. MSP handles any hitch encountered during information exchange. MSP also supports by offering Software as a service option. A company can subscribe to this service for a stipulated period. The software program is either created by a third party or by the MSP. The MSP is in charge of maintenance and patching whenever necessary.? Therefore, this helps and aids workflow and interaction from anywhere in the world.Support on general issues is also given from time to time as the workers encounter challenges. It’s usually a 24/7 support. It could be on issues such as networking, programs, security protocol, and many others.
  • Networking and System Monitoring:
    One of the basic IT managed services is to check and constantly monitor the quality, downtimes, and performances of the network. Issues noticed are then worked on and perhaps related to the company. The MSP would also look for how to reduce cost, strengthen, and optimize the organization’s infrastructures.

Other services rendered by an MSP are but not limited to system design and upgrades, backup and disaster recovery, and audit and compliance.

To improve your productivity and efficiency, reduce cyber threats, improve networking system, and get an increased ROI, you might consider an IT service management. For questions and observations about MSP, get across to us through the comment box.

Top Cybersecurity Best Practices for Remote Workers

With the high prevalence of cybercrimes and the accompanying havocs, the need to observe cybersecurity best practices for devices, networks, information, and data is highly paramount.??

According to a post published by CNBC Make It, companies such as Yahoo, Veeam, Marriott, and some others have recorded a whooping figure of about 6.4 billion records hacked over the last decade. This leads top organizations and companies in investing on security best practices. For instance, Mircosoft Corporation pumps over $1 billion in combating cyber-attacks through researches and developments yearly as mentioned by a top executive of the company.??

Unfortunately, the number of successful cyber attacks would continually increase. This is not limited to, but largely as a result of much influx of remote jobs and workers using the cloud in recent times. This is evident as a poling conducted between 30th, march – 2nd, April shows an increase in the number of U.S remote workers to about 57%.? However many do not make use of security best practices to combat cyber attacks.

Common Types Of Cyberattacks on Remote Workers:

Successful attacks could be as a result of the company’s or sometimes the worker’s negligence. Main types of cyber attacks on remote workers are:

Attack Via Team Collaboration:

Regardless of the high rate of productivity derived from team collaboration, when using collaboration workspace or platform, it’s paramount for the team to observe security best practices. Some of these collaboration platforms are Zoom, Slack, google drive/docs, Microsoft OneDrive. The platform aid interactions amidst remote workers. However, apart from information leaking through an unfaithful member of the team, it could be leaked by the negligence of a team member. This could be as a result of working from an unsafe connection, device, or multiple devices. Therefore, penetration occurs through the weakest link.

Network Attacks:

When a network connection between the remote worker(s) and employer (company) is not secured, it is not obeying security best practices. The use of strong firewalls and VPN by a company is important. This encrypts and protects the connection between the worker and the employer. An antivirus should also be installed for both parties.


Verizon after conducting an investigation in 2019, states that about 30% of the data breaches involved phishing, though in various forms. Phishing occurs when a hacker uses the identity of an individual or an organization you trust to acquire information from you. The information range from individual personal details to financial details.?

Unfortunately, the advancement of hackers in the use of phishing methods is of great demerit to remote workers. This is done by sending text messages and emails, but not limited to that. Therefore, with most companies workers working from home, especially during a pandemic period like this-COVID-19, there is an increase in phishing, as network best security practices are not kept optimally. The mode of interaction between some companies and their employees is through emails and texts, giving an avenue for phishing.

Some of the signs that indicate a text message or email could be a phishing attack are:

  • A high level of urgency it portrait.
  • A highly lucrative or attractive offer contained in it.
  • An unsecured link attached.
  • Personal information requested.
  • Unusual tone or sender.

IP Spoofing (Man In The Middle Attack):

In a situation of Man in the Middle attack, there is a breach between the user and the server. Common examples are session hijack, replay, and IP spoofing. Albeit, the latter is very common as the hacker inserts a fake address into the IP address. While it shows the original and trusted address, it ends with another link. Unfortunately, many remote workers do not observe this. Therefore, making the interaction look as if it is a true communication is occurring.


Effective Cybersecurity Best Practices:

Since remote jobs usually involve a service provider and an employer, the success of cybersecurity best practices?relies on both parties.

Practices for The Employers:

  • Training Sessions should be conducted on a regular basis by the company to enlighten the workers on using the best security practices.
  • A secured network setup and cloud based system should be put in place.
  • Encryption of documents is very vital.
  • Two step verification should be enabled.
  • Install a CAPTCHA system.
  • Setup an Advance Threat Protection When hosting a team collaboration.
  • Protect cloud infrastructures with an organization like AWS cloud security.

Practices for Remote Workers:

  • Encrypt documents while communicating with the employer.
  • Setup two-step verification
  • Use safe devices and use incognito mode while using other’s devices.
  • Change and create strong passwords periodically
  • Do not response to suspicious mails
  • Check every time if the website is secured. Sites with http// are not secured.

For any of the following not available, it is important to discuss with the employer.

It is important to note that one or multiple attack types could be combined together to perpetrate evil by cybercriminals. Using the best security practices will prevent you from successful cyberattacks while you work remotely. This in turn increases your productivity and the gain of your employers.

Top 6 Cybersecurity Services Every Business Needs

In this present age, the need for every business to have effective cybersecurity tools and services working for them is germane. This would prevent loss of funds and information to hackers. Therefore, we have compiled a list of tools and services that would make cybercriminals lose the grip on your business.

1. Antivirus Software:

Many consider antivirus as a synonym of Firewall. Though they work hand in hand, but they are quite different. Antivirus software is an example of cybersecurity tools, and its basic function is to scan anything entering the computer and in turn detect and prevent any virus or malware. The program – antivirus, is also referred to as an anti-malware. Using an updated antivirus is very important as it keeps malware (worms, viruses, ransomware, and many more) out of place, but an outdated antivirus might be ineffective and could allow the free flow of viruses. While there is a free anti-virus that could be used on your system, it’s paramount for organizations or businesses to have the best premium and update antivirus programs. According to Norton Antivirus, you don’t need to wait for a threat, get a copy.

2. Firewall:

According to the book titled ‘The secured CEO’, Mike Foster illustrates firewall as a technology cybersecurity tools (software or devices) that either allows or rejects incoming and outgoing traffic connections to and from any program or the internet. Though the firewall prevents unauthorized passages, there are numerous cybercriminals who have advanced in bypassing firewalls. It is done by the creation of programs and data that could bypass firewalls. This has led a lot of companies to imbibe the use of two or more firewalls for their organization or workstations.

Forms of firewalls:

Network Perimeter Firewall:

This firewall is arguably the simplest form and appropriate cybersecurity for small businesses. Based on the administrator settings and rules, it runs scans on network packets, allows or blocks network packets that do not align with the rules.?

Also, a ‘logging’ feature is included for network firewalls as this also shows a record of previous and present malicious activities on the firewall. Network perimeter firewall is divided further into two, namely:

  • Stateless
  • Stateful firewall

While stateless firewall runs scans on packet headers and measures their values against the laid down rules, stateful firewalls does more. Apart from scanning the pocket headers, the state of each connection is monitored for the stateful firewall.

Endpoint Firewall:

This has additional features such as:

  • The administrator has control over the applications accepted or rejected before the traffic exchange.
  • A local machine handles packet filtering.

Other school of thought😕

There are five types of firewalls namely:

  • Packet filtering firewall
  • Circuit level gateway firewall
  • Stateful inspection firewall
  • Proxy or application firewall
  • Next generation firewall

While the first three acts similarly to network perimeter firewall, the latter two acts similarly to endpoint firewall. There are also many firewall softwares available depending on your need.

Intelligent Facial Recognition

3. Threat Detection Management Services:

With the rate of threats from hackers, obtaining the services of a threat management organization is a good means of combating the cyber threat. An example of a threat detection management organization is the AWS cloud security.?

They offer services such as continuous detection and monitoring of threats and protection of data. It also manages identities and accesses, protection of infrastructures, and shows level of compliance with guidelines. This among many cybersecurity services is proactive.

4. Pen Testing:

Also known as penetration testing, is one of the professional cybersecurity services. This service allows a professional in the field of cybersecurity to perform various forms of hack practices on your computer applications, networks, and system. This is done to discover the vulnerability and also address it. This practice gives businesses and organizations the chance to tighten and reinforce their security systems against a potential cyber attack. The professional personnel gives a breakdown of the weakness of the security system and also, what to do in tightening your security.?

An example of a professional body that offers this service of pen testing is an award winner for cybersecurity pen testing services – Redscan. These professional bodies do not use the breach for criminal means, rather, they use it to show you the weakness. This service is cheaper compared to what is lost during a real hack or data breach. However, it is advisable to be sure of the body to hire for such a service. Similar free testing for security rating service for an organization could also be done here.

5. Staff Training and Awareness Programs:

Staff being unaware of the dangers posed when they lose guard on some of the little things they do, add them to your threat list. Therefore, it is paramount to hold periodic training and awareness of most of the cybersecurity tools and practices. This helps in safeguarding the organization as the staff know just what not to do.

The teaching ranges from common forms of cyberattacks to technical ways of handling them. The services of a professional body could also be required to take this training. Some bodies could be found here.

6. Public key Infrastructure Services:

Apart from the security of the transport layers in computer networks and also making the hyper-text transfer protocol (http) secured, it also performs numerous functions. It can be used for two-step verification and encryption of email communication until it gets to the appropriate identity. The creation of digital signatures that can be trusted is also possible through this key infrastructure.?

These cybersecurity services and tools will help secure small and large scale businesses and organizations from successful cyber attacks. Do you have observations? Why not let’s hear your thoughts through the comment box.

Facial Recognition Technology Disputes Resolved

Facial recognition technology has greatly advanced into our everyday life. From things as basic and fun as Facebook images to things not so funny as being a crime suspect. When placed side by side with other biometric systems (fingerprints and iris recognition), the accuracy level of Facial recognition is notably lower. However, it is still employed due to its conventional and contactless process.

For years, the algorithms involved in facial recognition have been accused of bias, especially since they are alleged to better process white faces than non-white faces. Recent outbursts of abuse by law enforcement agents have escalated interests in activists, scholars, leaders in statehouses, and Congressmen.

The undeserved arrest of Robert Williams, a Detroit, African-American man has sparked new concerns about the extent to which these machines make the decision. Stanford University’s Digital Society Lab fellow, Mutale Nkonde said, ‘what is different at this moment is, we have explainability and people are beginning to realize the way these algorithms are used for decision-making.’

The algorithms are trained using data sets that are exclusive of a wide array of people. Since the system is only as good as the data with which they are trained, developing these systems using only one group of people results in a predilection for that group only and a mindless prejudice against any unfamiliar group.

Neutrality vs brutality

Poet of code and founder of the Algorithm Justice League, Joy Buolamwini has been, in her own words, on a mission to stop an unseen force that is rising. In her fight to ensure the ethical use of technology, she has shown, through research how facial recognition applications from tech-giants IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, and China’s Megvii exhibit prejudice towards non-white people.

A 2018 research by MIT scholars, led by Buolamwini revealed shortcomings in the use of facial recognition technology and prompted reactions from MicrosoftIBM, and Amazon. While Microsoft, IBM, and Megvi sought for improvements, Amazon criticized Joy’s research methods and dismissed her claims as erroneous and misleading.

Intelligent Facial Recognition


In June of 2020, these big software companies finally put their feet down, limiting the use of the facial-recognition biometric. This follows the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who died after a policeman dug his knee into his neck for almost eight minutes.

IBM, in a letter to Congress, disclosed that it will no longer offer facial-recognition services. This 109-year old company has decided to give up the manufacture of facial-recognition software completely, choosing rather support Congress in ensuring justice and equality. This move was followed by Amazon two days later. The internet sales company said it has placed a one-year moratorium on the use of Rekognition, its facial recognition tool, by law enforcement. However, they will offer their facial recognition to rights organizations focused on lost children and human trafficking.

Microsoft was next in line saying it rescinds the offer of its facial recognition technology to police departments across the U.S until proper legislation that accommodates human rights is put in place.

This notwithstanding, the race to get prejudice out of our machines is still on. Buolamwini insists that there must be a choice in the use of these innovations and that these technologies must be developed with great oversight.

Other Schools

Not everyone agrees, however, that bans should be placed on the use of facial recognition technology by U.S. law enforcement agencies until proper legislation is ensured. Vice President at the information technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) Daniel Castro says banning facial recognition makes little sense and will not advance efforts at police reform. He insists that what is rather needed is more testing and transparency since there are accurate systems. Castro inferred that the bias can be solved by improving policy rather than deracinating technology.