You’ve decided your business needs an IT company to manage your computer systems, networks, and technology. After all, you’re no expert. You can get around easily enough, but when it comes to max security and seamless networking, you’re a bit out of your depth. An IT company can help, but which one do you choose? Out of all the Fresno IT companies out there, how do you find out which one has the most experience and will be the best fit for your company’s unique needs? Ask these questions when interviewing different IT companies.
1. How Do You Protect My Customer’s Information from Competitors?
Ask yourself what would happen if your competitors gained access to your customer information? Would you even be able to continue doing business? It’s important to know up front how your IT company plans to protect this sensitive and critical data. The names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and other private information of your customers should never land in the hands of someone who shouldn’t have it, so make sure you know how your IT company will protect that information and how effective their methods are.
2. How Do You Protect Against Viruses, Ransomware, Malware, and Other Cyber Threats?
Every business that uses the internet — which today, is nearly all of them — is at risk for viruses, ransomware, malware, and a wide variety of cyber threats. Businesses in the financial industry or healthcare industries are even more at risk, because hackers target these institutions with plans to commit fraud or identity theft. Ask Fresno IT companies that you’re considering how they help protect your network against these cyber threats. Do they have multiple defenses in place in case one fails? If not, consider another company.
3. Can You Help Me Develop a Security Policy for My Network and Information?
You may have a security policy in place that needs updating, or you may not have a security policy in place at all. Ask companies that you interview if they can help you develop a security policy for your network that can be implemented. Your IT company should be able to give you the information needed to create a security policy that works for your unique needs.
4. How Do You Protect My Business Information When Employees Use Their Personal Devices to Access My Network?
Mobile devices are a large part of today’s connected world and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. Many businesses have mobile devices that their employees use while at work, and other businesses provide their employees with mobile devices that they can use personally and while at work. Still others allow employees to use personal devices to do work. It’s as important to protect mobile devices that access a company’s network as it is to protect the computers that do the same. Ask the Fresno IT companies you’re interviewing how they protect mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, and avoid working with companies that don’t have a solid plan in place for mobile device protection.
5. How Do You Help Businesses Comply with HIPAA Requirements? (if applicable)
For businesses in the healthcare industry, HIPAA compliance is of the utmost importance. With electronic health records, HIPAA requirements can be challenging to meet. Your chosen Fresno IT company should have plenty of experience with HIPAA compliance and should be able to help ensure your network and communications meet rigorous privacy standards.
6. How Can You Help Me Pass a PCI Audit?
If your business handles credit and debit card transactions — and most businesses do — you need to be able to pass a PCI (Payment Card Industry) audit. An audit determines whether or not your business adheres to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard that is set up by credit and debit card servicers. Since your payment system is likely integrated with your network, it’s critical that your IT company be able to help ensure that you are compliant with PCI regulations and could pass an audit if needed.
7. How Will Your Company Physically Protect My Servers and Hardware?
Your business needs more than cyber protection — it needs physical protection too. Ask each IT company that you interview how they typically protect physical servers and hardware for businesses. Avoid working with companies that offer little to no security for your physical hardware.
8. What Kind of Responsibilities Will I Have Regarding Cybersecurity?
Ask the IT companies that you interview what responsibilities you may have regarding your cybersecurity. Are they available 24/7 in case of a data breach or will you have to deal with a data breach on your own? If so, will they provide training for it? Understand exactly what your role would be and choose a company that offers you the level of support you prefer.
9. How Do You Initially Assess a Business?
Different companies have many different needs, and even companies in the same industry aren’t exactly alike. You need an IT company that will take into account how your business runs and what needs to be done to protect your data and facilitate ease of use for you and your team. Ask IT companies that you are considering working with how they will assess your business to determine your individual needs. If it sounds like they may have a one-size-fits-all package or just a couple of tiered solutions, steer clear and interview another company. You want to work with Fresno IT companies that design security programs for your specific needs.
10. How Much Do Your Services Cost and What Do I Get for the Money?
This is by far the most important question you could ask and it may be one that you already thought off — it’s one of the most basic in commerce. Ask potential IT companies what their services cost and ask them to break down the cost or outline exactly what you’re getting for your money. Will they provide maintenance services or will they only be doing setup and troubleshooting if something goes wrong? Do they provide setup but charge extra for troubleshooting or service calls? It’s critical to know exactly what you’re paying for and what you’re getting before you sign on the dotted line.
Apex Technology Management is a Fresno IT company with a wide variety of experience working within different industries. We take pride in doing IT right the first time around and eliminating the stress and headaches that business owners have to deal with when it comes to technology and networking. You can rely on our team to ensure that your business is protected from cyber threats and maintains compliance with all necessary regulations. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help by calling 1-800-310-2739. With multiple offices, we make it easy to get in touch with us when you need to, and we take your trust in us to protect your sensitive data seriously.