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Proof Point: The Major Tool to Use for Protection When Your Business Isn’t Ready for an MSP

At LAN Masters, we act as the fully outsourced IT department for businesses of all shapes and sizes and in a wide range of different industries, too. Whether you’re in construction and restoration, the legal profession are just want to take your small business’ IT capabilities to the next level – we’re always here to help.

Well, almost always.

Just the other day, I was having a discussion with a potential new client about what we might be able to do in regard to their technology. I was speaking to the managing partner of a law firm here in Orlando, and by all accounts we had a great conversation. Since he started his firm in 2013, he had grown to six employees and up to this point he managed the firm’s IT himself, and he was now looking for a way to free up more of his own time and to “go bigger” in terms of things like security, so at first they absolutely seemed like a viable candidate for what we do.

Unfortunately, this person just wasn’t ready for managed services.

They thought they were because they’d been doing a tremendous amount of research on the topic, but my instinct was telling me that wasn’t the case. They easily could be at some point in the future, but that day was not today.

But at the same time, they still needed something to address the troubles they were. Not only were they regularly dealing with malware-related issues stemming from their current email infrastructure, but the business was becoming a frequent target of phishing attacks and this particular business owner was worried that it was only a matter of time before one finally got through.

Luckily, the situation wasn’t all bad news. Even though the organization wasn’t ready for fully managed services at that moment, I DID have something in mind that could help bridge that gap until the time finally came. It’s called Proofpoint, and it’s a terrific way to protect a business from spam, malware and even non-malware threats via a multilayered email security approach.

The rest of this article is my own opinion as to why Proofpoint is such a good option for small business cybersecurity, even for businesses that may not be ready for an MSP quite yet.

The Power of Proofpoint: Breaking Things Down

By far, the biggest benefit that a solution like Proofpoint brings with it is a true, multi-layered approach to antivirus protection in the cloud. Most virus and malware attacks that target your business are sent through email, so having a system that stops viruses and effectively manages threats BEFORE they ever even reach your inbox, effectively solves a big part of the security problem right there. The fact that it does so with absolutely no additional hardware of software being required, makes this a simple choice for early stage business.

Proofpoint also offers features like advanced SPAM filtering, backed by a comprehensive service-level agreement that effectively guarantees a capture rate of greater than 99%. This means that you can guarantee performance in such a way that lets you focus the majority of your time on your business – which is probably a large part of the reason why you were looking for a managed services provider to begin with.

Also of note is Proofpoint’s robust outbound filtering capabilities – meaning that it guarantees all emails sent through the platform are free from viruses, malware and other types of malicious content. Not only does this protect against sent emails that could ultimately damage your customer’s reputations or cause security threats, but it also protects your business from potential (and significant) legal issues as well.

But Proofpoint is also a great way to make up for certain limitations present in solutions like Office 365, too. This is especially true in terms of email loss prevention. A lot of people think that just because they’re using Office 365 means that they’re automatically safe in that regard. Sadly, it’s not true. People accidentally delete things from Office 365 all the time, to say nothing of those instances where data gets lost or corrupted at the worst possible moment.

Luckily, Proofpoint takes care of all of this, too. By default, the solution makes sure that all of your emails are being both backed up and encrypted – thus making sure these are also things you don’t have to worry about.

Along the same lines we have the “Emergency Inbox” – a feature that I’m particularly excited about. It keeps a backup of your inbox and all associated emails so that even if your service ever goes down, you can STILL continue to carry out business as usual – which again, is likely part of the reason why you were interested in partnering with a managed services provider to begin with.

This is especially critical for an organization like a law firm. If you need to quickly retrieve a document or some important file from a case – even one that happened five or more years ago – Proofpoint is going to get it for you. The same can’t be said for a tool like Office 365.

Even going beyond a solution like Proofpoint itself, there was one other recommendation that I made to this prospect who wasn’t quite ready for an MSP – and it’s a recommendation I’d enthusiastically make to anyone in a similar situation, too.

Once you have a piece of technology like Proofpoint in place, the next most important step to take involves actually training your workforce on all the security-related issues that you’re concerned about. If you want them to be able to avoid falling victim to a phishing attack, they need to know what one actually looks like.

Remember that a massive 43% of ALL cyber attacks target small businesses in particular – just because you’re not quite ready for an MSP doesn’t make this any less true. But at the same time, experts agree that comprehensive security awareness training can reduce your chances of a successful attack by as much as 50% in many cases.

You need to invest in training so that your employees know what types of attacks they face. They need to know what to do if they get a rogue email or how to spot an intrusion attempt before it’s happening. In a situation where the vast majority of all cyber attacks happen due to good, old-fashioned human error, you don’t necessarily need a full fledged MSP to keep your business protected. You just need to strengthen your first line of defense as much as you can… which is and will always be your employees.

In the end, understand that I’m not necessarily trying to sell you on Proofpoint – I’m just saying that even though your business isn’t ready for an MSP right now, that doesn’t make protection any less important. Therefore, if a managed services provider isn’t right for you, Proofpoint (along with continuing employee education) will likely work – at the very least, it’ll act as a way to remain protected until that day when you ARE ready for an MSP finally arrives.

Superior Protection Today, Tomorrow and Beyond

But above all else, be aware that regardless of what your needs are, the team at LAN Masters is happy to help. Whether you’re interested in a fully managed services provider or just want to buy Proofpoint and get it set up across your own enterprise, we’re here for you. Please feel free to give either myself or a colleague a call so that we can make sure our organizations are an excellent fit for one another. Once we do, we'll be able to discuss your needs in a little more detail so we can figure out what we need to do to help you in the best ways possible as soon as we can.

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