How an MSP can help your business stay cyber secure and keep IT systems up and running

In today's tech-based society, the need for a secure IT system has never been more critical. SoGlos speaks to Cheltenham-based MSP, ReformIT, about what it does and how it can help businesses get cyber secure.

By Sarah Kent  |  Published
A managed service provider makes sure a business has all the IT provision it needs to run seamlessly and securely.
In partnership with ReformIT  |

ReformIT is a Cheltenham-based IT support specialist, providing expert advice to businesses all over the UK. Assisting with everything from cyber security and cloud technologies to improving broadband speed, ReformIT can tailor its services to meet individual businesses’ needs – whether it’s a fully outsourced IT department or third line support.

In a nutshell, a managed service provider, or MSP, is an IT company that provides businesses with support for their IT systems. 

But there's so much more to understand and benefit from, especially when hunting around for help with your IT. You might be starting a new business with no clue how to set up your IT system, or you might be a larger company who needs external help managing the tech basics, for example.

SoGlos speaks to Justin Richmond, senior IT account manager at Cheltenham-based MSP, ReformIT, for the lowdown on how it works and what it offers.

What exactly is an MSP and what do they do?

Essentially, we are a company's IT department or an extension of a company's IT department. We provide IT support for clients, but we are proactive, too — ensuring devices are up-to-date, email is being monitored and backed up, and strategies are in place for backup and that they meet return-to-operations (RTO) objectives. An example of an RTO objective would be deciding how long a business could be offline if it's hit with a ransomware attack and making sure that it's back online within that timeframe.

It's all about being proactive and ensuring that all the stuff behind the scenes is done, such as checking the security patch; making sure the antivirus is passively scanning; checking firewalls, routers, firmware updates on switches; and checking that wifi access points are being updated — and that's all being controlled and monitored through our systems back in the ReformIT offices in Cheltenham.

It's also about building IT strategies for businesses and understanding what they're trying to achieve — what their objectives are and helping them achieve those objectives through the technologies that are at their fingertips.

Why does a business need an MSP?

Any company that doesn't have IT representation in its business needs an MSP. We work with a huge variety of customers who all have very different business objectives.

So, you could be a micro business with five employees — you've got laptops and printers, and you need some sort of support. You need to make sure that laptops are working, that they are being patched and updated, and that your data is being backed up. 

Or you could be a large business with 500 or so employees and an internal IT department, but we would work behind the scenes, doing all the donkey work so the on-site tech department can get on with their day jobs.

We can either become your IT department or we can become an extension of your IT department. 

What are your most popular packages?

Our first package is 'ReformIT Complete', which is a fully managed service that's aligned to cyber essentials standards and includes support, either on-site or via the phone.

It includes managed antivirus on all your machines which is monitored and managed by us, spam filtering and Microsoft 365 environment security monitoring. 

There's backup for your e-mail, OneDrive, SharePoint and G-suite. We do centralised e-mail signatures, so everybody's signature looks exactly the same across the business and there's ransomware protection and end-user security training.

We will also deploy a system that will simulate phishing emails to work alongside our cyber security training. This enables us to make sure the right people in your organisation are getting more tailored training, and gives everyone a safe way to test their ability to spot a phishing attack. Human element is the biggest risk and our tried and tested set of tools is proven to reduce that risk.

We also offer account management where we'll have quarterly account reviews with our clients and make recommendations for budgeting for device upgrades to accommodate new software, for example.

And what about the other package?

This is called 'ReformIT Pro' and it's more aligned to organisations that already have an IT representation. This service means we become an extension of their IT department, working behind the scenes in collaboration with their on-site staff.

We do all the patching and monitoring of their machines and ensure they're updated with the latest security updates. If someone goes on holiday, then we can become the IT department while that person is away. Staff can call us, and we'll help with any issues.

It's working very well for a number of organisations that we look after that have an IT representation — we work very closely with their IT departments.

A key thing that we take care of is mitigating against the risk of a cyber attack — and that's the biggest risk to businesses today. Yes, there's also debt and fire, but the reality is, the most likely thing that will happen is some sort of cyber attack. Small and medium-sized businesses are three times more likely to be the subject of a cyber attack. Not being the big fish doesn't make you immune. 

Can you talk us through the customer journey, from when a client signs up and beyond?

The first steps once we receive an enquiry are to sit with the potential client and find out what their IT needs are. Taking the time to make sure their needs are aligned with what we have to offer is key, along with understanding their business objective.

Once a client decides to join us, the onboarding process begins. This can take up to a month in most cases, but greatly depends on the size of the company and the number of users.

During the first few months, we are gathering data to give us a more detailed picture of their systems and how they use it day to day. At this point we will carry out an IT audit and discuss it with the client to help them plan where improvements could be made and, more importantly, where they really need to be made, especially when it comes to security. It's about finding out where the gaps are, what the risks are and what solutions we can put in place to mitigate those risks.

We put the report in a traffic light format: everything in red is quite critical and needs actioning now; orange signifies what needs addressing over the next six months; and green is something that works fine but may need updating in the future, such as a telephone system, for example.

For more information on the services provided by ReformIT, visit

In partnership with ReformIT  |

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