IT resources hit hard in more remote parts of the United States
When we discuss the need for modernized infrastructure, or the plights of IT and cybersecurity, the focus takes aim at sprawling cities or remote networks. Often forgotten in this surge of evolving tech, however, is the rural IT community. Out in parts of the United States, modern tech has a harder time reaching smaller communities, both for reasons of distance and terrain. Or, in other cases, it’s simply because isolated towns are too far out from cities or places with contemporary hardware available.
That doesn’t mean, however, they’re any less important or vulnerable from modern day digital threats. In fact, they’re likelier to suffer serious setbacks if targeted or inflicted with something like ransomware.
Threats to rural IT networks
Let’s take a glance at one of the most vulnerable parts of the rural areas: hospital networks. Not only are medical practices often working with less resources, such as lack of staff, emergency vehicles, and supplies, but their systems are potentially fragile too. From budgetary limitations to lack of IT experts, there’s a plethora of difficulties rural medical networks have to face.
This was well before the COVID pandemic too, and since then, the Coronavirus and its resulting pressures from a lethargic early response put rural hospitals in dire straits. More so, in the event of a breach or something as dire as ransomware, those networks may suffer from lengthy downtime without any means to recover from it. You can imagine the dire complications stemming from that, such as delayed emergency care and loss of financial resources.
To compensate, experts recommend investing in third-party tools and resources to bolster their defenses, and that can be said for rural IT and cybersecurity too.
However, that deals with medical networks, what about smaller organizations and civilians?
IT difficulties facing rural communities
Hospital rural networks struggle with cybersecurity and IT, but so do civilians. There are various factors like socioeconomic limitations which impede their livelihoods, and cybersecurity is no exception. Rural networks and businesses are also subject to these limitations, like poverty and limited opportunities in the IT sector. That leaves them vulnerable to breaches, lacking financial resources and expertise to properly respond to threats in the event of a breach.
More so, some rural areas even lack modernized internet speeds because of location. Satellite and even dial up are common in various zones across the United States, which can be debilitating if they need help.
With so many external problems, limited resources, and outdated tech, what can rural communities do to better protect themselves against cybersecurity threats? How can they enhance IT infrastructure to modernize with the world’s digital demands?
There is an answer, however, with third party tools and providers.
Third Party Assistance
Though the challenges are immense, rural communities aren’t alone. In fact, the need for third-party IT assistance is common all over the US and the world. Many SMBs and smaller networks do not have the expertise to modernize their infrastructure at an agile pace. Some lack IT staff, others need backups for their data. It’s only that rural networks and IT feel these pains worse, so the need for external help is clear.
Third party providers, like an MSP (managed service provider) are an ideal solution for SMBs and remote, rural communities. All essentials can be provided, from virtualized assistance and resources to even hardware installation, depending on the provider. More so, MSPs possess the experts and knowledge to chart roadmaps for rural communities and businesses, giving them much needed relief and protection against breach events.
MSPs are also budget conscious, which fits into network models for rural IT with limited capital. Regardless, though, a third party can bring immense assistance and guard against today’s most dangerous cyber threats and disasters.