27 Jul Using Assessment Tools to Avoid Lawsuits and Bankruptcy
Your clients can hold you responsible for breaches, downtime and any other IT failures they endure, even if it isn’t your fault. As a result, they can subject you to expensive lawsuits, citing inconsistency in your service delivery. Therefore, you must audit and document your service delivery to protect yourself from being sued and suffering crippling financial loss.
This is where assessment tools can come to the rescue. Although they are often used to win new business, assessment tools can help you document the state of your clients’ networks regularly and demonstrate that you are undertaking Due Care to manage and protect your clients.
Wondering why this is important? Here’s an example of how one of your peers was sued for not honoring their contract with a client.
In early 2020, a manufacturing company sued its MSP after a hacker stole over $1.7 million through a phony email invoice scheme. The lawsuit alleged that the MSP failed to install antivirus protection on all the client’s systems and failed to conduct Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) as required in the contract. The MSP was accused of failing to “exercise the knowledge, skill and ability ordinarily exercised by members of the IT profession under similar circumstances,” which triggered an exclusion clause in the MSP’s Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance policy, leaving the MSP’s owner to pay all the costs.
The MSP found itself in this precarious situation because one of its lead engineers installed only a few of the patches that Microsoft released as “critical.” This posed a legal problem because the MSP stated in its advertising and contract that it would install all critical patches within 10 days of their release.
If you want to avoid ending up in a similarly unpleasant situation, here’s what you can do:
Conduct Internal Audits
When was the last time you ran assessments of your client sites and personally reviewed them to check if all systems were patched? Did you confirm whether antivirus software was installed, whether users and passwords were being managed according to policy, and whether end-of-life unsupported systems and software were adequately protected?
If you struggle to answer these questions, you need to undertake corrective measures immediately. It is imperative that you scan your clients’ networks to determine whether your services are being delivered as promised in the contracts.
Develop Documented Evidence
If you are ever sued, the plaintiff’s attorney will first demand documented evidence. Imagine how relieved you will feel if you can provide a stack of reports showing that you delivered your services as promised. Without these reports, you could lose the lawsuit even if you did everything correctly, simply because you couldn’t prove it.
Automate Key Reviews
You should automate Quarterly Business Reviews, Technical Business Reviews (TBRs) or any other reviews you conduct to ensure everything is in order. This will help you better manage time and resources that will aid other key tasks.
Leverage Network Detective Pro
With Network Detective Pro on your side, you can conduct assessments efficiently and automate the reporting process. Based on a schedule you set, networks and computers will be scanned and your pre-selected reports will be generated and automatically sent to you. The more frequently you run your reports, the less issues you will face and the more efficient your service delivery will become.
Using assessment tools to protect your business is a smart move. Maximize your software investment by setting up automated assessments of all your clients. Plan to review several client reports every month, so you can quickly identify any problems with your service delivery before they lead to large-scale disasters.
Curious to know how it all works? Download a sample Client Risk Report and separate Management Plan produced by Network Detective Pro.