Few things are more important to your company than the protection and proper management of data. Just as you wouldn\u2019t hand over the keys to your home to a total stranger, you shouldn\u2019t entrust your company\u2019s information systems to a third party without thoroughly vetting them. Here are some of the important qualities to look for.\nWho consider the whole threat life cycle\nA security provider is responsible for finding and blocking known threats, having a system to detect unknown threats, resolving threats quickly, and making sure your organization stays in compliance. At any point in time, the provider should be able to tell you where you\u2019re running a risk for an external or internal attack. They should be able to do the same for regulatory compliance concerns. A good provider will identify your specific vulnerabilities and develop an individualized plan to contain or manage them. No matter where you are or what the hour, you should have the ability to know exactly what your vulnerabilities are and what is being done to address them. The provider should also keep you informed of important issues on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis, and respond to all your questions quickly.\nExperienced professionals\nSecurity professionals who have identified and resolved thousands of threats know what to look for and routinely employ the latest industry best practices to protect data no matter where it is located. Look for a company with years of experience, a stable team, and management oversight of findings and recommendations.\nExpertise in assessment, policy, and management\nThe provider should start by doing an assessment of your overall information architecture and your existing security policies, devices, and infrastructure. They should then develop a policy that prioritizes risks and clearly describes how to manage them. It should be a very individualized plan that both limits external and internal threats and addresses your organization\u2019s responsibilities for compliance, whether that means HIPAA, PCI, or another set of regulations that affects your business. The provider should have a security information management (SIM) platform that is flexible, scalable, and efficient to support not only your present needs, but your future ones.\nConstant monitoring and management\nIt\u2019s crucial that the provider have around-the-clock coverage for your network and infrastructure. Hackers prefer to launch attacks at odd hours when they think they can slip through undetected. Security that is 24 x 7, 365 days a year is also a must for today\u2019s companies to prevent even minor disruptions and ensure smooth business continuity across the globe.