Do you think cybersecurity is not your responsibility as an MSP?

Amy Luby, Founder of Modern MSP

AUTHOR: Amy Luby, Founder of Modern MSP

Think again! While data and network protection responsibilities are not always black and white, it is clear that everyone plays a role in the fight against cybercrime, particularly MSPs.

According to the Gartner View From the Board of Directors Survey 2022, 85% of organizations believe that CIOs and CSOs are primarily responsible for the enterprise’s security. Smaller businesses typically rely on MSPs to handle those responsibilities.

The constant increase in ransomware attacks also emphasizes the importance of having an MSP take the reins of cybersecurity.

More recent events such as the Mailchimp social engineering attack or the Colonial Pipeline breach demonstrate why professionals need to be in charge of business defenses. The constant increase in ransomware attacks also emphasizes the importance of having an MSP take the reins of cybersecurity. They keep clients’ IT infrastructure and networks safe and serve as the watchguard of systems throughout the supply chain, including their own.

Cybersecurity expertise is essential to sales growth. If service providers want to see their businesses soar, those skills, tools, and support services must be prominent in their portfolios.

With the global managed services market expected to hit  $557.10 billion by 2028, who wouldn’t want a larger share of that revenue? MSPs can generate more sales and higher profits as thought leaders in cybersecurity. With the best strategies and most cost-effective tools, providers can build formidable defenses and constantly monitor those environments to ensure the safety of each client organization. As the gatekeepers of the IT universe, managed service providers routinely find themselves facing off against every type of hacker and attacker looking to gain access to valuable business data. With these incidents becoming increasingly more prevalent and sophisticated, MSPs must move beyond basic troubleshooting and managing their clients’ IT systems.

MSPs can generate more sales and higher profits as thought leaders in cybersecurity.

Solve problems, build strategies

MSPs have to address more than computer and network issues today, and businesses look for and stick with the real proactive problem solvers. Today’s IT service professionals must be ten steps ahead of attackers, anticipate issues and concerns, and address the gaps, and potential threats before anything bad can happen. The end goal is to engage the mutual teams in meaningful conversations that help decision-makers understand and prioritize the problems they need to solve sooner rather than later.

In many cases, IT service managers are brought in to build systems and handle technical issues. However, the shift to MSPs aligning with or becoming full-blown MSSPs at the forefront of cybersecurity changes that equation. Today’s providers are more strategic than reactive, developing and managing protection strategies across every attack vector. They analyze systems and networks, construct threat assessments, create and deliver organization-wide security plans, and manage the internal security infrastructure and protocols for scores of clients. Here are a few of the ways MSPs are making that happen:


MSPs as cyber threat protectors for the SMB

The end-user is the MSP’s new security partner

The value of proper security training for your MSP clients


>> Automate and integrate

Professional Services Automation (PSA) tools can be an MSP’s BFF. These all-in-one tools allow IT service professionals to manage various tasks, from resource planning, project management, and data analytics to ticketing, invoicing, and billing. Implementing security controls using PSAs and remote monitoring and management (RMM) solutions lets providers track all endpoints and quickly respond to any potential threat. MSPs can integrate these platforms with other protection tools to streamline alerts and response processes.

Automations create a well-oiled machine that improves response times, reduces or mitigates the threat impact, enhances the solution, and boosts profitability by trimming manual tasks (and the associated payroll). For example, Acronis Cyber Cloud integrates with popular PSA and RMM tools, simplifying and strengthening back-end operations so MSPs can focus on other protection measures and revenue-generating activities.

>> Leverage security management tools

As high-profile attacks and threats continue to escalate, IT services firms will play an even larger role in cybersecurity and resiliency. By leveraging management tools and portals and partner-focused dashboards for monitoring and controlling client’s environments, MSPs can provide even greater protection to more end-users. That scalability is essential for activities such as implementing patches, which ensures that team members constantly address known vulnerabilities before they become problems. Security management portals also help IT service providers monitor ongoing protection measures and new threats. In addition, these tools allow MSPs to prepare for, respond to, and quickly recover from attacks while minimizing exposure and risk to their clients.

It takes a village to prevent cyberthreats

MSPs need to take the reins when it comes to cybersecurity. Protecting an organization’s vital digital resources is a collaborative effort, from the c-suite down to every potential end-user. However, some of the most critical roles in data resilience fall to IT service providers. Businesses depend on people (and firms) with experience, knowledge, tools, and resources to implement the strategies and systems to protect their infrastructure from cybercrime and human error.

Protecting an organization’s vital digital resources is a collaborative effort, from the c-suite down to every potential end-user.

MSPs must be the drivers and the fail-safe – compensating for any potential employee or system failure that may occur at any time. Today, organizations need many layers of safety measures to keep their data and operations secure.

Security-minded service providers who lead with strong protection proficiency have the opportunity to minimize threats, grow their businesses, and protect the vulnerable. That mission is not only vital but profitable with the right tools and people in place.

If you have something to say about this topic, I’d love to hear from you over in the Modern MSP Facebook Group.


About the author

Amy Luby is the Founder of Modern MSP. A proven entrepreneur and pioneer in the IT services industry, Amy founded and built one of the first Managed Services Providers in America. Next, she expanded that business into one of the first Master MSPs, defining both business models in the process. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.