MSPs Need Bigger, Better, and Badder Security Practices

Face it; most SMBs are facing a number of significant compliance and IT security challenges today. Phishing and ransomware attacks are on the rise, at least from an awareness perspective, and government agencies are hitting organizations with major penalties for their poor privacy and data protection practices (and outright failures). Those “fears of the unknown” are what drive small business owners to seek out or employ the services of an MSP.

Their concerns are just part of the story. Businesses are also more reliant than ever on the cloud, apps, and a growing list of other technologies. On top of those trends, organizations are storing and managing a tremendous amount of information today, and those figures are growing at an exponential rate each year. Have you considered how dependent your clients have become on technology?

The answer is simple to figure out. If any downtime is unacceptable, even an internet outage of an hour or less, your services are invaluable. Consider what one employee mistake ‒ clicking a malicious email or visiting an infected website ‒ could do. For many businesses, cyberattacks could cause thousands of dollars in system damages and kill productivity for days unless effective protection measures were firmly in place.

That’s why cybercriminals are everywhere. They are getting rich off other peoples’ failures and missteps. The latest ransomware attacks can virtually shut down a business, and the offenders know most affected companies would pay a few thousand dollars in Bitcoin instead of losing $20,000 in system restoration and productivity costs. It’s simple math. Based on all the printed cybersecurity horror stories, the restoration costs are never lower than the ransom demands.

Scary Threats Require Serious Protection Measures

If CryptoWall and other attacks aren’t frightening enough for your clients, be sure to let them know about social engineering schemes and other vulnerabilities. Security experts continue to track a growing number of threats each year, and the complexity of these cybercrimes is rising as quickly as the revenue of the perpetrators. In an era where CaaS (Crime as a Service) options are proliferating, and terms like TorrentLocker, BandarChor, and Teslacrypt are almost commonplace, the SMB needs more help from IT services firms.

Proactive IT security protection has become “business critical,” and those providers with the skills and knowledge to neutralize potential threats are already in high demand. Increasing press coverage of the latest threats and attacks will undoubtedly add fuel to that fire and increase MSPs’ profitability.

The biggest challenge for the channel is that few business leaders still truly understand the threat. Not many will openly acknowledge their company faces the same risks as those in the news getting hit by CryptoLocker and other cyberattacks. Most SMBs assume their organization is too small to be a target or the employees of other organizations are more careless than their team members. Those assumptions can be costly.

What they don’t realize is those same activities ‒ browsing hazardous websites, following poor email security protocols, or operating without anti-virus or anti-malware in place ‒ put them in the same if not worse danger. It never good when business leaders deflect blame and remain oblivious to potential threats.

Those misperceptions are what really challenge MSPs. No business leader appreciates being told that their existing protection measures are ineffective and make their organization more vulnerable to a potentially crippling cyber attack; especially those who have made significant investments in their IT security systems. They tend to go on the defensive or work harder to avoid those types of conversations.

The SMB needs assurance in these trying security times. When organizational leaders start looking for firms to protect them from all the unknowns ‒ the things that threaten their employees, customers, and livelihoods ‒ MSPs with the most cybersecurity “clout” will get more attention.

Advanced Security is a Current and Future Differentiator

Of course, the best way for MSPs to protect their clients from the latest threats is to build bigger, better, and badder security professionals. The “be all things to all people” approach to IT services isn’t dead ‒ at least not yet. However, competition is forcing MSPs to differentiate and emphasize certain key services. Advanced cybersecurity is in demand, and it’s a topic SMBs are paying close attention to today.

Of course, MSPs must be able to give businesses what they promise and promote. Nothing will sink a provider’s reputation faster than underdelivering on cybersecurity protection. It’s nearly impossible to stop a seriously determined hacker or preventing an employee from opening a malicious email (because those activities are nearly impossible to avoid). What will damage an MSP’s reputation is its inability to respond to those serious threats or have a plan for restoring a client’s critical business systems when the inevitable does occur.

There are no guarantees in cybersecurity. However, true professionals build comprehensive protection plans, tailor security tools, best practices, and policies to each specific client’s needs; and manage (if not deliver) employee awareness training. Many MSPs partner with other channel specialists to offer penetration testing, dark web assessments, and other advanced services. Cybersecurity is an area where collaboration is not only highly recommended, but profitable for all involved.

Cybersecurity is also a highly marketable offering. The SMB is struggling to find its way with all the threats, and many of those companies are unhappy with their current providers. In fact, a recent CompTIA survey found that only “17% of small businesses were truly satisfied with their existing technology platforms and solutions.” With the escalating pressure, many are looking for bigger, better, badder IT security firms to keep their data and networks secure.

Ready to advance your MSPs’ security credentials and credibility? A great first step is to secure your clients’ most vital communications systems with email security and encryption solutions. Contact Mailprotector today and find out how to add these award-winning, channel-exclusive technologies to your portfolio.