For the modern Managed Service Providers (MSPs), the days of disparate workflows are gone, and that’s really for the best. Imagine trying to lead a successful MSP business in this day and age —finding new customers, acquiring new clients, developing purchase orders, running endpoints, and sending invoices— without the support of Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) and Professional Services Automation (PSA) tools. It would be foolish.
Why then, should MSPs accept that another critical part of their daily workload is not integrated with their current product and work stack; Cybersecurity?
The short answer is they shouldn’t. With an ever-growing and increasingly complex threat landscape that includes evolving ransomware strategies and trickier phishing scams, MSPs need to be on their best performance. Furthermore, small and medium-sized businesses have suffered dramatic hits to their cybersecurity positions due to the COVID pandemic. Statistics show that 78 percent of all ransomware attacks are in the Small Business space, costing nearly $700,000 and it is taking an average of 280 days (about 9 months) to recover from these attacks. These numbers are enormous to any single business, and if that wasn’t scary enough, a cyberattack can result in a business-ending event, from which the organization can’t be recovered.
The very nature of the Managed Service Providers business demands cybersecurity integration, allowing them to modernize their endpoint security practice with automated endpoint detection and placement, advanced remediation, and simplified administration.
New Practice Toolset Standards
The defensive strategies nowadays require a more expansive mindset as well as an ever-growing portfolio of solutions and support services. MSPs must assess their offerings constantly and rethink their cybersecurity approaches as business clients reimagine their workspaces and systems.
Here are nine of the core pieces every IT services firm must offer, or at least be capable of delivering through third-party collaboration partners.
Credential Management Solutions: One danger of today’s workforce is the lack of concern or care for which passwords they use, how, and where they store that information. Since a majority of employees are currently working outside the perimeter of the corporation, they are more prone to cyberattacks, so effective management of their business credentials is crucial. Users must have different certifications for each account, so if one website or app is attacked, the rest can remain safely protected. Password management software ensures your client’s employees will never need to remember passwords or other login details. They can simply access all their credentials from a single and secure source. Additionally, Multi-Factor authentication (Also known as MFA) should be mandatory whenever possible, especially with remote workers who juggle CRMs, VPNs, corporate social media, and other easily hackable applications.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs): Using a VPN allows remote workers to access the corporate network through what is, essentially, an encrypted tunnel. MSPs can deliver that protection to ensure that their clients can safely share data from any location. Masking the IP address adds another layer of protection for both employees and their employers.
Cybersecurity Training: No matter how many layers of security solutions you have, it will never be 100% infallible. Usually, the only way an organization can achieve total protection is through educating and training employees, layered on top of the tools they use to keep hackers at bay. Without these programs, businesses could be subject to bigger risks, financial losses, reputation damage, and non-compliance fines. The most notorious area where human error affects the security of a company is phishing. These plots run unrestrained and are only getting worse preying on quarantine anxiety pandemic fears. For this reason, end-user training programs are a must for providers who want to cover all their bases.
Email Security: Most organizations already employ anti-spam filters, but in this age where social engineering schemes are becoming more sophisticated each passing day, comprehensive email security and encryption are essential. Every organization needs complete protection that filters spam, phishing attacks, viruses, and more. Email security is not just about the incoming messages, outgoing email is also a concern. MSPs must be able to stop users from unknowingly sending spam and viruses while enforcing sending policies to prevent data leaks.
Encryption: Business data is the equivalent of the crown jewels for cybercriminals. Whether in storage or in motion, encryption ensures that the information remains inaccessible to unauthorized users, and enhances its security, even when sharing it with others outside of the firewall. Occasionally, employees do have to send sensitive information through email. MSPs can ensure that the data stays secure by providing each end-user with encryption technologies that ensure only the intended recipient is able to access the messages.
Security Operations Center (SOC): A SOC is essential to improving the security posture of an organization, whether in office or remote. This service functions as a hub for analyzing and monitoring every event whiting the infrastructure of a business. A SOC allows the IT team to protect the company assets, such as intellectual property and personnel data. Since it provides 24/7 observation, system users can assess and defend against any cyber-attacks on the network no matter the time of the day. The continuous monitoring and analysis of technology solutions and processes ensure that any incident can be detected and mitigated promptly.
Endpoint Protection: With employees working from home and using a variety of tools, securing every network connection is critical. Based on a recent study, 68% of IT professionals suggest that their company has experienced at least one endpoint attack. Protecting further than traditional antivirus solutions will help your clients decrease their vulnerabilities. Endpoint protection gives full visibility of the devices and responds immediately to targeted attacks, it also aids in identifying and managing all data access from a user across a network. Overseeing all connections to the network not only prevents outside attacks, but it also stops unknowingly leaking information from inside as well.
Secure File Sharing: Alongside email encryption, using technologies that allow the safe sharing of corporate data is necessary. Secure file transfer technologies enable employees to share substantial amounts of records conveniently and collaborate easily without the higher risk of acquiring malware, or a virus. A new feature called ‘Bracket Share’ is a great example. With this service, employees can distribute documents and messages effortlessly using a personalized file transfer page and a URL they can provide to anyone. End users can even change the shared links and personalize the invitations as well as authenticating messages to ensure the ultimate security.
Backup and Disaster Recovery: There is simply no way to completely ensure that unpredictable events — such as cyber-attacks, natural disasters, or other threats — will not affect your clients. In the case of a calamity occurring, MSPs can restore users’ essential work systems and reestablish complete functionality as smoothly and as quickly as possible.