Ask an MSP ExpertQ: In today’s world, we know that security is a vital part of any managed service provider’s offering. How can we better position our security portfolio while improving our customers’ security posture?

When small and medium businesses look to partner with a managed service provider, a strong cybersecurity posture is almost always a top priority. Often, cyber threats are topics that these businesses struggle to understand or protect themselves from on their own. That is why it’s so important for MSPs to build and maintain strong security postures for both themselves and their clients, to ensure that MSPs can keep them safe from these attacks.

To help MSPs with this endeavor, we identified areas where they can improve and resources to help them do so. An MSP’s security offering must be multi-faceted and have lasting value to get the customer’s attention in today’s crowded marketplace.

The importance of security assessments

Offering a security assessment feature (like the one built into Barracuda’s Managed Workplace RMM tool) gives your MSP an easy way to check on the overall “health” of your customer. This can identify specific vulnerabilities that appear within their site or network, and the MSP can share the info with customers to discuss how to address the issues.

Along with strengthening the security posture of both parties in the partnership, security assessments can also provide business value for the MSP and its customers. Firstly, the assessment can recommend how to solve security vulnerabilities efficiently, resulting in quicker resolutions for both members in the partnership. Second, it is an effective way to demonstrate your value as a service provider. The report presents info that is not exceedingly “technical” and is easily understandable for most decision makers, no matter what type of business they run. 

An assessment tool that specifically focuses on the email security of an MSP’s clients is also particularly important. Tools like an email threat scanner allow the MSP to find cyberattacks that are already living in the inbox or account, and receive recommendations on how to remove the current threat and protect against future ones. This form of an assessment can also provide a full report on the current vulnerability of a client to email-borne threats.

End user security awareness training and education provides value

Strong security solutions and a team dedicated to protecting customers’ networks is vitally important to creating a better security posture. However, all of your hard work can easily be undone by the weakest part of the organization’s network — their employees. An MSP can build the strongest security defense possible for a company, but it will ultimately be useless if the company’s employees are unknowingly handing over vital information to bad actors or otherwise exposing their company to risk.

To ensure that end users don’t act as cybersecurity liabilities, MSPs should offer a security awareness training program. In addition to helping protect the organization’s network, it also reduces the MSP’s security workload.

With these simple, easy-to-employ concepts, you can improve your customers’ security posture drastically. Leading with these offerings when pitching your security services to prospects and customers will quickly prove your MSP’s value and remove any doubts the other party has about entering a managed IT services partnership with your business.

Photo: Jirsak / Shutterstock

Bill Petherbridge

Posted by Bill Petherbridge

Bill is a Content Marketing Associate at Barracuda MSP. In this position, Bill is a key contributor to the management of the SmarterMSP.com and Barracuda MSP blogs. He also serves as copyeditor for Barracuda MSP content, in addition to maintaining Barracuda MSP's social media presence.

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