Ask an MSP ExpertIn today’s evolving cyberthreat landscape, it is vital for managed service providers (MSPs) to take a security-centric approach to their business. Highlighting the importance of this, but making it even more challenging, is today’s climate of remote workforces, shifting perimeters, and evolving threat vectors.

So, how does an MSP actually ‘become security-centric?’ This all-encompassing business transformation may sound more daunting than it actually is. In fact, it may only require small adjustments, depending on an MSP’s current practices.

The approach can be simplified by focusing on three foundational pillars MSPs can use to guide and evaluate themselves as they progress along their journey to security-centricity which will fuel their success in delivering vital managed security services.

Comprehensive protection

In the past, the typical cybersecurity expectations of an organization in search of an MSP were that the MSP would keep out as many of the usual cyberthreats, such as malware and ransomware, from their networks as they could and locate and diffuse any threats that managed to work their way in. It was an approach designed to keep end-users as far removed from cybersecurity responsibilities as possible, so that they can focus on their regular day-to-day activities.

In our current age, however, the needs of those clients have changed considerably. Now, data needs to be protected as it moves across networks and is stored in the cloud, where hackers are dedicating increasing effort into breaching. At the same time, end-users themselves are becoming targets as bad actors prey on their unsuspecting natures to compromise their accounts. In turn, these accounts then become the favored route of the hacker(s) to access the data.

MSPs must build a security offering that can protect against all potential entry points, including those who do have permissions from mistakenly letting cybercriminals in. This security offering should not only protect SMB customers, but also MSPs themselves, as hackers are now going straight to the source to take down cybersecurity defenses. By using a security-centric approach with business tools that weave cybersecurity into everyday operations, MSPs and their clients can ensure their cybersecurity defense stays strong against all attack vectors.

Providing security-centric access to the public cloud

Even before the global pandemic, cloud usage had been surging among businesses of all sizes. These organizations often lack the in-house resources and technical knowledge to manage and protect their own cloud setup. Public cloud offers many of the same benefits that they need, but also leaves them more vulnerable to cyberthreats seeking to steal or manipulate their private data.

Businesses utilizing public cloud will be searching for an MSP that can provide a strong cybersecurity defense, while ensuring their employees can still access the public cloud to store and access what they need. With the increase in external workflows and devices connecting to the public cloud, end-to-end cybersecurity has grown in importance to these organizations.

Anticipating cybersecurity needs

The cyberthreat landscape is ever-evolving and MSPs need to make sure they can keep pace to maintain the security of their customers. Bad actors are constantly probing for vulnerabilities in cybersecurity defenses, sending out new attacks that are designed to succeed where the previous ones failed.

MSPs who offer security assessments for clients will be in high demand, as these assessments will help identify any existing vulnerabilities before a cyberattack does. Employing the right cybersecurity technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and zero-trust network access (ZTNA), will also go a long way for SMBs, their end-users, and the MSPs that they partner with.

Building a business, and a cybersecurity offering that is reinforced by these pillars will help make this critical security-centric shift, and will position them to successfully adapt to sudden changes that emerge in the cybersecurity, business, and technology landscapes that can happen at any time.

Photo: nixki / 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.

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Good article.

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  2. Avatar
    Eric Goldstein June 9, 2021 at 7:24 am

    Great article. Hopefully more MSP’s start to capitalize on all of the resources to help their clients avoid getting their data hacked.

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  3. Avatar

    Good read! Thank you for sharing your insights.

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  4. Avatar

    Good article.

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  5. Avatar
    Jonathan Pauley June 29, 2021 at 11:59 am

    Very good article. This is direction that the industry is headed.

    Reply

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