Posted by Trevagh Stankard on Thu, Aug 12th, 2021
Cybersecurity should always be a priority for a Managed Service Provider (MSP) responsible for customer infrastructure and applications. It seems easy when the cloud offers so many cybersecurity resources that can be provisioned with the click of a button, but the hard part is having the expertise to configure cybersecurity resources to properly stop attacks, protect data, and monitor infrastructure.
Small businesses need MSPs to support their systems and stop costly attacks that can cost thousands in litigation and remediation of a data breach. MSPs can follow some simple tips to stay ahead of the cybersecurity game and protect their customers from common internet threats.
Focus on Business Needs, Not the Technical Specifications
IT people can often get wrapped up in the latest technology and focus on having technology just to say they have the latest provisions. Instead of focusing on technology, focus on business needs to drive the technology necessary for good cybersecurity. In some cases, the latest technology is necessary for the customer to stay scalable and work with their applications, but sometimes the basics are needed as well.
Selling expensive cybersecurity resources to small businesses isn’t easy if budgets are tight, but businesses can expand budgets when specific resources are necessary for good security posture. Explain why the technology is necessary and how it benefits the business. A data breach is expensive, and so are cybersecurity resources. Although cybersecurity is expensive upfront, it can save the business thousands in the end.
Build a Cybersecurity Strategy Around Risks
The MSP should audit and review business risks before determining which cybersecurity resources will be provisioned. Every business has its own level of risk, and different risks will exist within the organization based on their own infrastructure. The MSP should take time to evaluate these risks and create a strategy that protects from each identify issue.
Risk assessment is a specialized skill that an MSP can offer as an advantage over competitors. The small businesses MSPs support usually don’t have the staff necessary to identify risk, so this service can be a benefit to the MSP and their customers. With a risk assessment, then the MSP can offer a much more targeted approach towards the small business cybersecurity strategy.
Every cybersecurity strategy should include the resources to protect business assets, but the MSP must also include the steps necessary to configure and maintain it. Monitoring should also be included in the cybersecurity strategy, and it’s a requirement for many of the compliance regulations that oversee information technology within specific industries. The MSP needs the staff and equipment to monitor infrastructure and react as quickly as possible should a threat be detected.
Realize That Small Businesses Expect Cybersecurity Support
Small businesses don’t know the difference between basic IT support and cybersecurity support, so the MSP should always approach services with the assumption that cybersecurity is a part of customer expectations. Cybersecurity should be included with all customer contracts and strategies should surround infrastructure support, both on-premises and cloud-based.
Small businesses looking for an MSP’s support likely doesn’t have the right cybersecurity in place. They might not even have any cybersecurity in place and could be at risk of becoming the next victim of a data breach. This is just one reason why cybersecurity should be a priority for any MSP that supports business infrastructure.
When a new customer is onboarded, always discuss cybersecurity and the business needs. It’s highly likely that the business will need additional infrastructure provisioned either in the cloud or on-premises. Regardless of the infrastructure topology, cybersecurity resources should also be budgeted alongside new equipment. Any new equipment necessary should be discussed with the customer and cybersecurity infrastructure maintained, provisioned, and monitored alongside it.
Put Cybersecurity at the Forefront of Customer Support
Cybersecurity is difficult for small businesses to understand, so they need the right experts to bring them into compliance. By putting cybersecurity at the forefront of MSP services, the MSP can show its competitive advantage and build trust with customers by assuring them that their data is safe.
The MSP can offer advanced monitoring and support as their customer businesses grow. With advanced cybersecurity, the MSP can help a small business grow into a large organization without allowing IT to be a restriction on company growth.
To put cybersecurity at the forefront, the MSP should offer email filters that protect from phishing, intrusion detection and prevention, advanced logging and monitoring, backups and data archiving strategies, and any other resource necessary for business productivity and continuity.
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