MSPs make their money on support. As hardware and software/cloud margins continue to decline, or at least no longer offer the promise of years past, IT services firms must differentiate and rely on new business opportunities to keep up the positive momentum. To keep and grow robust revenue streams, MSPs need to continually invest in their portfolios, building out and strengthening the services that their clients most want and need.
One of the best ways for IT services professionals to make that happen today is to fortify their cybersecurity offerings. Data and network protection are quickly rising on the priority list for all businesses, and that momentum shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Cybersecurity threats pose a special danger to SMBs with few, if any, in-house IT staff and limited capabilities or knowledge when it comes to handling the latest threats.
MSPs can be their savior—with the right people, skills, training, and tools. A robust and dynamic cybersecurity practice allows an IT services firm to provide SMBs with a level of protection they could never afford to create and maintain on their own. Cybercriminals leave little room for error, so businesses need to secure the best possible support that their budget allows. MSPs can cost-effectively fill that role with the right mix of services, including solutions that address the latest threats.
What current trends will influence that cybersecurity portfolio? Here are some of the latest developments MSPs should pay attention to in 2022 (and beyond):
1. The Rise of Threat Hunting as a Service
Reactive cybersecurity solutions, technologies that identify and respond to attacks after they happen, do not provide the protection businesses need today. As financial risks and regulatory compliance pressures grow, organizations increasingly look to MSPs for mitigation options. Threat hunting relies on intelligence (both human and artificial) to identify anomalies and anticipate when and where cybercriminals will strike. Monitoring tools typically search through logs, databases, firewalls, and cloud infrastructure for potential signs of an impending attack. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions collect and analyze raw data and send back alerts when they spot suspicious behaviors. If not already offering these services, MSPs should consider partnering with security specialists with threat hunting capabilities.
2. Cloud Security Vulnerabilities
The digital age is here. Businesses continue to migrate applications and infrastructure to the cloud. Despite the perception that these virtual services are highly secure, many still lack essential protection measures, like encryption, multi-factor authentication, and audit logging. Others fail to appropriately segment the data in secure offsite storage facilities. MSPs have an opportunity to become the cloud security specialists their clients need today. Locking down access to applications with MFA and delivering the latest endpoint protection solutions can be a business-saving and profitable venture.
3. Increasing Payment Security Concerns
With 88% of SMBs storing unencrypted payment information in their IT environment and cyberattacks increasing at an alarming rate, the likelihood of a data breach is near certain, with astronomical financial and compliance consequences. The ability to assess and mitigate those threats can help MSPs land new clients and drive incremental revenue with existing business customers. For example, Secure Payments by ConnectBooster allows providers to assess their clients’ payments environments, identify potential gaps and deliver a secure solution. MSPs can drive MRR while proactively delivering a new and critical cybersecurity solution to customers.
4. WFH is Driving Mobile Security Fears
Cybercriminals view mobile devices as prime opportunities. Many people do their banking and make online purchases with smartphones, tablets, and laptops, sharing personal and financial information in those transactions and communications. The move to WFH during the pandemic is further raising cybersecurity concerns as business devices move outside the corporate perimeter. Cybercriminals often leverage ransomware and other malware to steal data, though device theft and hacking remain common threats. MSPs can deploy multi-factor authentication, antivirus and password management solutions to protect their clients’ IT environments.
5. Anxiety Growing Over Supply Chain Disruptions
MSPs are not the only businesses that cybercriminals are targeting through supplier networks. Accountants and attorneys, and pretty much any organization that employs any type of business application, can just as easily be made a victim through attacks using the cloud or another service provider. Companies that use monitoring and management tools to manage clients—from security, surveillance and managed print firms to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) specialists—have backdoor access into various IT systems. Target is a great example of that latter vulnerability, the cause of its 2013 data breach, which cost the company an estimated $202 million. MSPs can calm these fears by completing network and cybersecurity audits and implementing tighter controls over suppliers that touch clients’ networks.
Educate with Stories of Success and Failure
Most leaders would rather learn from others’ mistakes than their own and are typically open to discussing new ideas, especially in cybersecurity, where a single vulnerability or employee slip could jeopardize the viability of the business.
MSPs must effectively leverage those concerns to properly protect their clients in 2022. Sharing the latest security trends, and threats and stories of failure and success can encourage decision-makers to take action, and increase the urgency to implement new and better defenses. Getting clients to allocate the necessary funds to appropriately protect their businesses should be a top priority today. Regularly communicating these points through company newsletters, email campaigns, and social media pages effectively raises their awareness and sense of urgency to take action.
Capitalizing on these trends can help make the year ahead profitable. Make sure your newfound profits don’t get stuck in accounts receivable by utilizing ConnectBooster. Contact us to automate getting paid with two-way data syncing and automations that will improve cash flow and save time and money.