WatchGuard Blog

Strategies for MSPs to Address Security Needs in a Growingly Vulnerable Market

With so many cybersecurity incidents happening recently, from the SolarWinds to Colonial Pipeline hacks, it’s not surprising that there is now a huge focus on security. Or lack thereof?

On May 12, the president of the United States signed an executive order (EO) to increase efforts to improve cybersecurity measures to protect federal networks. It acknowledges that recurrent cyber attacks are affecting private and public sector, as well as the general public. But what does this mean to the managed service provider field? Should we expect that this type of announcement increases demand from companies and if so, how should MSPs prepare for that?

  1. Assess your security portfolio Is your security offering on the same page as today’s threats? Many companies are shifting to more hybrid models that require more than protecting the network perimeter. This is the time to look at investing in modernizing your technology stack.

  2. Make a plan with your customers based on what they need .Your customer profile could vary depending on their business model. A lot of these market events could impact them in different ways. Are they in need of more user-centric security or network security? Spend time understanding what they need and it might not only improve your relationship, but bring in some new ways to expand your security offering.

  3. Make MFA a well-adopted practice for everyone .The days were some viewed multi-factor authentication as optional are far gone and managed service providers should embrace this reality with confidence. When it comes to security, identity management is only becoming a greater need (think increased remote work and Cloud adoption), so those customers that still resist enabling MFA are very behind in the modern security technology adoption curve.

  4. Get Zero-Trust ready. The executive order puts emphasis on prioritizing both MFA and Zero-Trust adoption for a reason; well, two, actually: first, multi-factor authentication is a critical principle of the Zero-Trust approach. Second, major disruptions like the pandemic accelerated remote work, causing a rapid shift of digital transformation with applications moving to the Cloud and VPN service skyrocketing. Implementing Zero-Trust, though, requires a certain security maturity that especially MSPs need to own if they want to extend this type of offering to their customers. This is why strategy number one is probably a good place to start, and strategy number five is one that you will find equally important.

  5. Think automation to optimize managing capabilities. The current landscape might only demand more effort to keep up with the ongoing threats. As a managed service provider, you need to rely on a management structure that allows you to accelerate processes, kill more threats and empower your team to do more with less. Enabling more automated tools can result in significant cost savings and increased visibility so you can provide your customers with more rapid response when needed.

It’s not the first time that government officials issue warnings regarding the need to adopt stronger security in all sectors. However, we are increasingly seeing more sophisticated attacks and faster reaction to such events. If it feels like cybersecurity is entering a new era, it’s because it is. A lot more organizations and individuals are paying attention to the constant threats and security professionals have a unique platform to build and deliver the infrastructure and protection needed to detect, block and prevent malicious actors from attacking businesses and users.

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