The Pivot: How MSPs can Turn a Challenge Into a Once-in-a-Decade Opportunity
Cybersecurity is quickly becoming one of the most significant growth drivers for Managed Service Providers (MSPs). That’s the main insight from a recent study from Lumu: in North America, more than 80% of MSPs cite cybersecurity as a primary growth driver of their business. Service providers have a huge opportunity to expand their business and win new customers by developing their cybersecurity offerings.
This hardly comes as a surprise since the demand for cybersecurity is in full swing among SMBs and larger enterprises. According to Gartner, “by 2025, 60% of organizations will use cybersecurity risk as a primary determinant in conducting third-party transactions and business engagements.”
This means that the perception around security is transforming: from liability, it’s becoming a powerful business driver. Of course, cybersecurity continues to evolve at a very rapid pace, with threats emerging every day and the stakes getting higher. This alone can fuel the perception that it is an overwhelming and stressful field, especially since COVID-19 reshuffled the (IT) world.
The acceleration of cloud adoption and hybrid work, scams, phishing messages, and endpoint threats are all concerns for companies caring for their customers. It is also undisputed that cybersecurity is a critical component of hybrid work environments. The pandemic has made security teams more aware of digital risks and the importance of strategic defense, security planning, and risk management. Not to forget the struggle to hire skilled security specialists and the complexity of many security products.
Yet, MSPs are uniquely positioned to thrive in this re-inventing market.
According to the 2023 State of the MSP report:
“Cybersecurity is still a very large area for growth. While services for ransomware and phishing/email security remain the top focus for MSPs, others are finding further growth offering services around expanding reporting, auditing, training, and policy building for clients.”
In other words, MSPs have a unique opportunity to build a security brand by better serving their customers’ needs. This is likely to become a key business differentiator in the next decade.
But packaging and reselling security products alone is not going to cut it. They need to transform into trusted security advisors.
Let’s explain what it will take for service-oriented companies to take full advantage of this major strategic shift.
MSPs are first and foremost service companies, looking to help their customers in their digital operations. Cybersecurity is an expanding field with lots of opportunities to create valuable services.
The shift to the cloud and digital collaborative workflows has resulted in a significant gap in security coverage in many industries, resulting in inefficient and outdated protective measures.
This is even true in software-driven businesses: the rapid adoption of DevOps practices has created numerous security grey areas lacking in monitoring and audit capacities.
Not only that but in the past few years, there has been a shift in the way cybercriminals operate worldwide. We are observing that cyber threats are focusing on enterprise software through what is called supply chain attacks, and concentrate their efforts on high-leverage entry points, such as employees with special IT rights like developers.
But building a competitive advantage means bringing value to the customers. In cybersecurity, it can be challenging to demonstrate such value.
So, for MSPs, the key is to better understand what are the challenges that security leaders are facing today, and then to build on that:
— How can I get full visibility into what is happening in my environment?
— How can I detect potential misconfigurations and vulnerabilities?
— How can I prioritize among the ever-growing list of priorities?
— How can I quickly and efficiently respond to threats in my organization?
— What threats are unique to my organization?
Then, it’s about selecting the right set of tools. Tools are not the definitive answers to these questions. They are what will allow service providers to gain insight into their customer’s environments, and create a security roadmap to mitigate risk.
Operating at scale, MSPs will have to prove that they are able to separate the signal from the noise (not all vulnerabilities are made equal) and that they are able to leverage that information to solve the issues quickly and accurately.
Deploying solutions without the competence to operate them will only make the problem worse.
Customers, no matter their size or their industry, will expect intelligence and tailor-fit advice.
There lies a unique opportunity to re-think security as a process, or security as a service.
Now the central question is: how to stand out?
Scalability, observability, response automation, and educational value will allow service providers to bring the most to their customers. Advancing in the field of cybersecurity by providing exceptional value is the way to go.
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