Next to improving IT efficiency, cybersecurity is the main reason end customers turn to managed services these days, according to CompTIA’s “Trend in Managed Services 2015” report. This comes as little surprise, considering the spate of high-profile security breaches that have plagued corporations and government agencies in recent years.
For MSPs, this points to a real need among customers. If you haven’t asked your clients yet who handles their IT security needs, it’s time to do so. Chances are they need help, especially if the bulk of your clients are resource-strapped SMBs who may not even realize they need help. According to the CompTIA report, 47% of customers use IT service providers for cybersecurity, which means there is plenty of opportunity for MSPs to handle their clients’ security requirements.
What Managed Security Entails
So what should a managed security offering include? At the very least, MSPs should offer endpoint protection with malware scanning and spam filtering, patch management, and managed firewalls. But managed security services can cover a lot more.
As cybercriminals become increasingly sophisticated, the technology to fend them off has to continually improve as well. This means providers must look into providing services beyond endpoint protection and managed firewalls. An effective security infrastructure requires multiple layers, from endpoint protection to user authentication to perimeter protection to advanced malware detection and analysis.
Depending on the type of clients you have, there also may be stringent regulatory requirements to not only protect private data but also report any breaches or data leaks as soon as they are discovered. Organizations also need technology to document all security-related tools and protocols so they can show what concrete steps they have taken to protect sensitive data.
What makes managed security especially attractive is the monitoring component. Just like any other managed service, if you take over the security infrastructure for clients, you become responsible for maintenance and troubleshooting. This includes monitoring security logs and making whatever security adjustments are necessary whenever there is a modification to the client’s environment.
And since managed services are all about prevention, you are taking a proactive approach to protecting your clients’ network and data by watching and responding to alerts about any security incidents that may occur.
As an MSP, you can offer managed security services separately or include them in your overall service package. Taking over the security infrastructure for clients may seem overwhelming, especially if you haven’t done much work in security, but there are plenty of automated tools that you can leverage to at least delivery a baseline level of protection. Most RMM tools these days have built-in security features such as AV scanning.
If your clients require a higher level of security sophistication than you can deliver, you can always partner with a MSSP (managed security services provider). Whatever your approach, one thing you don’t want to do is ignore clients’ security needs. Security will remain a primary concern for the foreseeable future, and you’d best be ready to address it with clients.
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