IT security skills shortage brings new opportunities for MSPs
The ongoing IT security skills shortage, coupled with dramatic increases in cyber threats, has paved the way for managed service providers to fill the skills gap by offering managed IT security services.
This is according to Dima Dabbour, senior channel account executive: MSP, at Sophos, who was speaking ahead of a webinar to be hosted by Sophos, in collaboration with ITWeb, on cyber security as a service for MSPs.
“There are significant opportunities now for MSPs to step up as invaluable resources that provide skills and technology for businesses of any size to improve their security posture and the day-to-day technology needs,” says Dabbour.
“MSPs are equally important for both SMBs and enterprises, but we are seeing them becoming more ingrained and pivotal to SMBs and digital native startups, where some MSPs are even taking on the role of a ‘virtual CIO’ for some clients. We also see larger organisations in the mid-market now turning to MSPs to help co-manage their endpoints and networks, which is a fantastic symbiotic relationship,” she says.
However, to assume the role of trusted virtual CIO and CISO, MSPs need to differentiate their services and ensure that their own internal complexities are addressed.
“The trick is differentiating in what a next-gen MSP provides in order to rise above the competition,” Dabbour says.
She says key factors in differentiating MSP services include being able to provide both high-level and user-level guidance that the client needs, acting as a resource for the answers, software, hardware, and more. MSPs can also meet the modern client’s needs by being constantly available, wherever they are through a SaaS-based management console. MSPs should also look to become a financial differentiator, she says. “The old paradigm of annual contracts for vendor services is no longer efficient. If MSPs bill their clients monthly, they should be able to pay their own bills monthly.”
In the security arena, MSPs should ensure that their tools provide top of the line protection, and they should minimise the number of security vendors that they partner with to speed up, streamline, and improve the efficiency of the unique tools they use to provide protection. “Working with a security vendor that owns all the technology licensed through them can be a much more efficient option than using a marketplace,” she notes.
She says Sophos’ MSP security program gives endpoint, server, firewall, mobile, encryption, Web, e-mail and phishing simulation capabilities through a single vendor partner — eliminating the need to chase down multiple vendors and juggle numerous contracts.
The Sophos webinar on cyber security as a service for MSPs will outline the business model and market potential for managed security services. For more information and to register for this free event, follow this link.