Why your MSP needs a cybersecurity offering

Illustration: Ram Prasath

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Cybersecurity: More than due diligence.

Managed service providers today are not just up against hackers. They’re up against workspaces untethered by perimeters, a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals, and clients with a lack of security awareness.

Cyberattacks are estimated to have increased fivefold since the pandemic, and 60% of small businesses that suffer from a cyberattack seem to shut shop within 6 months. 

While this has always been the case, the pandemic caused a major party foul. As software providers were just grappling with the uptick in cloud usage, the rapid adoption of remote work threw a spanner in the works.

But that was also when the conversations about cybersecurity moved from the boardroom to the sales floor and beyond, opening the door for cybersecurity as a business value proposition and not just due diligence.

The threat may be huge, but so is the potential for growing your business by leading with a security value proposition.

Carve out a competitive edge as early adopters 

Gartner suggests that the worldwide information security market is forecast to reach $170.4 billion in 2022. That’s a telling takeaway global companies are slowly wrapping their heads around the fact is that a reactive approach to security is not good enough anymore, and the market is ripe for the adoption of product-led security policies that address the looming challenges in the cybersecurity landscape:

  • Remote workers will continue to be the target of hackers.
  • Migration towards cloud architectures will mean more and more information gets decentralized, increasing the scope of vulnerability.
  • Anywhere, anytime work will lead to employees using unauthorized personal devices and applications to access enterprise data.
  • Highly connected devices will mean there will be a snowball effect should one device get compromised.
  • To mitigate these challenges and more, clients are on the lookout for effective security policies. And more so policies that are woven into the foundation of products rather than at the surface level.

    Proposing a cybersecurity offering now will help you gain an upper hand in market positioning and attract a new customer base.

    Related reading: [Infographic] Why Cybersecurity should be at the core of every MSP

    Adding business value through security policies

    Let’s face it. To a client, everything is a software product at the end of the day. There’s little room to differentiate with your product features and the quality of offerings. Security as a differentiator should make you stand out as a vendor who:

    • Understands and prioritizes security.
  • Must be knowledgeable in terms of what to do in the face of security slip-ups.
  • Can provide a solution customized for their business requirements instead of a one-size-fits-all one.
  • Will double as their security confidante.
  • But wait. Business value? Cybersecurity? Where does that fit in?

    Good cybersecurity, which is typically marked by the absence of loss-inducing breaches or attacks, is basically good business. The time and money lost when a business hits pause following a security incident can cause a dent in your business no matter which stage you are in.

    Although slip-ups do happen and human errors which majorly drive cybersecurity issues are not always preventable, minimizing these incidents and driving business processes with a security-first approach will create a huge difference, especially in the degree of impact caused when a slip-up does happen.

    Doubling as a security adviser

    Right now, the market has both clients who know what they want security-wise and clients who are yet to learn what their security needs are. Building a balanced policy should widen your reach among both, as you carve a position with the former as a security-forward company that will keep them worry-free while the latter consider you their go-to security adviser they lack now.

    And how do you fulfill these roles?

    By projecting your value proposition through the lens of specific value additions, communicating them to your clients, and asking the right questions such as:

    • What is your major cybersecurity concern?
  • Which area of your business do you think is the most vulnerable to attacks?
  • Do your employees need a hand with cybersecurity best practices and to what extent?
  • How is your current security policy serving you?
  • What should our security strategy focus on?
  • While all security policies have ultimately one end goal, protecting company data, not all policies are built the same. A business that is right now mostly focusing on spreading security awareness among employees needs a different strategy than a business that is making organization-wide decisions such as migrating to the cloud or scaling the business.

    Cater to their specific needs and you get their undivided attention.

    Building a cybersecurity package takes more than antivirus software. The essentials include a tight security tech stack, a cyber resilience framework, means for disaster recovery, and fool-proof security policies among others. Make sure you have a comprehensive package to start with.

    Security: The key to growth

    But remember…

    Clients can smell a security-driven marketing gimmick from a mile away. 

    Make sure your policies don’t check out the moment a client converts. Adopt it through the client journey and beyond.

    At this point, clients will give anything for an MSP whose stance on cybersecurity doesn’t start and end with platitudes, but translates into viable business solutions that strengthen their infrastructure, data, and ultimately their reputation.

    The ball’s in your court now.

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