How to navigate the cyber security industry as an MSP

Toby Nangle, global partnership and channel lead at Field Effect

As an MSP, you’re inundated with calls, emails, and messages asking you to take time out of your busy day to check out the latest cyber security products, services, and tools. You don’t have time to review each one—and you shouldn’t have to.

The cyber security industry is complex. Between the technical knowledge needed to investigate threats, jargon overload, and constant change, staying up-to-date with the latest developments, trends, and tools can be overwhelming.

Yet effective protection isn’t about knowing everything inside and out, it’s understanding your needs and what you need to focus on.

To successfully navigate the cyber security industry as an MSP, there are three core elements to focus on:

  1. A holistic approach to security.
  2. Understanding the attacker’s mindset.
  3. Business differentiation.

Take a holistic approach to security

Even the smallest of businesses have  growing threat surfaces—all the points in an IT network an attacker could exploit a vulnerability to gain unauthorized access.

Every aspect of the threat surface needs protection; traditionally, MSPs have relied on multiple point solutions (tools that protect a single aspect of a customer’s IT network) to secure endpoints, networks, and cloud services.

The threat surface represents the sum of what you’re trying to protect, and it extends beyond endpoints, networks, and cloud services. Knowing exactly what you need to protect, how it will be targeted, and what you need to do to defend it—taking that big picture approach—can help you refocus your efforts on what matters most.

Yet this approach creates unnecessary and cumbersome complexity—the enemy of effective cyber security. As tools are added, MSPs need to manage:

  • Additional dashboards and reporting
  • Duplicate alerts from overlapping functionality
  • Mountains of data to analyze
  • Complex configuration needs
  • Ongoing training to ensure team members understand each new tool

Consider taking a holistic view of cyber security to address this complexity. When assessing potential technologies, focus on solutions that streamline your toolset and provide a more complete view of your defences.

Simplifying and streamlining toolsets can help MSPs uncover potential efficiencies, replacing multiple point solutions with more holistic tools that provide greater functionality.

Think like a cyber attacker

That big picture perspective can also help you look at your customers’ IT networks through a different lens. As you assess a threat surface, consider all the ways an attacker could target it. Put yourself in an attacker’s mindset.

Attackers want to cast the widest net possible to increase the likelihood of a successful attack. For many attackers, it’s a numbers game, targeting as many businesses as simultaneously possible in an attempt to gain unauthorized access to IT systems.

With the rise of Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) and dark web markets, even the most inexperienced hackers can access the automated tools they need to stage increasingly sophisticated attacks. There is good news, though: while automated attacks are incredibly frequent, these attackers are looking for a quick and easy return on their investment. The automated tools they’re using look for easy vulnerabilities that may be overlooked, and won’t look twice at organizations that have taken the time to get the basics right when it comes to security.

With that in mind, MSPs need to consider all the ways a cyber attack could target their customers, taking a more critical look at vulnerable elements and working to strengthen them—effectively thinking like a hacker to determine what they’re after and how they’d go about accessing it.

By taking this perspective, you can develop a more holistic approach to security—allowing you to take proactive action to train staff and implement additional defences.

Using cyber security as a business differentiator

As you navigate the cyber security industry, the final thing to keep in mind is that the defences and protections you’re providing benefit both you and your clients.

Think of it this way: the work you do to streamline your security services and reduce your tech stack (ideally into a single comprehensive solution) ensures healthy margins without the need for increasing prices. Cost is a major consideration for every business, regardless of size, and the fact that you can provide greater levels of service and protection at a competitive price is a major differentiator.

What’s more, by partnering with the right cyber security vendor, you’re able to establish yourself as a thought leader and reliable source of information for your customers.

Finding the right partner can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for. Partner programs can have many moving parts, complex rebate schemes, complicated training, or expensive certifications that can slow your ability to deliver a managed security service.

If you want a true partner that makes it easy to offer security to your clients, then you need to check out Field Effect. When you partner with Field Effect, you get access to the industry’s most sophisticated hybrid managed detection and response (MDR) solution to protect the entire IT environment. Field Effect’s team of best security analysts are always available to help, and give you all the tools you need to successfully market, sell, and deliver cyber security.

Ready to start navigating the cyber security industry with confidence? Learn more about Field Effect’s Partner Momentum Program, or reach out to one of our experts if you have questions.