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November 21, 2022 |

3 ways MSPs can differentiate their managed security offerings

By Ben Filipkowski

With contributions from Katie Yahnke, Toby Nangle.

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The current landscape of managed security offerings gives managed service providers (MSPs) like yours a tremendous opportunity—but the same is true for your competitors. You know you need to start offering security to your customers, but with all the choices and options on the market, how do you find the right one for your business?

MSPs and managed security service providers (MSSPs) need to find ways to differentiate their offerings as the marketplace gets more and more crowded. Let’s take a closer look at three ways that MSPs can find the right solution and services needed to keep their service offerings competitive—today and tomorrow.

1. Invest in a holistic cyber security solution

The tech stacks MSPs use have become increasingly complex, sometimes incorporating upwards of 20 disparate tools—yet these disparate toolsets are cumbersome to manage and offer poor ROI. Each new tool eats into MSP margins; it doesn’t help that these tools don’t always play nice with each other, leading to risky security gaps.

MSPs that want to introduce or enhance security services should consider a solution that offers a holistic approach to security, one that protects endpoints, networks, and cloud services equally from a single unified dashboard. A holistic solution consolidates a wide range of tools into a single, easy-to-use product:

  • Endpoint detection and response
  • Cloud workload monitoring
  • Email protection and expert review of suspicious messages
  • Network traffic monitoring
  • External scanning
  • DNS firewalls
  • Anti-virus functionalities
  • Ransomware protection
  • Active threat hunting and vulnerability reporting
  • Triaged reporting

The inherent flexibility and scalability of a holistic solution make it easy for MSPs like you to choose the security features and protections that make the most sense for varying tiers of service, in turn helping you differentiate your offerings.

As an MSP, you probably offer different tiers of service, allowing customers to select a level that fits their needs and budget. A holistic security solution makes it easy for you to offer various packages to fit your clients’ needs.

Lower service tiers are often bare bones, but a holistic solution lets you incorporate more impactful features and protections at a lower price point, raising the bar on even the most budget-conscious tier. This, in turn, allows you to confidently approach prospective customers with service levels tailored to their exact needs.

2. Take a proactive approach to security

Staying ahead of cyber threats is top-of-mind for MSSPs and security-focused MSPs. Your ability to detect and respond to threats early is vital for keeping customers secure. To that end, looking ahead at the emerging cyber threat landscape should be a major component of any managed security provider’s offerings—but that’s easier said than done.

The expertise needed to identify emerging threats and apply that knowledge to a customer’s threat surface doesn’t develop overnight. What’s more, hiring security experts is also notoriously expensive, particularly for smaller MSPs. Building an internal team is off the table for many organizations, but they still need to be able to offer this expertise to their customers.

The solution for this challenge is to partner with a cyber security firm, effectively outsourcing the heavy lifting of threat detection and analysis to a team of experts who’ve often worked for intelligence agencies, the military, or national governments. Your MSP team can focus on the day-to-day management of IT operations, turning to outsourced security experts for support with threat monitoring and alerting, threat intelligence and other specialized tasks.

This sort of partnership provides immense benefits for MSPs. Vendors that own and maintain their own solutions are invested in keeping their tools up to speed with the latest emerging threats. This means that MSPs can access an evolving solution with new features and capabilities, all at no added cost. You may even be able to provide feedback on features and enhancements that will allow you to fine-tune your services further. The end result? Future-proof managed cyber security services.

3. Add value with professional services

Being able to support your clients through cyber security incidents, post-mortem investigation, strategic planning, and maturity assessments helps ensure you have a competitive offering, today and tomorrow.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these services you may want to provide and how the right partnership allows you to do that.

Incident response (IR) and IR planning

Incident response (IR) and IR planning refer to activities that businesses undertake to prepare for a cyber security incident. These processes and their accompanying documentation are time-consuming but ultimately necessary for businesses in every sector. MSPs that are able to guide their customers through these activities can provide additional value that helps them stand out in a crowded market.

Partnering with an experienced vendor can further simplify this process for MSPs, giving customers easy access to a wealth of cyber security expertise that would otherwise be out of reach. Providing these services in partnership with a trusted vendor also helps MSPs ensure healthy profit margins, as they don’t need to invest in building that expertise internally.

Digital forensics

Following a cyber security incident, digital forensics gathers and preserves digital evidence to aid in rebuilding defences or enhancing protection—in cases where attackers have been identified, digital forensics services are also necessary for prosecuting cyber criminals. Chances are, prospects that are coming to you for digital forensics services have two goals: understanding how they were attacked and what they can do to prevent it in the future.

Digital forensics investigations will give you a wealth of information on a customer’s threat surface. Putting this information into practice, essentially translating it into concrete strategies and steps a business can take, allows you to tailor defences to a customer’s unique needs. This level of defence simply isn’t possible without the insights delivered by services like these.

Maturity assessments and strategic planning

Many organizations understand the need to implement cyber security practices but lack the experience needed to incorporate them into strategic planning. Others, meanwhile, need an external perspective on their security program to better identify gaps and vulnerabilities. These organizations frequently turn to service providers for assistance on both fronts. MSPs that offer these services, whether through dedicated maturity assessment operations or virtual chief information security officer (vCISO) consultations, are able to further develop their standing as trusted partners and thought leaders in the security space, strengthening their competitive advantage.

Partner with a cyber security vendor

In an increasingly crowded market, MSPs and MSSPs face tremendous opportunity by enhancing their managed security offerings with a holistic solution, forward-thinking expertise, and professional services. Yet finding the right solution and partner to provide all of this may feel like a tall order.

That’s where Field Effect Covalence comes in.

Covalence is Field Effect’s hybrid cyber security solution. Our MSP partners get access to a complete managed detection and response (MDR) solution that lowers their monthly costs, puts time back in their team’s day, and results in better defences for their clients.

Want to know more about what it’s like partnering with us? Visit the Field Effect Partner Program page today.