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3 Reasons It's the Right Time to Become an MSSP

managed security services

Your customers have already bought into the as-a-service business model; why not take the next step and deliver the security services they need, too?

Companies are finally realizing that cybersecurity threats aren’t just a passing fad — they’re here to stay, and they must be taken seriously. And, research from MarketsandMarkets suggests they’re doing just that. In its 2016 Managed Security Service Market report, the firm revealed the managed security service market size is estimated to grow from about $17 billion in 2016 to nearly $34 billion by 2021, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.6 percent during the forecast period.

Increased IT security spending has set the stage for new growth opportunities for the IT channel. Gartner research confirms this point, stating the largest expenditures in IT security are earmarked for consulting and outsourcing. The research also lists significant opportunities in detection and response as well as in preventive security such as security information and event management (SIEM) and secure web gateways (SWGs).

If you’re an MSP that is currently only offering basic security services such as firewalls and antivirus, consider the following three reasons why becoming an MSSP (managed security services provider) makes good business sense.

  1. Your Customers Are Struggling To Hire IT Security Talent

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Intel Security polled 775 IT decision makers who are involved in cybersecurity within their organizations and shared the results in a report, Hacking the Skills ShortageOne finding was that 82 percent of respondents reported a shortage of IT security skills at their company. Some of the specific skills missing included intrusion detection, secure software development, and attack mitigation. And, this shortage of IT security talent is driving up salaries for qualified candidates, making it even more difficult for companies to fill security vacancies.

An MSSP is the perfect solution to this problem. By spreading a qualified candidate’s salary among multiple customers, an MSSP can cover its costs (plus earn a profit) at a fraction of what a company would pay to hire an IT security specialist. Plus, by honing its security expertise, an MSSP can develop a broader range of skills compared to what one employee can attain. It’s truly a win-win.

  1. Your Customers Are Primed For The As-A-Service Sales Model

With businesses becoming more accustomed to subscription-based IT services such as Office 365 (i.e., Outlook, Word, OneDrive, SharePoint), the concept of paying yearly (or even monthly in some cases) for IT services is becoming more widely accepted, especially among small to midsize businesses that understand this model gives them access to enterprise business features while staying within their budgets.

Your customers may already be receptive to applying the same subscription model to their IT security needs. Instead of purchasing security appliances and software licenses with limited capital funds (i.e., Capex), they may welcome the idea of an investment that offers up-to-date protection for a monthly fee.

  1. Your Customers Need Cybercrime Education

Another factor driving companies to outsource IT security is the high rate of cybercrime and new forms of attacks that are becoming increasingly insidious. Whether it’s the rise of ransomware, which became a $1 billion problem last year according to the FBI, malware aimed at mobile computers, or emerging IoT (Internet of Things) security concerns, many companies are feeling overwhelmed.

MSSPs can play an invaluable role in educating customers about existing and emerging threats, helping clients develop security policies and procedures, assessing customers’ current security solutions, and recommending ways to reduce areas of vulnerability in a cost-effective manner. 

All signs point to managed security services being a huge opportunity for MSPs. After all, your customers already trust you to keep their computers and servers up and running. It only makes sense to take the next step and continue to build trust that you can reduce their security risks, and, if a problem does occur, you’ll be there to quickly mitigate it.