Security threats aren’t going anywhere, and neither is the fact that most companies are behind the times when it comes to vulnerability management. This creates a huge opportunity for managed security service providers, or MSSPs. However, with competition a bigger challenge than ever before, succeeding as an MSSP will take some work.
Before we go into our suggestions for reaching your goals, let’s take a look at the current state of play for MSSPs.
It’s hard to view 2021 as anything but a significant period for network and IT security. There were numerous Microsoft vulnerabilities, the Colonial Pipeline attack in the US, major crypto exchange hacks, the ongoing fallout of the 2020 SolarWinds attacks, and many, many more. 2021 was the year that proved that no one is truly immune to attack.
Despite this clear evidence that businesses need great security support and expertise, it would appear that for many MSSPs, it’s a race to the bottom when it comes to pricing.
Why is this? Most modern businesses know they need to take IT security seriously, but even with increased budgets, they remain cautious. The pandemic has shifted companies’ operating models, and affected their bottom lines significantly. As a result, decisions-makers are hesitant to make big investments unless their service providers can clearly deliver.
Therefore, the more cost-effectively an MSSP can satisfy client requirements, the easier it is to profit. And to even get your foot in the door, you need to differentiate your offerings in other areas too.
A tall order but help is at hand.
Price, or value, is just one of the many factors that attract choosy buyers but being well-rounded is also important. Here are some ways to distinguish yourself from the competition:
Most savvy business leaders know automation can cut operating costs. However, if that’s the only reason for doing it, your customers – and your business – deserve better.
Ideally, automation should help you streamline common security operations to deliver better insights and results. For instance, when automating the time-consuming yet crucial process of vulnerability prioritisation with RankedRight, our MSSP customers have not only seen a huge decrease in labour costs, but have also been able to demonstrate to their clients:
While vulnerability management is growing in sophistication every day, staying one step ahead of cyber attackers requires a lot of work. As well as closely monitoring the latest CVEs and breach news, we suggest keeping an eye on how your competitors are doing things. This may help you to find new ways to optimise areas of your business or better align your business model to the needs of your target clients.
Good MSSPs frequently allocate resources to exploring new business areas so that they can pivot quickly when needed. If you automate lengthy processes as per our first suggestion, you’ll have spare resource to do this.
Your clients deserve more than mere protection; they should also know how they’re being kept safe at any given moment. If your reporting leaves clients confused or in the dark, you’re just making it harder for them to justify your continued services.
While there will be some limits to the technical detail your client-facing reports delve into, you shouldn’t take this to mean you can operate as a security black box. Always present your customers with clear evidence of what you’re doing on their behalf. Even if you only provide overarching summaries, regular reporting demystifies your distinguishing characteristics in an industry plagued by misunderstanding and underappreciation by clients.
With better reporting, you’ll not only help your clients increase their awareness of how their actions impact their vulnerability, and in turn implement more suitable security practices, but you’ll also prove your worth. By supplying evidence of the value you bring to the table, you make it apparent that your services are mission-critical.
Your clients can’t afford to have their vulnerability management take a break when their key point-of-contact goes on holiday or leaves. You absolutely must deliver uninterrupted services in the face of internal challenges – or even global pandemics. You only have to drop your guard for a minute to let one threat slip by, so put in place measures to ensure consistency come rain, shine, or major staff turnover events.
Surviving 2022 will demand a more unified approach to vulnerability identification, management, and post-event assessment. As threat landscapes shift, MSSPs will have to adopt a broader-view approach to anticipate where new risks might originate and keep up without getting overwhelmed.
Now is the time to trial platforms, tools and systems that might support your efforts in 2022, driving efficiencies, providing intelligence and empowering your people to do their best.
Want to see what becoming a MSSP partner of RankedRight looks like?