As countless experts in the IT channel will attest, specialization is key to building a thriving business. With an increasing number of MSPs and solution providers heeding this advice, it is not uncommon to come across channel partners that are focused solely on serving clients in the healthcare, legal, banking or financial services industries. Now, those who already possess this vertical market expertise have an opportunity to differentiate themselves even further and grow their businesses by focusing on meeting a critical business need--compliance.
SMBs operating in the healthcare, financial services and other regulated industries often do not have the expertise in-house to keep on top of constantly evolving regulatory standards, such as HIPAA, FINRA and PCI DSS. And, with covered entities and business associates now sharing the risk and responsibility for security breaches and data theft, many of these businesses are entering into previously uncharted territory, which is driving the need for Compliance-as-a-Service (CaaS) offerings.
This, in turn, is providing MSPs and solution providers with an opportunity to grow their businesses, by including CaaS as part of their managed services and security offerings. Here’s why:
1. Security assessments alone are not enough: While they are important to protecting an organization’s critical data and infrastructure, security assessments can only pinpoint vulnerabilities at the time of the assessment. For example, in between security assessments, an organization or its employees may begin using a new software or infrastructure solution that is not compliant with regulatory standards. This can leave the organization exposed to data breaches, malware attacks and other security incidents. Through a CaaS offering, MSPs and solution providers can continually monitor application and data infrastructure, and ensure that security protocols are up to date and that data and information are consistently handled in compliance with industry-specific standards and regulations.
2. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: If an organization is found to be non-compliant with HIPAA or other regulatory standards due to the use of new software or infrastructure solutions, they are liable to pay hefty fines, and risk their reputation in the event of a data breach or other security incident. MSPs and solution providers can help to prevent this from happening by leveraging CaaS to ensure day-to-day compliance with regulatory standards.
3. Education is essential to long-term success: Because standards are constantly evolving in order to adapt to new market conditions and threats to data security and privacy, it can be difficult for organizations to keep on top of the latest changes. MSPs and solution providers with CaaS offerings are in a great position to educate customers on these changes in real-time, and help them identify new products and solutions that will enable them to achieve and maintain compliance with these evolving standards over the long term.
Without a doubt, CaaS meets a critical business need for organizations of all sizes operating within regulated industries. MSPs and solution providers that are able to demonstrate their expertise in compliance, as well as a proven track record for success in this area, will uncover new opportunities to generate predictable revenue streams that will in turn drive success for their business.
Chris Crellin is senior director of product management at Intronis, a Boston-based provider of world-class backup and data protection solutions for the IT channel. He has more than 15 years of experience in the security and data protection industries and previously worked for Datto and RSA, the Security Division of EMC. Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of MSPmentor's annual platinum sponsorship.