MSP Growth Opportunities Abound in Cybersecurity for Small Businesses
The Senate Small Business Committee advanced a highly anticipated cybersecurity bill in March to bolster small businesses in the face of growing cyber threats, a step forward in the cybersecurity skirmishes. And with good reason. News of two events with major implications for small businesses – the breach of Microsoft email accounts and the state of China’s continuous cyberattacks on U.S. companies — broke recently, underscoring the depths to which attackers are willing to go. These attacks should come as no surprise; if anything, the stories reaffirm the need for small businesses to have a cybersecurity plan in place.
Due primarily to budget and internal bandwidth, many small businesses have historically turned to managed service providers (MSPs) to help oversee technology implementation and management. For the most part, these relationships have proven mutually beneficial, as SMBs are able to generate a technological competitive edge at an affordable cost while MSPs enjoy decent margins on setup and maintenance. But, of late, the MSP-end-user relationship appears to have hit a point of conflict, as small businesses find themselves increasingly at risk of cyberattack and questioning whether or not they’re adequately protected.
A recent study commissioned by Continuum found that a staggering “9 in 10 small businesses would hire a new MSP if they had the right cybersecurity solutions.” While we don’t know for certain based on this survey that 9 in 10 companies have lost trust in the cybersecurity capabilities of their MSP, we can in fact infer that many SMBs have questions and doubts about their company’s digital protections.
Regardless, small businesses have made it clear — they expect their MSP partner to be as buttoned-up with cybersecurity tools and services as it is with network setup and tech support. And they won’t tolerate anything less.
Elevate Cybersecurity Services
MSPs should elevate their cybersecurity service offerings for SMBs. Because comprehensive cybersecurity can be expensive and complex, small businesses have traditionally been left to rely on firewalls, antivirus and other point solutions that don’t offer the seamless, all-in-one protection, detection and response services they actually need. In other situations, the lack of cybersecurity education has put business leaders in the precarious position of having to make a choice among multiple vendors all claiming to offer solutions specific to small businesses, without truly knowing which company, if any, actually offers a solution for small business.
Increasingly, small businesses know they need cybersecurity — 78% of SMBs surveyed are planning to invest more in their cybersecurity in the next year and 25% are willing to pay about 25% more for an MSP that offers the right cybersecurity, according to Credit Union Times (registration required). “We have seen firsthand that the No. 1 reason MSPs lose business today is over concerns about cybersecurity,” said Michael George, Continuum CEO.
To gain and sustain SMB market share, MSPs will not get too much competition from cybersecurity vendors themselves, as most focus on selling to Fortune 500s and enterprises that have both gaudy budgets and the staff to maintain the technology internally, even though threats to small businesses are as prolific and frequent, if not more so. And while some of these same vendors claim to sell solutions for SMBs, most of them are masquerading solutions that only an …