MSSP Partners: What Endpoint Security Needs in the Channel
… similar, which can only be determined with a skills assessment and a gap analysis, according to cybersecurity analytics experts.
“Technical-and-competence fit need to be formalized in a mutually developed relationship management plan that has financial and results-oriented deliverables,” said Eric Warner, senior vice president, global sales at Elysium Analytics, a next-generation cybersecurity provider. “In today’s world, you must understand whether the MSSP has the chops to transition to newer technologies that are embodied in what Gartner calls the ‘modern SOC,’ where they need to seamlessly move their clients to a machine learning environment.”
If MSSP partners aren’t strategic in their approach or rely too heavily on single-source technology solutions, they will have gaps in their technical and competence fit, and limit the potential for a true MSSP partner program relationship, experts say.
“It comes down to strategy and focus on a full, multilayered approach, and the MSSP partners’ willingness to invest in training to build an ecosystem that provides a full security solution for their customers,” said Matthew Courchesne, head of SMB and channel for Kaspersky USA. “It’s important that MSSP partners have a willingness and ability to train, certify and educate their teams in addition to understanding that no single security provider has all the answers. Intelligence and education need to come from multiple sources.”
Endpoint Security MSSP Partner Program Cultural Fit
MSSPs participate in an indirect channel that moves quickly, which means successful MSSPs must keep up with the velocity of the channel – their MSSP partner program – through great response times. Good MSSP reflexes and reaction times are examples of MSSP partner program cultural fit for endpoint security companies.
“Another cultural-fit trait is proactive engagement – don’t wait for an email or call – reach out,” said Howard Huerta, vice president of enablement programs at Avant, the master agent and IT channel sales enablement company. “Being able to have a positive, collaborative environment where the MSSP and the organization work on opportunities hand in hand will greatly improve the success rate. An MSSP who doesn’t keep up the pace, doesn’t proactively engage, or works with customers without their channel partner’s collaboration, will not succeed.”
Other must-have MSSP partner program attributes include a deep focus on customer problem solving, ethics and professionalism, according to other channel experts.
“Does the MSSP partner follow through on their commitments, show up on time and have realistic expectations of people, processes and technology?” asks A.N. Ananth, CSO of Netsurion and co-creator of its SIEM platform, EventTracker, “The answers to these questions help us determine which MSSP partners are interested in a quality relationship and the best solutions over the long term.”
MSSP Partners, Endpoint Security and the Future
“MSSPs are being forced in those same directions,” said Zane West, director of product management at Proficio, a provider of next-generation cybersecurity services such as managed detection and response. “So an important element of how an MSSP will partner with both their security vendor and their client is flexible business models targeted at consumptive or utility-based pricing.”
And in the future, endpoint security, cybersecurity and other tech companies will only want to work with MSSP partners who have a vision. So MSSPs should know the direction they want to go within the industry, in general, and their MSSP partner program, in particular.
“MSSP partners who are serious should show that they understand security,” said Matt McCarthy, director, North American partner management at Barracuda MSP, a provider of security and data protection solutions for MSPs. “And show how the solutions and technologies will work together to make their business successful.”