The virtual conference touched on many important industry topics, upheavals and conversations.

Allison Francis

October 2, 2020

5 Min Read

Friday marked the end of MSPWorld Virtual 2020, an MSPAlliance event for managed IT services providers. MSPWorld took its event virtual this year, as so many are, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  2020 has been a tough year for MSPs. The event touched on a wide array of related topics, from filling the “work from home” IT support gap, to risk assessment best practices to the impact of current and future MSP regulation.

In the face of these challenges, MSPWorld sought to bring MSPs together from across the nation. The event is organized by MSPs who have real-world experience and success in the managed services industry. 

Here are a few of the top takeaways from MSPWorld Virtual 2020.

Are MSPs Ready to Fill the ‘Work from Home’ IT Support Gap?


PC Matic’s Corey Munson

Led by Corey Munson, vice president of sales for PC Matic, this session revealed that half of those working from home lack even basic IT support from their employer. Munson quoted Aaron Warner, CEO of ProCircular:

“For the past 25-30 years, CIOs have used security strategies rooted in ‘Castle Doctrine’ … you have something valuable, you put it up on a hill, you build walls around it, you put people on those walls with weapons … to protect that valuable thing in the center of the castle. In March, everyone took those valuable things — copied them onto their kids’ laptops and went home.”

This obviously presents some pretty hefty security challenges and gaps. So Munson posed the question, “What types of MSPs are best prepared to fill this support gap and seize this opportunity?”

Munson called for MSPs to “get their house” in order and re-evaluate their security stack.

  • Is your stack efficient? Effective? Economical? Ready to support clients’ new needs?

  • Too many MSPs are missing basic blocking and tackling.

  • Where do your customers fit in the cyber threat landscape?

So, one of the most important takeaways here — don’t be afraid to have the conversations.

Protecting Your Customers Starts with Protecting Yourself

As cybercriminals identify MSPs as opportunities and capitalize on the transition to remote work, it’s essential for MSPs to prioritize protecting themselves and their customers from a successful attack. 

In this session, Harvey Grasty, vice president of business development and strategic partnerships at LogMeIn, discussed the cybersecurity landscape and how identity solutions, such as password management, single sign-on, and multifactor authentication can aid in defending oneself (and one’s customers) from a breach.

  • Why cybersecurity should be a priority for all MSPs

    • Recent breaches

    • Wealth of client data

    • Cybercriminals have identified SMBs as a target for cyberthreats

    • Remote workforce

  • How to reduce risk

    • Identity strategy – how to set up defenses to reduce your risk

    • How to leverage identity to reduce risk

Grasty discussed the role of Identity as a service (IDaaS), which allows organizations to use single sign-on (SSO using SAML or OIDC), authentication and access controls to provide secure access to their growing number of software and SaaS applications. Grasty called for MSPs to:

  • Secure access. Securely connect employees to the business resources required for their role.

  • Secure sharing. Enable employees to securely collaborate while physically apart.

  • Secure authentication. Add additional security for every access point, without slowing employees down.

Risk Assessment for MSPs: What Is the Best Practice?

Many MSPs offer risk assessments as a service for their clients. But what about performing risk assessments internally? It is an industry best practice for MSPs to regularly perform an internal risk assessment. 

Speaker Ben Hunter, advisory services manager, CPA, CITP, CISA, CRISC, CFE at Bernard Robinson & Company, sought to help attendees identify …

… and implement an effective risk assessment strategy for their MSP practice. 

What is the best way to go about doing this? What should you be looking for? Hunter says that not all risk applies to everyone the same way, so you must use a nuanced approach to approach it. 

When implementing risk management, according to Hunter, a good place to look is at FAIR Risk Assessment, or the FAIR Model. FAIR stands for Factor Analysis of Information Risk. It is a pragmatic risk management methodology that seeks to explore and estimate risks to a company’s operational and cybersecurity framework.

Impact of Current and Future MSP Regulation

MSP registration is upon us. The industry has been talking about this for a long time, and it’s finally here. The role of government in regulating MSPs has been the topic of discussion around many a water cooler in recent years, but now, there is an actual law in place.

This panel featured veteran MSP leaders who led a discussion on the pros and cons of MSP regulation for our industry. The regulation centers around:

  • Expansion of data breach requirements

    • More rules around disclosure

    • Ransomware payments (similar to the recent Louisiana law)

  • Registration of MSPs

    • Could be tied to taxation

    • Could be followed by regulated industries

The panel broke down several ways in which MSPs can prepare themselves:

  • Stop break/fix activity

    • Any manual process IT solutions (beyond project work) is not where the world is headed

  • Improve internal process

    • Documentation

    • Increased security

    • Operational resilience 

  • Transparency

    • Demonstrate security.

    • Demonstrate resilience.

    • Show that your MSP practice does not add risk to your clients.

  • Become certified

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About the Author(s)

Allison Francis

Allison Francis is a writer, public relations and marketing communications professional with experience working with clients in industries such as business technology, telecommunications, health care, education, the trade show and meetings industry, travel/tourism, hospitality, consumer packaged goods and food/beverage. She specializes in working with B2B technology companies involved in hyperconverged infrastructure, managed IT services, business process outsourcing, cloud management and customer experience technologies. Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from Drake University. An Iowa native, she resides in Denver, Colorado.

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