Does Your MSP Portfolio Need a New Security Vendor?

From cloud-based solutions to machine-learning powered configuration, it's easier to switch vendors today.

Siroui Mushegian

July 8, 2024

3 Min Read
Time for a new security vendor?

Changing technology vendors can be a daunting and stressful proposition for a managed service provider. Not only do you risk internal operational disruption and performance issues during and after the transition, but you also need to make the switch without affecting service to your clients. This is especially important when it comes to cybersecurity solutions.

Several trends, however, have made adding or switching cybersecurity vendors much easier. There are also some best practices to consider when selecting a new vendor that can help minimize disruption while optimizing performance.

Cybersecurity Vendor Consolidation Is Accelerating

According to a recent Gartner survey, 75% of companies are actively consolidating security providers, compared to only 29% in 2020. Cost savings are a primary driver of this trend. A suite of integrated solutions designed to be interoperable out of the box typically reduces long-term admin and management overhead.

Additionally, companies are looking to improve their risk posture by reducing the friction between heterogeneous security tools. With an integrated, holistic suite of cybersecurity tools, your customers can benefit from shared threat intelligence, reducing fatigue from redundant alerts from siloed security tools.

Consolidated systems also accelerate alert analysis and incident response and simplify security audits. The IT team also has fewer updates, patches and general application management issues.

Other factors that encourage consolidation include:

  •  Expanding IT infrastructure that requires more extensive security

  •  An increase in the number of attacks

  •  Challenges around customer and technical support

  •  Incumbent vendors being acquired by larger firms

Besides the advantages of vendor switching mentioned earlier, there are fewer barriers that used to make the process challenging:

  • Cloud-based platforms and solutions simplify the logistics of implementing technology, making it easier to scale.

  • Zero-touch deployment technology makes it easier to implement on-premises appliances, reducing or eliminating the need for trained IT personnel at every location.

  • Machine-learning-powered discovery and configuration capabilities can automate many implementation processes, ensuring all IT infrastructure elements are fully protected.

Best Practices for Vendor Selection

If you've analyzed your current cybersecurity suite and decided it's time to consolidate or switch vendors, the next step is to evaluate available options thoroughly.

Consider several key elements of these solutions. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published a list of best practices for supply chain risk management that can be mapped to cybersecurity technology selection.

Some of those best practices (and others more specific to cybersecurity) include looking for vendors that offer:

  •  A full-stack solution that addresses email security, network security, application and API protection and data protection.

  •  Proactive monitoring and response.

  • A managed extended detection and response (XDR) option to provide a 24/7 security operations center (SOC)-as-a-service to provide expert oversight, management and incident response across your client network.

  • A brand-integrity focus that supports life-cycle threat modeling and proactive identification of vulnerabilities.

  • Standard security terms and conditions included in all RFPs and contracts.

  • The ability to test the solution with live network activity.

  • Regular reporting and review capabilities.

  • Visibility into financials and plans for future product development.

  • Ease of deployment for new and existing clients.

  • An investment in artificial intelligence and machine learning technology for advanced threat detection and automated response.

  • Relevant certifications and standards compliance for both security and your client's specific industry requirements

For an MSP, staying at the leading edge of cybersecurity technology means constantly evaluating new toolsets to ensure you're giving your clients the best protection. That may mean consolidating and changing software vendors.

The process is much easier than in the past. With comprehensive security solutions available today that address email and network security, application, API and data protection, MSPs can have everything customers need on a single platform.

About the Author(s)

Siroui Mushegian

Siroui Mushegian is chief information officer at Barracuda. With more than 20 years of executive and IT leadership experience, Mushegian has built strong operational environments that eliminate technology silos, elevated the maturity and impact of technology within her enterprises and delivered measurable and scalable business outcomes. Mushegian joined Barracuda from BlackLine, where she was responsible for BlackLine's internal corporate IT. Before BlackLine, she held executive IT leadership roles at PBS's WNET New York Public Media, the NBA, Ralph Lauren and Time Inc.

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