Evolve Your Service Portfolio to Secure the Increasing Volume of Customers’ Data

The security challenges faced by today’s businesses open new opportunities for MSSPs to grow. Learn how to simplify and standardize your service offerings to maximize profitability.

6 Min Read
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The global datasphere–the sum total of all digital information that businesses and consumers create, collect, process and store–is already immense, and it’s forecasted to expand to nearly 10 times its current size by 2025. According to research from IDC, there will be approximately 163 zettabytes of data in existence by then, with an increasing portion of this data to be managed by businesses, and ever-larger percentages of it subject to analytics platforms, especially in real time.

The scale of this digital footprint is so great that it stretches the limits of human imagination. A zettabyte is equal to one sextillion (1021) bytes, or 1,000 exabytes. Each exabyte can store 36,000 years of high-definition video content. It’s as if every human being on the planet had 25 smartphones, each filled to its complete data storage capacity.

Although it’s hard to wrap your mind around the idea of this much digital information, your customers are already feeling the impact of the shift to “big data.” It’s poised to revolutionize how they do business, engage their customers and make decisions.

Even the smallest organizations today have more immediate access to more accurate information about their customers’ wants and needs, the competitive landscape and the overall business climate than the largest enterprises had a decade ago. This empowers them to become more agile and productive, and can give all employees, including line-of-business workers, deeper knowledge and better insights.

Digital Transformation Brings Rich Opportunities Along with Computing and Security Challenges

Your customers are well aware that keeping pace with digital transformation is essential if they’re to meet their customers’ expectations for increased personalization, better online experiences, and more innovative product and service offerings.

And they’re already investing in the technologies that enable them to do so. Organizations large and small are now spending heavily on cloud computing, with increasing numbers of businesses moving ever-larger percentages of their technology infrastructures to cloud platforms each year. Not only do cloud providers offer scalable, flexible and accessible-from-anywhere storage options to help businesses manage burgeoning data volumes, but they also have computing resources available on demand to supply the processing capabilities needed to power real-time analytics.

As your customers move increasing numbers of their workloads to the cloud, they’re drawing on software-defined servers, storage and networking solutions to enable them to provision bandwidth and resources on demand. This makes it possible to deploy applications quickly, scale infrastructures with ease and reduce costs at the same time. But it also makes their computing environments increasingly dispersed, fragmented and complex. Additionally, it makes them more challenging to secure.

Hybrid infrastructures and distributed systems don’t lend themselves well to traditional perimeter-based security architectures. Traffic volumes may be too great for legacy firewall solutions to handle, and advanced persistent threat actors may be content to move laterally within the data center, endangering sensitive data’s security without ever attempting to access resources behind the firewall.

Attack surfaces are inevitably wider in today’s environments, yet it’s simultaneously increasingly difficult for organizations to have full visibility into their network infrastructures and connected endpoints, and to find and mitigate vulnerabilities.

Increasing Data Volumes Lead to Growing Demand for Security Services

As digital infrastructures become more complex, organizations require increasingly specialized skills to secure them. And yet it has never been more difficult–or expensive–to hire and retain skilled cybersecurity analysts. More than 74% of organizations in one industry survey report that their businesses have been impacted by a lack of cybersecurity talent, and this percentage gets larger every year.

For many, it’s neither cost-effective nor efficient to attempt to hire full-time staff to meet these increasingly complex cybersecurity needs. More and more of them are instead engaging managed security service providers (MSSPs) to alleviate the pressures they face, and help them accomplish digital transformation initiatives securely.

As an MSSP, you’re likely to find that the challenges faced by today’s businesses can open new opportunities you to grow yours–especially if you can closely align the service bundles you offer with your customers’ needs.

Tailor the Service Bundles in Your Portfolio to Meet the Demands of Growing Businesses

By simplifying and standardizing your service offerings, you stand to maximize profitability. Outcome-based solutions are generally easier to market and sell because they’re less complicated for your customers to understand. Setting different “levels” of service will allow your customers to purchase additional capabilities when their infrastructures increase in complexity as their businesses grow.

Your basic offering should include firewall and intrusion protection system (IPS) capabilities, but “advanced” offerings should address the typical challenges faced by digitally transforming organizations, including an ever-expanding attack surface, infrastructure sprawl, and a greater need for network and event monitoring.

Today’s most popular “advanced” offerings include network access control (NAC) solutions that allow organizations to remain secure while making best use of the data flowing from the growing number of internet of things (IoT) devices connecting to today’s networks. MSSPs should also update service offerings to incorporate solutions for secure SD-WAN and securing customer data at one or more third-party cloud service providers.

Maximize Profitability by Designing a Technology Stack That’s Easy to Manage and Support

Some of the same factors that make outsourcing their security service needs an attractive option for your customers also pose challenges for you: Cybersecurity talent is in short supply, and engineering expertise comes at a high hourly cost. Most MSSPs find that staffing costs–so as to provide their customers with high-quality service and support–are their highest ongoing operational expenditures.

To reduce these costs, it’s essential to choose security products that are less time-consuming to manage. If the point solutions you’re supporting aren’t tightly integrated, it will require more resources to support them, eroding your overall margins. That’s why it’s essential to minimize the number of vendors in your security solution stack: The more components your engineers can manage from a single console, the more efficient they’ll be–and the lower your costs.

If you want to establish yourself as a trusted advisor that can guide your customers through the digital transformation process securely, you will want to be sure that you’re offering the add-on services or “advanced” bundles that tomorrow’s businesses will need most. Being able to support customers adding wireless access points or IoT devices to their networks is a must; being able to do so with simple-to-manage, automated solutions positions your business for growth in a digitally transforming future.

Final Thoughts

MSSPs and their customers are challenged to manage the rapidly expanding data volumes that accompany digital transformation. More data means more business opportunity for security service providers, but to manage this expansion profitably, you must avoid unnecessary infrastructure complexity and process sprawl.

Partnering with an industry-leading vendor like Fortinet that offers a full portfolio of integrated solutions that can be managed simply and centrally as part of a comprehensive Security Fabric with an automation-driven single pane of glass console is the key to simplifying your technology stack for maximum profitability in a digitally transforming future.

To learn more, check out our resources for MSSPs on the Partner Portal.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

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