Almost every firm on the 2023 MSP 501 saw huge growth in cybersecurity last year, and they expect it to continue.

Channel Futures Staff

October 11, 2023

64 Slides

Today we celebrate the companies that rank as the top cybersecurity specialists on the Channel Futures 2023 MSP 501 list of top managed service providers in the world. This is the last MSP 501 derivative list we’ll post this year, but it’s also one of the most important.

These 61 MSPs offered clients the right managed security solutions, built their own in-house stacks and SOCs, and showed significant growth, which were among the main criteria needed to make this list. With that said, there were very few if any companies on the MSP 501 or the NextGen 101 rankings that didn’t see huge growth in security sales during 2022, the year the survey covered. Most of them are expecting similar growth throughout the rest of this year and into the next. Thrive, the No. 1 U.S.-based company on the MSP 501 cybersecurity list, is one of those.


Thrive’s Rob Stephenson

“From an overall macro standpoint, cybersecurity is off the charts,” Rob Stephenson, CEO of Thrive, headquartered in Foxborough, Massachusetts, told us earlier this summer. “Our cybersecurity practice is growing at a record rate, and I think we’re in our fifth or sixth quarter of record bookings on MRR.”

Find out from leading security partners what it takes to be a cybersecurity superstar. The webinar “MSP 501: Leadership in Cybersecurity,” sponsored by OpenText, will feature top-level security-focused partners sharing best practices and insights for growing a cybersecurity practice. Whether you want to watch it live at 2:00 p.m. EDT on Oct. 19 or on-demand when your schedule allows, you should register now.

Consolidating Security Practices

Stephenson and other MSPs have seen a steady trend over the last few years that has fueled security sales. Midmarket clients, those with 100 to 2,500 users, are looking to consolidate their security practices with one vendor that can handle all of their needs. Too often, Stephenson and others said, those vendors don’t have the internal capabilities or product offerings required to provide necessary protection and compliance.

“It’s really opened up an opportunity for us to go in and help companies not only secure their networks and everything around it, but also save them money, lower their costs and provide a more comprehensive security approach,” Stephenson said.

Getting Off Public Clouds

Stephenson and other MSPs are recently seeing another important way to save clients money. More are looking to bring heavy applications off public clouds, like Azure or Amazon, and onto a private cloud where, in the case of Thrive’s customers, they can save between 30% to 35%, and in some cases up to 40%.

“When the economy was just going up the right, which was happening in the last decade, no one really worried about it,” Stephenson said. “Now all of a sudden budgets have flattened or gone down and they’re looking to control costs, they’re asking where can they save.”

That illustrates the importance of building out public and privately managed service environments, backed up by a robust SOC and strong internal security practices that can evolve to handle the increasing number of attacks that threaten every category of client. Each MSP on today’s list has done that and more.

Remember that whatever classification of managed services provider you run, make sure to complete this form  to receive notification when the 2024 MSP 501 is available. As part of the application process and analysis, we ask channel partners of all business types to provide detailed information on their technology solutions and customer engagements. This data gives our research team the ability to develop benchmarks in a wide range of areas such as cloud, cybersecurity, growth rates and profitability, among others.

Takeaway Statistics

Here are a few interesting statistics from our ranking of top cybersecurity providers.

  • Top Revenue Producing Solutions: Managed security, which included related security solutions such as endpoint, end-user training, enhanced network monitoring, intrusion protection, managed detection and response, XDR dark web monitoring, network security, phishing, SIEM and vulnerability management. MSPs also expected managed security to be the biggest growth area this year.

  • Other Big Growth Areas: 39% said help desk service desk, 34% biz continuity, 31% cloud storage.

  • Other Top Revenue Drivers: 16% said business continuity, 11% cloud storage.

  • Standard Contracts: 52% provide three-year contracts, 13% offer two-year, 35% go with one-year.

  • Under Contracts to Manage: Average of 405 customer accounts in 2022, up from 320 in 2021.

  • Average Number of Customer End Users Managed in 2022: 77,909, up from an average of 65,323 in 2021.

  • Average Number of End-User Devices Managed in 2022: 2,6491, up from 20,540 in 2021.

  • Average Revenue Distribution: Hardware reselling 16%, software reselling 5%, professional services/project work 11%; consulting business analytics 4%; managed services 49%; Recurring Cloud Services 14%

  • Average Monthly Rates: Per user $112; per device or endpoint, $71; per server $240.37.

  • Hourly Rates: Per technician services, $167.91; professional services, $198.30; specialty services $242.

  • Average Revenue Growth: 28%

  • Recurring Revue Growth: 32%

  • 194 full-time staffers, up from 140 in 2021

  • Average of 16 dedicated salespeople; 116 nontechnical people not in sales; 11 technical people in sales; 3 marketing people.

  • Average Revenue Per Employee: $226,313.

See the slideshow above to meet the 61 firms on the 2023 MSP 501 that quality as cybersecurity superstars.

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