Article | July 3, 2017

An MSPs Guide To Selling IT Security

Establishing A Security Policy

Enhance your MSP offering with security services

Take A Layered Approach To Security

Savvy and sophisticated MSPs are always looking for ways to add additional value to their offerings and engagement with their customers. By enhancing their capabilities, MSPs are able to differentiate their service, be more proactive, and command higher margins.

Security is often discussed as one of the most commonly overlooked ways to add value, and ultimately is an exercise in risk management. One cannot simply sell “security,” as if it was a boxed product or a SKU to order. Instead, an MSP assumes more risk from their end customers by taking on the responsibility for correctly managing an infrastructure, and in doing so, commands higher profit.

Evolve Into An MSP

MSPs can evolve into Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) and increase their growth trajectory, just so long as they adopt a mature and comprehensive approach to the market. If you thought you could reinvent yourself as an MSSP with a simple antivirus offering, though, think again. Capitalizing on this growing market requires a more full-featured service set. Securing your customers’ computers isn’t just about scanning for viruses anymore. Instead, mature managed security services require a multi-layered approach, in which different security offerings complement each other.

Start with your existing toolset

Offload The Pressure To The Cloud

MSPs should look for ways to leverage their own existing toolset to deliver those services, so they can enhance their services without additional cost. In general, SMB networks are not complex, and we can significantly enhance a customers security and address their concerns through technology with which you are likely already familiar. This layered security approach will cover most common security scenarios.

  • Log monitoring—This functions as a very basic Host Intrusion Detection System (HIDS). For example, when a Windows machine joins a network and has either  a workgroup or other domain without an Active Directory trust, the security log will show login failures as the domain controller attempts to authenticate the machine to the network environment.
  • Managed antivirus—A security requirement to enforce virus and malware protection.
  • Patch management—It ensures that vulnerabilities that are exploitable are eliminated. The Australian Signals Directorate has said that 85% of the cyber intrusions could be stopped if only people updated their software promptly when a fix appeared.

Add complementary managed services

Widen Out Security Coverage

Antivirus technology has evolved over time and offers an excellent form of protection, but it has its challenges. It still relies heavily on matching malware against known signatures – and with 200,000 new strains each day, that’s a tall order. Some bad software may well slip through, and truly successful MSSPs will have other forms of protection to complement antivirus scanners.

Consider this list of additional services to help put your clients’ minds at ease:

  • Email security—Address spam and dangerous email by forcing your customer’s email into a cloud-based “scrubbing” solution.
  • Web protection—A list of web domains and IP addresses associated with malicious activity must be constantly updated to stop corporate browsers from visiting dangerous destinations.
  • Web content filtering—In the area of boundary defense, one of the most effective ways to prevent your customer’s payroll computer from going on social networking sites is to restrict its access.
  • Backup—An MSSP that can back up and restore data with confidence gives its customers something that is priceless, and that is peace of mind.

Bundle services for a powerful sales proposition

Avoid A Single-Function Point Solution

Packaged into a managed services offering, these layered services provide true protection that goes beyond any single-function point solution. In an environment where hundreds of thousands of records across the world are compromised in corporate environments each day, they can significantly enhance the offering from an MSP and deliver extra value to a customer.

Keep in mind the importance of reporting on these bundled services. Customers need to know what services are included in their service package, so a detailed contract and invoice are vital to showing value month after month. Reporting on a monthly basis also shows that the services are being delivered, proving the value of the service on an ongoing basis.

Ensuring the customer sees the value on every touchpoint will ensure a long lasting, profitable, and  secure relationship!

5 tips for selling IT security

Preparation Is Everything

Selling IT security solutions to clients is a bit of a challenge. Many non-technical people think security means antivirus and little else. Furthermore, individuals who’ve never been the victims of a virus attack or security breach sometimes assume that you are overstating the potential risks. Prepare yourself with this advice.

  1. Consider all of the elements that make up a comprehensive IT security strategy, and verify that they’re effective.
  2. Explain the various solution components to clients in a clear and engaging way or their eyes will glaze over.
  3. When SMBs assume their business is too small for hackers to worry about, be ready to fully explain the risks.
  4. Construct an “all inclusive” package of services and position it as full security for $X per user per month.
  5. Stay current on new threats and new methods needed to mitigate new risks, and then be ready to alter your recommendations accordingly—it’s what your customers deserve and it proves you take your security  responsibilities seriously.

About SolarWinds® MSP

SolarWinds MSP empowers MSPs of every size and scale worldwide to create highly efficient and profitable businesses that drive a measurable competitive advantage. Integrated solutions including automation, security, and network and service management—both on-premises and in the cloud, backed by actionable data insights, help MSPs get the job done easier and faster.

SolarWinds MSP helps MSPs focus on what matters most—meeting their SLAs and creating a profitable business.