How MSPs Can Select the Right Cybersecurity Partner
Partial cybersecurity protection is not enough. Your customers need a complete end to end cybersecurity program for ultimate protection, and for business reasons. Today there are more closely monitored industry and regulatory standards than ever before. As a result, a cybersecurity and compliance program is now a condition of doing business. The ability to keep your customers protected and the sustainability of your MSP depends on a well-planned, multi-layered cybersecurity and compliance program. Such a program takes expertise and a significant investment. To ensure success, consider establishing a partnership with a managed cybersecurity & compliance provider (MCCP).
The benefits of such a partnership is that an MCCP brings security expertise, a trained workforce, and the critical infrastructure required to operate a continuous Security Operations Center (SOC). They have the experience and the tools needed to identify, handle and counter security breaches, malware infestations, and scams around the clock, every hour of every day. And a good MCCP is proactive; putting processes and technology in place to thwart potential threats.
Our partners tell us that in addition to good chemistry, these five attributes are the most important criteria they used in selecting a cybersecurity partner:
- One of the primary reasons to consider a partner is to gain expertise you don’t have or time or resources to develop internally that are necessary to keep your customers protected. We’ve found that one of the most difficult things for companies to manage is security monitoring. Many companies don’t have the staff needed to monitor their systems and logs 7 days per week, 24 hours per day. Choose a partner who can bring the expertise and the staff to the table.
- Up to speed on ALL compliance standards. Regulations are constantly changing as is the threat landscape. It’s critical to have a partner who thoroughly understands and stays current with all of the various cybersecurity compliance and regulatory standards.
- Solid Infrastructure. Look for a partner who has the infrastructure based on latest technologies needed to support your customers and can deliver on your service level agreements (SLAs). 24/7/365 SOC services is a key, as this is so often a gap for companies that MSPs engage. Having this capability in your services portfolio enables you to offer your customers this capability faster and with less capital investment. Building a SOC requires a significant investment in hiring, training, and retaining cybersecurity talent, along with purchasing and maintain expensive software and hardware. Check to see if the partner you’re considering owns and manages their Security Operations Centers (SOCs) and operate it on a 24x7x365 basis and that you have access (portal) at all times to review the state of the security environment.
- Excellent at Process. A good partner should provide operational and process best practices to help you accelerate your own security maturity along with that of your customers. For example, a process to prepare and implement an incident response plan, so when an incident occurs, everyone knows their roles and everything has been practiced beforehand during table-top exercises.
- Committed to staying on the cutting edge. If you want to stay on the cutting edge, work with a partner committed to continuous innovation. A good partner keeps their people’s skills and certifications up to date. They also participate in research and work with labs and universities. They stay in the forefront of industry knowledge and subject matter expertise, all the while passing that on to you the MSP, and most important to your clients.
It All Starts with a Cybersecurity Assessment
Once you select a cybersecurity partner, what’s the next step to get your clients on the right path to cybersecurity and compliance program management? We recommend conducting a framework based security assessment to identify gaps and vulnerabilities and develop a remediation plan. We like to suggest the NIST Cybersecurity Framework as a guide to ensure no bases are left uncovered. NIST 800-53 is the gold standard to strive for. If a company’s program is less mature, then NIST 800-171 is a good steppingstone to achieve, first, on the way to NIST 800-53.
Post-breach is an extremely difficult time. It’s not a time you want to be spending searching for a reliable partner. You want to have that relationship in place so you can respond immediately. After a breach, every minute means money for a customer’s bottom-line and reputation. This is not a good time to be learning the ropes.
We believe we can help you transform cybersecurity into a competitive advantage for you the MSP and your customers. We invite you to have a conversation about how you can leverage Abacode to build out your cybersecurity program.