Evolve your toolkit to meet changing cybersecurity needs

| By:
Brian Downey

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is winding down, but that doesn’t mean your security thoughts should take a backseat. Cybersecurity is changing, and your strategy to combat cyberthreats should also continuously evolve.

As a managed services provider (MSP), the services you offered last year might not be suitable or robust enough for tomorrow. MSPs need to adapt and become flexible in shifting their security coverage and offerings to match the transforming threat landscape. 

Here are three ways that MSPs can evolve and be forward-thinking each month:

1. Iterate and re-evaluate constantly

Because of how quickly the cyberthreat landscape can change, it’s not enough to evaluate your cybersecurity services annually. It needs to be a more constant and consistent process. A clear example of this is COVID-19. Nobody saw a global pandemic coming, but the instant it was upon us, we immediately shifted to remote work, and that in and of itself changed how we address evolving cybersecurity needs. 

It’s challenging to prepare for any unexpected situation, but the important thing is to be adaptable. To do this, you must stay up to date on new and emerging threats as well as solutions to combat new threats. Following the protocols that the National Institute of Standards and Technology lays forth is a good place to start. 

2. Optimize your toolkit

You may be very savvy and knowledgeable when it comes to knowing what’s happening in the world of cyberthreats, but if your tech stack is not up to date, you may be doing more harm than good. 

Make sure the tools you invest in run necessary updates that are critical in an evolving landscape. It’s also worthwhile to invest in tools that integrate with one another, as this allows you to approach cybersecurity more holistically and seamlessly. 

The ConnectWise platform offers a wide range of solutions tailored to meet different needs, such as remote monitoring and management, backup and disaster recovery, business intelligence, remote control, NOC/SOC services, and more. Having the right tech stack makes it simpler to offer robust and tightly integrated security services.

3. Never stop communicating

We can’t stress this one enough, and you may be tired of hearing us say it, but MSPs need to have open and transparent lines of communication with their clients. What they don’t know can hurt them, so it is critical that MSPs have honest, risk-driven conversations about what is currently covered, existing and possible vulnerabilities, as well as who is responsible for what, and how often security assessments should take place. 

In our second annual cybersecurity report, Creating Opportunity From Adversity: The State of SMB Cybersecurity in 2020, we discovered that 91% of small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) would consider either using or moving to a new MSP if they offered the ‘right’ cybersecurity solution. Frank communication with your clients is a great way to build a trusting, long-lasting relationship. 

Looking ahead

Looking to the immediate future as it relates to cybersecurity efforts, MSPs and SMBs alike need to consider:

  • Environments – Are your employees mainly remote, working in-office, or operating in a hybrid of the two? Each of these situations presents unique challenges and cybersecurity requirements. 
  • A cybersecurity champion – Someone within the organization who will fight for, implement, and enforce strict cybersecurity policies. (We’re all just one weak password away from being attacked).
  • Continued education – Cybersecurity is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s very much a need-to-have. Therefore, it makes sense to receive as much education, training, and certification as possible so you can be deemed an expert in the field.
  • Talking to peers – Joining a peer group can be a fantastic resource for best practices, new information, and paths to success.

Hopefully, you’re walking away from NCSAM with a deep understanding of how vital a cybersecurity strategy is alongside a commitment to keeping cybersecurity top-of-mind 24/7. Bad actors will continue to pose a real threat to our safety on the web, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take necessary and effective measures to protect ourselves and our clients.