MSP cybersecurity: What solutions should you offer?

| By:
Jay Ryerse

The digital realm presents risks with significant implications. A single lapse can disrupt business operations, erode your clients' hard-earned trust, and attract severe regulatory fines. 

MSPs are the first line of defense against cyberthreats that can jeopardize client businesses. 

This article is your go-to guide for understanding which cybersecurity solutions are indispensable for your toolkit. We'll dissect the components of a robust, multi-layered cybersecurity strategy, explore the role of artificial intelligence in preempting cyberthreats, and highlight the importance of employee training in cybersecurity.

Understanding the cybersecurity landscape for MSPs 

The landscape of threats—from ransomware to advanced persistent threats (APTs)—is constantly changing. Beyond managing IT infrastructure, your role encompasses active defense against diverse cyberthreats. This responsibility is paramount given the dynamic nature of most cyberthreats.

A well-rounded cybersecurity strategy will be dynamic, agile, and tailored to each client's unique needs. Take ransomware, for example. It has evolved from simple screen-locking mechanisms to complex encryption algorithms that can damage entire networks. The increasing complexity demands a comprehensive defense strategy extending beyond antivirus and firewalls.

A comprehensive toolkit will include a range of cybersecurity solutions targeting various vulnerabilities. Endpoint security is just the tip of the iceberg. A robust security tech stack should include proactive threat detection monitoring with machine-learning capabilities that help predict potential threats before they materialize. Predictive analytics features can be game-changers, allowing you to take proactive measures rather than reactive ones.

Customization is also crucial. No two businesses are the same, and neither are their cybersecurity needs. Tailoring your services to meet each client's specific requirements enhances your solutions' effectiveness and establishes you as a trusted cybersecurity advisor. This sets you apart in an age when businesses seek more than just service providers, but partners who can guide them through the evolving cybersecurity threat landscape.

Core cybersecurity solutions for MSPs

Core solutions form the backbone of your service offerings. They're not just add-ons; they're necessities. We'll break down the cybersecurity solutions to have in your toolkit. From endpoint security to network monitoring, these are the tools that will elevate your cybersecurity posture.

Endpoint security

Endpoint security is non-negotiable, and comprises several different tools and solutions MSPs can take advantage of. Here are some of the notable ones:

  • Managed detection and response (MDR): MDR combines the benefits of EDR technology and managed SOC services to identify and mitigate threats before they start.
  • Firewalls: Employ both hardware and software firewalls. These are instrumental in monitoring and controlling network traffic based on predetermined security rules.
  • AI-powered monitoring: Advanced solutions can proactively detect unusual patterns and potential threats. The future of AI security is about intelligent, real-time decision-making that can help protect your clients’ networks against increasingly sophisticated attacks.
  • Patch management: Regularly updating your software is more than a good habit; it's necessary. Each update patches potential vulnerabilities, making it harder for cybercriminals to exploit your systems.
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA): This adds an extra layer of security by requiring two or more verification methods—a password, a smart card, a fingerprint, or even behavioral metrics like typing speed.

Best-in-class cybersecurity suites should combine most, if not all of these tools, to provide robust, real-time protection and swift incident response. Understanding that a single vulnerable endpoint can jeopardize your entire network is crucial. Specific MSP cybersecurity metrics can be go-to indicators to gauge the effectiveness of your cybersecurity measures.

Network security

MSPs in cybersecurity know that network security is the cornerstone of a robust strategy. This goes far beyond basic firewalls. A comprehensive plan incorporates multiple layers of protection: 

  • Firewalls: Crossing over from endpoint security, firewalls are your security gatekeepers, effectively managing incoming and outgoing traffic based on pre-established security rules. But they're not an impenetrable fortress. 
  • Intrusion detection systems: For more granular control, you need an IDS. These advanced systems scour your network in real time, identifying irregular behavior that could indicate an unauthorized intrusion. When an IDS detects potential anomalies, immediate alerts facilitate swift counteraction to neutralize the threat.
  • Network monitoring: Monitoring your network traffic provides invaluable metrics and analytics that help you pinpoint abnormal patterns or data flows that could spell trouble. By continually scrutinizing your network's data, you can preemptively act against a myriad of cyberthreats—from malware injections to insider attacks—thereby shielding your client's sensitive information and, by extension, preserving your firm's reputation.

When you synergize these elements—firewalls, IDS, and traffic monitoring—you do more than meet compliance standards. You're establishing a dynamic cybersecurity posture resilient enough to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of cyberthreats. 

Data encryption

Data encryption is a crucial tool for MSPs in cybersecurity. It converts your clients’ sensitive data into a code in a way that only authorized parties can access it. This is a necessity, especially when dealing with financial records or personal information.

Tools like BitLocker for Windows and FileVault for macOS are industry standards. They offer full-disk encryption, meaning they secure every bit of data on a device. For email encryption, solutions like Proton Mail or Tutanota provide end-to-end encryption for secure communication.

Best practices include using strong encryption algorithms like Advanced Encryption Standard 256 (AES-256). Always encrypt data at rest and in transit, manage encryption keys meticulously, store them separately from the data they unlock, and rotate them regularly to mitigate risks.

By implementing robust encryption practices, you fortify your clients’ data integrity, meet compliance standards, and, above all, build a resilient cybersecurity posture.

Identity and access management 

Identity and access management (IAM) is a key aspect of MSP cybersecurity, which makes it a common solution to offer. IAM controls who gets access to what within your network. It's about more than usernames and passwords. It's about setting policies and tracking user activities so only authorized individuals can access sensitive data, reducing the risk of data breaches.

IAM solutions can be a game-changer. Single sign-on (SSO) is a popular IAM feature that allows users to log in once and gain access to multiple systems without being prompted to log in again. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring two or more verification methods—a password, a smart card, a fingerprint, or even a retinal scan.

IAM solutions can also include role-based access control, which sets access permissions based on roles within the company. For instance, a human resources manager might have different access permissions than a regular employee.

Incident response and recovery

Incident response and recovery are essential MSP services. They go beyond merely reacting to cyberthreats. They also involve helping clients recover their operations and data securely. A well-structured incident response plan can distinguish between a minor inconvenience and a business-crippling event.

Robust incident response services help you offer your clients a full range of cybersecurity services to protect your clients’ operations and data, not just focusing on a specific type of incident. Incident response services help MSPs provide a structured approach to managing the aftermath of a cyber incident for their clients. This includes minimizing damage, reducing recovery time, and cutting costs. 

Emerging trends in MSP cybersecurity 

In the rapidly evolving field of cybersecurity MSP operations, staying updated with emerging trends is essential. These aren't just tech buzzwords but tools that can make or break your cybersecurity strategy. 

  • Zero trust security: Zero trust security has moved from a “good-to-have” to a “must-have.” This approach operates on a “never trust, always verify” principle. By implementing zero trust security, you're adding a robust layer of defense against a wide array of threats from within and outside your organization.
  • AI and machine learning: AI and machine learning algorithms can sift through terabytes of data in milliseconds. They identify patterns and anomalies that would take one person hours, if not days, to spot. For MSPs, this means being able to respond to threats in real time, significantly reducing the window of vulnerability.
  • Cloud security: Cloud security is another area you can't afford to neglect. As businesses migrate to cloud-based solutions, the potential attack surface expands. A comprehensive cloud security strategy is crucial for protecting sensitive data and maintaining compliance with ever-stringent regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). 

For a deeper dive into these emerging trends and how to implement them, check out our eBook, Ultimate Operations Guide for MSP Cybersecurity. It provides MSPs with the foundational knowledge they need to build resilient cybersecurity offerings.

Choosing the right cybersecurity solutions to offer

Selecting the right cybersecurity solutions is crucial for your business. You've learned about the different cybersecurity solutions available on the market—from endpoint protection to network security. Offering robust cybersecurity solutions protects your clients and elevates your value as a service provider.

Cyberthreats are evolving. They're not just viruses anymore. They are ransomware attacks, phishing scams, and data breaches. Your clients rely on you for their cybersecurity. You need a full suite of services that cover all bases.

So, what should you offer? Endpoint security is a must. It protects individual devices, a common entry point for threats. Network security is equally vital. It acts as the first line of defense, monitoring and controlling incoming and outgoing network traffic. Don't forget about identity and access management—control who gets access to what is within your network.

Your clients are entrusting you with their cybersecurity, and effective protection requires embracing the most advanced technologies and software solutions in the market. Start your free on-demand demo of the ConnectWise Cybersecurity Suite today to experience best-in-class security protection firsthand. 


Endpoint protection, network security, and data backup solutions are the most critical services to offer:

  • Endpoint protection focuses on securing individual devices to prevent malware infiltration. 
  • Network security deploys firewalls and intrusion detection systems to regulate traffic. 
  • Data backup solutions enable quick recovery from data loss due to cyberattacks. 

Additionally, regular security audits can spot vulnerabilities, and employee training minimizes human error. These elements coalesce into a comprehensive, multi-layered defense strategy that proactively addresses a spectrum of cybersecurity risks.

Initiate a risk assessment to guide clients in selecting appropriate cybersecurity solutions. A thorough assessment reveals system vulnerabilities and lays the groundwork for customized recommendations. Opting for solutions that offer multi-layered security, real-time threat monitoring, and scalability mitigates risks and aligns with the client's long-term business objectives.

Moreover, keeping abreast of cybersecurity trends and updates is non-negotiable. This allows you to continuously refine your recommendations, ensuring immediate security and future resilience.

The choice between on-prem and cloud-based solutions depends on the client's specific needs. On-prem solutions offer greater control but come with higher hardware and staffing costs. Cloud-based solutions are more scalable and are particularly useful for businesses without a dedicated IT team.

In choosing between the two, consider not just immediate needs but also future scalability, compliance obligations, and in-house IT capabilities. Such a nuanced approach will lead to a cybersecurity solution that best fits the client's operational landscape.

Conduct an internal cybersecurity audit to lay the groundwork for offering cybersecurity services. This internal review ensures your own cybersecurity measures are up to standard. Investing in certifications like Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) for your team adds credibility and ensures expertise in the latest protocols.

Also, collaborate with reputable cybersecurity vendors to offer robust, scalable, and real-time monitoring solutions. Specialized marketing strategies, backed by case studies and testimonials, can help highlight your new cybersecurity offerings.

CISSP and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) are key certifications to aim for. CISSP is globally recognized and indicates a high level of expertise in managing a cybersecurity program. CEH focuses on proactive measures like penetration testing and vulnerability assessments. CompTIA Security+ is a foundational certification covering a broad array of introductory topics and often acts as a precursor to more specialized certifications.

Securing these certifications amplifies your credibility and enables your team to respond effectively to a range of cybersecurity challenges. This elevates your service offerings from merely adequate to industry-leading.