This means that MSSPs that are able to stand out compared to other MSSPs and differentiate themselves with unique services and capabilities, will attract a growing and more lucrative customer base, despite the crowded market they are operating in.
Yet, differentiation is not an easy feat. It’s hard for MSSPs to provide and showcase exclusive services, especially with low budgets due to slim margins. A lack of cybersecurity experts might even limit their offerings.
How can MSSPs powerfully position themselves in the market despite these challenges?
Here are five ways:
1. Use Automation to Address the Cybersecurity Skills Gap
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have a growing need for cybersecurity services, but many MSSPs lack the security human resources to fulfill demand. And with a cybersecurity workforce gap of 3.4 million people, this shortage will probably not be properly addressed in the foreseeable future.
Automating security services enables overcoming the security skills gap. Automated platforms can streamline threat detection, incident response, vCISO services, patch management, permissions management, and more. Rather than depending on skilled experts, these platforms can be used even by juniors with limited security knowledge.
How does automation replace a skilled expert? Automated security platforms take on most of the security heavy lifting and streamline processes. Even juniors or users without any security know-how will know which step to take, since the automated platform will easily guide them through the process. Even if you do decide to work with experienced security professionals, you can bring them in on an as-needed basis, for specific edge-cases or extremely complex scenarios.
Finally, automation also enables delivering a wider range of high-value services, since automated platforms could even deliver capabilities the MSSPs do not have in-house.
2. Provide a Holistic Approach to Cybersecurity
As an external service, a proven way to differentiate yourself compared to other vendors is to provide added value to your clients. This could mean:
- Providing a wider range of cybersecurity services
- Consulting on policy creation and enforcement
- Conducting training sessions
- Showcasing advanced and easy-to-consume reports
- Becoming an expert in compliance
- Offering bundled services
- Taking a more consultative approach
- Providing both strategic and hands-on services (vCISO)
To find the right path with each client, listen to them and find out what they need (which is not necessarily the same as what they ask for). In other words, customize your offerings. Focus on providing solutions to their problems, rather than just delivering products.
By making yourself a vital part of their team and security strategy, you can be sure the relationship ties will last for a long time. Bringing a holistic and consultative approach that impacts the business’s strategy might even connect you to the top-level decision makers and leadership, like the management and the board of directors.
3. Focus on Prevention
Preventing cyberattacks is the top thing that will keep your customers happy (and will ensure they will continue to get an approved budget for your services). In addition, focusing on prevention will save your team time and effort.
By reducing the risk of a cyber incident occurring, you will need fewer cybersecurity professionals for incident response activities. And if you automate threat prevention tasks, like vulnerability scanning and patch management, even more of your resources will be freed up, for more complex security issues.
Prevention can be achieved through a number of means, like conducting risk assessments to identify potential security risks and vulnerabilities, providing security awareness training to avoid common security threats, continuous reporting and monitoring, and updating the security strategy based on changing clients’ business needs and the network.
4. Deliver a Good Customer Experience
Providing excellent customer service is essential for any business, but it’s particularly important for MSSPs. Clients need to know that they can rely on their MSSP to be there for them when they need help and that their concerns will be taken seriously. Therefore, going above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service can be a key differentiator for your MSSP.
Good customer service includes clearly defining the scope of services, setting expectations with customers regarding the expected level of service, effective communication that keeps clients informed, having a skilled staff or resources, and using the latest security technologies.
It is also recommended to provide regular, consistent and objective reports about system and strategy status and effectiveness. Reports lend themselves well to demonstrating your value, and your client can use them to present to upper management as well. Therefore, it could be helpful to use a reliable third party to help create reports, to ensure their objectivity.
Select vendors that will help you provide such high-quality services and will naturally expand on your existing capabilities to help you deliver superior service and show the value of your services consistently.
5. Offer Competitive Pricing
Pricing is always an important consideration for businesses when choosing an MSSP. Offering competitive pricing can help you stand out from the competition and attract new clients. However, it’s important to make sure that you’re still able to provide high-quality services at a fair price. Cutting corners to offer lower prices can ultimately hurt your business in the long run.
To offer competitive pricing without compromising on quality, leverage automated solutions, as well as AI and ML, to reduce the amount of manual processes and improve operational efficiency. Automation and AI can automate routine tasks like data entry or administration, assist with data analysis, and provide insights that help with decision-making. You can also outsource non-core functions and partner with vendors for certain products and services.
Next Steps for MSSPs
In the crowded cyber security market, MSSPs need to stand out to stay ahead. But not all MSSPs have a high marketing budget or know the right ways to leverage it. Make the most out of the resources at hand and leverage automation, vendors and the way you deliver services to differentiate yourself.
For example, by offering strategic vCISO services, an MSSP can provide a higher level of security expertise and guidance to clients and get closer to the client’s leadership. This helps differentiate from other providers who may only offer basic security services. vCISO services demonstrate a higher level of security know-how, both strategic and hands-on, and a willingness to provide customized and personalized security services to clients.
You can leverage automated vCISO platforms like Cynomi’s that help provide professional results with minimal headcount and without the heavy lifting. By providing advanced and professional security services to your clients, you can be sure your customer pipeline will always be filled to the brim.