MDR MSSPs Can Save the Day for SMB Clients

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Many businesses are rightfully terrified of cyberattacks from an advanced threat group. These groups, called APTs (advanced persistent threats), are well-funded, technically proficient, and occasionally backed by nation states. The only business an APT cares about is cracking the security of other organizations. Legitimate companies, on the other hand, must conduct normal business operations while dedicating a fraction of their resources to combating full-time threat groups.

The digital battle between part-time defenders and relentless attackers is going exactly as one would expect. Cyberattacks against small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are increasing at a rate of 150% per year. Industry reports say the average SMB suffered 31,000 attacks per day in 2021, a number expected to reach 86,000 by year’s end. Meanwhile, 43% of SMBs report having no cybersecurity plan in place whatsoever. There is a massive uptick in attacks against opponents who remain largely unarmed. The inevitable result, 60% of small businesses are shut down within six months of a successful cyberattack. Many SMBs are exactly one breach away from extinction, and they are turning to managed detection and response (MDR) solutions for help.

MSSPs Face an MDR Predicament

MSSPs have a clear opportunity to help organizations protect themselves from being crushed by cyberattacks. Few companies can acquire the expertise or spare the resources required to fend off large-scale cyberattacks on their own. Providing 24x7x365 cybersecurity protection as a service is a need that MSSPs are well positioned to fill. Yet, are many MSSPs prepared to staff up to provide round the clock coverage? How many MSSPs possess stronger cybersecurity expertise than the SMBs they hope to protect? MSSPs, like many SMBs, are facing serious cybersecurity challenges as well.

One challenge facing all organizations is finding the cybersecurity talent necessary to run a security operations center (SOC). The cybersecurity skills gap is estimated at 2.72 million fewer cybersecurity professionals than needed. As you know, finding and retaining talent is extremely competitive under these conditions, making it difficult for MSSPs to staff and maintain security operations to support security service offerings. Cybersecurity tools are easily acquired and provided to organizations, but they are of limited use without the guidance of trained professionals.

MSSPs can solve the cybersecurity expertise problem and offer their customers an incredible value by finding the right set of security vendors with which to partner. Ideal vendors will provide the technology platforms that enable an MSSP to offer MDR as an option to their clients without forcing their own managed services into deals. A vendor should offer the expertise and technology necessary to empower an MSSP to create the MDR offering their customers need. This can prove to be tricky, as some security vendors push their MDR offerings more than enabling partners to deliver their own service offering. They may demand MSSPs buy products and services that replicate or conflict with existing offerings or provide little additional value to their customers. This approach to MDR is more like a hostile takeover, where security vendors effectively use MSSPs as a means of expanding their own services revenue.

Working Toward a Common Goal

The digital landscape is fraught with threats from APTs, innovative adversaries, and ‘round-the-clock cyberattacks. Many SMBs are extremely vulnerable to being breached, and in danger of losing their businesses if attackers compromise them. MSSPs can help keep organizations secure by providing 24x7x365 MDR support, but finding the talent necessary to manage this offering is difficult. Too many vendors demand unacceptable concessions from MSSPs before providing the tools and expertise necessary for MDR.

However, MSSPs can still find friendly and effective security vendors with which to partner. Through partnership, MSSPs can offer valuable MDR services to vulnerable customers who otherwise could not afford such a high level of protection. Putting previously out-of-reach cybersecurity coverage into the hands of SMBs is one of the many ways an MSSP can save their customers’ day.

If you’re looking to build an exceptional MDR offering to provide to your customers, please visit our BlackBerry MSSP Partners page.


Guest blog courtesy of BlackBerry Cylance. Read more BlackBerry Cylance blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of MSSP Alert’s sponsorship program.

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