A Perfect Storm Ahead: MSSP Preparation for Economic Uncertainty

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Marketplace changes are inevitable. Rapid shifts to remote work, cloud computing, and digitalization have all led to increased demand and spending on IT and cybersecurity in recent years.

Enterprises and Service Providers face economic challenges of inflation, rising labor costs (if you can even hire talent), and supply chain issues. Financially motivated attacks are likely to accelerate in times of uncertainty. Smart channel leaders should be proactive and guide clients on prioritizing cybersecurity investment as a driver of business growth.

Is Cybersecurity More Immune to Budget Downturns?

Author: Paula Rhea, product Marketing manager, Netsurion
Author: Paula Rhea, product Marketing manager, Netsurion

High-profile data breaches and bad publicity have made cybersecurity a Board of Directors and executive leadership priority. The cost of a data breach now approaches $4 million, and attackers remain undiscovered internally for an average of four months. Protecting sensitive data and assets is no longer a compliance checkbox but now a way to instill consumer and investor confidence.

Some might argue that unlike discretionary goods, cybersecurity spending is immune to economic pressures and business downturns. While financial forecasts vary widely regarding the likelihood of a slowdown, it’s an opportunity to better prepare for whatever lies ahead.

Use this effective 6-point plan to prepare for any possible cost-cutting or reprioritization;

  1. Boost operational agility. Decisions like transitioning from products to SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) can streamline operations but also create challenges and risks. Remain focused on your ideal client audience to enhance profitability, differentiate on value, and instill customer loyalty. Over time, remember to frequently re-evaluate any packaging and pricing decisions to ensure continued fit with the marketplace and changing customer expectations. Minimize startup risk and investment by selecting a managed cybersecurity partner with broad capabilities such as 24/7 experts and advanced threat protection.
  2. Balance cyber risk and business growth. Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) want the ability to tailor their solution portfolio to distinct customer requirements that grow over time; your cybersecurity portfolio should also adapt and evolve with the marketplace. Enhance your agility and flexibility by scaling your cybersecurity portfolio as your client base expands or account penetration deepens. Look for vendor partners that can:
    • Understand your specific business goals as well as technology requirements
    • Adjust security operations and deliverables based on factors like security maturity
    • Deliver outcomes that offer differentiated value in the marketplace
    • Business growth and technological innovation cannot occur without cybersecurity - as costly data breaches demonstrate. It’s no longer one or the other, and organizations must do both to be successful.
  3.  Augment your IT team. At best, hiring IT and cybersecurity professionals in today’s job market is difficult and retaining them even more challenging. Evaluate areas where you can augment your team by partner with outside experts who free up your team for other strategic projects and activities. Rather than creating and staffing your own DIY Security Operations Center (SOC), for example, consider a SOC-as-a-Service approach that lets you provide 24/7 monitoring on your behalf without having to hire hard-to-retain experts. A co-managed cybersecurity service enables you to have as much or as little hands-on operation and involvement as you prefer. A managed service helps you retain your existing staff knowing that additional expertise is available, especially to augment smaller IT teams.
  4. Explore ways to streamline or consolidate. Most enterprises likely have too many cybersecurity vendors and tools to manage effectively. That’s primarily because new security measures tend to get deployed one at a time. The net result is a technology sprawl that can create siloes and cybersecurity gaps. Partners and their clients want to run fast and learn, but too many tools and the lack of support add cost and complexity. Look for tool and solution overlaps and redundancies that provide an opportunity to streamline vendors and processes. These challenges have prompted organizations to turn to MSSPs for managed services to simplify cybersecurity operations.
  5. Automate and orchestrate where feasible. Automation, machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI) are all commonplace in cybersecurity now. These sophisticated tools and technologies accelerate threat correlation and speed up threat response times. While staff shortages and rising labor costs are sometimes catalysts for automation and orchestration, they can help detect stealthy attacks that evade detection and enhance time-to-respond (TTR). However, automation and technology need to be combined with cybersecurity professionals to balance human and artificial intelligence.
  6. Prioritize cost management. “Cash is king” in times of financial uncertainty. It’s crucial to invest in growing business profitably while maintaining responsible spending. Use cost avoidance by assessing a managed cybersecurity solution as you skip DIY hardware purchases and expensive tech hires.

Keep A Step Ahead

Don’t let economic headwinds and changes catch you off guard and unprepared. Top channel leaders bring both optimism and front-line practicality to the conversation. Some best practices for uncertain times include automating and streamlining where possible, managing expenses, and using a managed service to augment staffing and capabilities.

As their trusted advisor, you can help savvy organizations securely grow their business and navigate marketplace changes. Our adaptive security solution, Netsurion Managed Threat Protection, integrates with your existing security investments and technology stack, quickly scaling to evolving business needs.

Author Paula Rhea is product marketing manager, Netsurion, which develops the Managed Threat Protection platform for MSSP and MSP partners. Read more Netsurion guest blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of MSSP Alert’s sponsorship program.