MSPs have a pivotal role in helping businesses thrive securely in a landscape where cybersecurity has long been viewed as a cost to be managed rather than a strategic asset simply because it doesn’t make any money for the business. When businesses wrongly see cybersecurity as a cost rather than a value center, they skimp on investments, leaving them open to disruptions, reputational damage, and penalties.
MSPs must guide clients to understand cybersecurity's value in business growth, brand reputation, and risk reduction. This isn't easy, but it's necessary. In this context, we'll debunk the cost-centric view of cybersecurity and how MSPs can help shift this mindset for their clients.
From Cost to Value: A Paradigm Shift
Viewing cybersecurity as a value center opens the doors to a broader perspective on growth and expansion within an organization. Just as any department contributes to business development, cybersecurity can serve as a catalyst for innovation and progress. By shifting the focus from a mere cost to a proactive investment, several growth-oriented aspects come to light.
Consider the concept of risk management. When cybersecurity is positioned as a value center, the organization demonstrates its commitment to safeguarding its assets, data, and operations. This commitment not only strengthens current operations but also establishes a robust foundation for future growth. With a well-secured digital landscape, the company is better poised to explore new markets, expand its services, and pursue innovative ventures, free from the paralyzing fear of cyber threats.
Defining Value in Tangible Terms
Transitioning from the notion of cybersecurity as a cost center to embracing its role as a value center takes more than mere semantics, the mind shift from cost to value center is rooted in quantifiable value assessments. It's about transcending gut feelings and providing numerical definitions of value, which is entirely feasible. One such avenue is the concept of Return on Security Investment (ROSI).
ROSI quantifies the potential losses, incident costs, and the probability of these incidents occurring. These expenses encompass more than just operational downtime; they encompass reputational costs that hold significant weight in the eyes of CFOs. This approach provides a comprehensive view of the true financial impact of cybersecurity measures.
Incident costs extend beyond mere operational disruptions; they encompass reputational damage, compliance fines, penalties, and various other risks. By articulating these potential costs, MSPs can illustrate the true value of cybersecurity and highlight its significance to the company's financial health.
Cultivating Allies Across the Organization
One of the challenges cybersecurity professionals face is the perception that they operate in isolation, detached from the broader company priorities. This is where MSPs can facilitate change by fostering collaboration and communication among their customers different departments. It's crucial to understand staff priorities and the potential friction that security measures might introduce.
A prime example is the implementation of new security protocols that might clash with established operational practices. By collaborating with teams and considering the broader implications of security decisions, MSPs can ensure that security measures align with the company's objectives and operational realities. This approach not only enhances security but also fosters a culture of cooperation and awareness.
Streamlining Tools and Cost Efficiency
As we delve into the realm of cost-saving strategies, it's worth examining tool redundancy. In many instances, an organization might possess multiple security tools that offer similar functionalities. This redundancy represents an opportunity for consolidation and resource optimization. By identifying overlaps and streamlining tools, MSPs can effectively cut costs and enhance efficiency.
Finance teams are likely to appreciate the sunsetting of redundant tools and their associated expenses. This helps align the broader objective of achieving a balanced cost structure that maximizes the value of cybersecurity investments.
Continuous Metrics: Demonstrating Value Month by Month
A pivotal aspect of establishing cybersecurity as a value center is the commitment to continuous improvement and demonstrable results. This entails maintaining a cycle of regular measurement, analysis, and reporting. By leveraging industry-standard metrics, MSPs can provide the business with tangible evidence of the outcomes generated by their cybersecurity investments and help reshape the perception of cybersecurity from a one-time expense to a consistent, value-driven initiative.
Managed Service Providers have the power to guide their clients and shift cybersecurity from being perceived as a cost center to a strategic business value center. By framing cybersecurity as a reliable and strategic asset rather than a negotiable budget item to be squeezed as much as possible, MSPs empower their clients to make informed decisions that enhance resilience and growth.
The journey toward cybersecurity transformation is not taken alone; it's a collaborative effort that requires the right technology and alliances. Check out Netsurion’s Managed XDR and Npower Partner Program for a comprehensive solution to meet you and your customers' goals.
Author A.N. Ananth is Chief Strategy Officer for Netsurion. Guest blogs are part of MSSP Alert’s sponsorship program.