MSPs: How to Add Security Services Fast and Affordably


You’ve seen it over and over again in the headlines – small subcontractors are often soft-target gateways for hacking large clients. Middle-tier businesses are very attractive and vulnerable targets for ransomware attacks. And, as recently seen in the news, Managed Service Providers (MSPs) attacked through trusted supply-chain software vendors can put their own clients at risk. These unfortunate facts have created a demand for IT service providers, including MSPs, to expand their cybersecurity offerings or at least explain their own security preparedness to customers.

In this article you will learn how Reliable IT, a Meriplex company, became even more valuable to its clients without the burden and expense of expanding their own cybersecurity staff.

Offering Security Services as an MSP is Within Reach

The demand for advanced Managed Threat Protection services is enormous. Worldwide spending on information security and risk management technology and services is expected to grow more than 12 percent this year, reaching $150.4 billion according to Gartner.

The jump to offering Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) services, however, for an MSP can be daunting and costly. If you DIY, you must ante up for a team of very expensive cybersecurity professionals to staff a basic set up, let alone trying to staff a 24/7/365 Security Operations Center (SOC) to respond to cybersecurity alerts as they happen. And on top of that, a cybersecurity skills shortage is making it more difficult than ever to find and retain experienced staff.

Seventy-six percent of security professionals say it is difficult to recruit cybersecurity staff, and there are so many job openings that it can be hard to keep excellent employees from jumping ship when you find them. Along with the cost and skills shortage comes the even greater challenge of managing a SOC effectively. You could be faced with process latency issues, a lack of adequate monitoring and management tools, and knowledge imbalances among staff.

How Reliable IT Got Started Quickly with a Master MSSP

Reliable IT recognized how partnering with a Master MSSP would be the link to not only their own business’ cybersecurity, but also a great offering to grow their business as well. They knew that adding managed security services to their IT service offerings could differentiate their company, increase loyalty, protect margins for core services, and prevent them from putting their own clients at risk.

Reliable IT’s core markets – healthcare organizations and financial services – are often prime targets for cyber attacks, including data breaches. As of May 2021, nearly 60 percent of ransomware incidents in the healthcare sector worldwide impacted organizations in the U.S., according to research by the Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center. At least 72 percent of those incidents resulted in data leaks. In the banking and healthcare industries IT is often relegated to small teams that don’t specialize in cybersecurity. In Reliable IT’s other core market, community banking, cybersecurity rapidly became table stakes for IT service providers.

To solve the security services dilemma quickly, affordably, and effectively, Reliable IT turned to Master MSSP Netsurion to augment its services with a comprehensive security offering. The term Master MSSP is a new approach pioneered by Netsurion, which provides cybersecurity services to very large enterprises directly. It also enables MSPs, like Reliable IT, and other remote service providers to offer world-class threat prevention, detection, and response cybersecurity services to their clients in a hands-off way and with minimal investment.

Reliable IT chose to partner with Netsurion as the MSSP for their clients and to also protect their own business. With this approach, instead of starting from scratch and investing significant resources and time, Reliable IT gave its client base immediate access to a proven team and Managed Threat Protection solution from a company ranked 23rd worldwide in MSSP Alert’s Top 250 MSSPs list.

One important differentiator that Reliable IT benefits from is access to Netsurion's proprietary and powerful Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platform which delivers real-time alerting and incident response, threat intelligence, system behavior analysis and correlation, log searching, and forensic analysis. The partnership also includes cybersecurity experts around the clock, providing threat hunting and incident response support. This provides the human expertise necessary to manage and use the adaptive threat protection technology to predict, prevent, detect, and respond to threats across the entire attack surface.

Reliable IT also benefits from Netsurion’s PCI DSS compliance support through Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) assistance, a centralized portal for vulnerability scan management, file integrity monitoring, audit-ready reporting, and a data breach financial protection program. On the healthcare side, Netsurion simplifies HIPAA compliance through real-time security incident detection and compliance report review processes. By providing “single-click” issue flagging and report annotation, HIPAA audit-ready summaries are available on demand.

Without the proper support and guidance, many end-customers assume Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPPs) like anti-virus and anti-malware are advanced enough to deter hacking attempts. Nothing could be further from the truth. But with Netsurion, Reliable IT now helps clients stay on top of potential threats.

“We've had clients where we've seen potentially successful logins from a bad actor and we were immediately able to block it within minutes, so no damage was done,” said Aaron Biehl, senior VP at Meriplex, which acquired Reliable IT in October 2021. “Successful attacks take time, but with rapid detection and response the attack chain is broken. Cyber criminals never really have a chance to move laterally. We may have even prevented attacks from being successful several times. Without this level of protection, it could take months for you to identify a threat to your environment. If that happens, the worst-case scenario is you — or your client — eventually learns about the compromise from a ransomware demand or an FBI alert that your data is for sale on the dark web. With a SIEM, you're likely to catch that threat before the damage is done,” Biehl added.

By partnering with a Master MSSP, Reliable IT expanded beyond their core success in IT administration, usability, and performance management. Learn more about Reliable IT’s managed IT support and guidance services and Netsurion's Master MSSP partner program online.

Guest blog courtesy of Netsurion which develops the EventTracker Managed Threat Protection platform for MSSP and MSP partners. Read more Netsurion guest blogs hereRegularly contributed guest blogs are part of MSSP Alert’s sponsorship program.