New Year. New Budgets. How MSSPs Can Help Clients Better Manage Cyber Costs

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This new year, in light of ongoing recession fears, many of your clients may be looking for ways to stretch their budgets.

As an MSSP, it’s likely you have similar concerns, not just for your clients, but also about how you can get the most bang for your buck while retaining clients, attracting new ones, and expanding service offerings without making more investments in people, tools, and technologies.

Unfortunately, tighter times can often shift cybersecurity investments from a must-have to a wish-list item, even though the need for increased controls and cyber hygiene best practices is greater than ever.

The reality is, when faced with increased cybercrimes like ransomware and phishing attacks, now is not the time for your clients to cut back on their cybersecurity investments. In fact, your cybersecurity controls and protections may be more critical now than ever.

If your clients approach you about slashing their cyber budgets, flip the script and help them reframe how they think about cybersecurity investments — and why they matter.

Instead of looking for places to shave off dollars and cents, speak to them in terms that directly illustrate what could happen — and how much it could cost — if they don’t have these protections in place and face even just one cyber breach.

How bad could that be? Well, bad. Very bad. According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach 2022 Report, the average cost of a data breach in the United States is more than $9.4 million, compared to $4.35 million for the global average total cost of a data breach.

When taken into account from that financial perspective, ask your clients:

  • Would your business survive if you had to pay millions of dollars in fines, penalties, and response and recovery costs?
  • If you have cyber insurance, are you certain your policy will support you in the ways you think it will? What happens if it doesn’t?
  • What would happen if a breach shut down your most critical operations for days, weeks, or maybe even months?
  • Do you have a solid plan that will mitigate negative impact a breach and its related costs could have on your brand and reputation?

In these challenging economic times, your MSSP can bring a lot of added value to your clients by helping them balance their cybersecurity costs with other necessary business protections, all without breaking the bank.

Five Suggestions to Get You Started

Fill the talent gap

With a shortage of cybersecurity professionals around the globe, your clients may struggle to find qualified employees to implement and manage some of their most critical cybersecurity services. The good news is, they don’t have to. Why? Because you already have the talent — a team of talent, in fact.

Instead of your clients budgeting to attract, hire, and retain skilled professionals, demonstrate how they can trust your team to handle these important services for them. Illustrate how your team can enhance their cybersecurity programs without all the additional costs and overhead generally associated with hiring staff in-house. Make sure you have a good use case that can show your clients you have the right people in the right roles and, together with your additional resources, tools, and technologies, you’re well-prepared to mature their cyber programs to a level they might not otherwise achieve on their own.

Eliminate duplicate, repetitive tasks with automation

Most organizations today work within a range of cybersecurity and compliance controls and frameworks. Many have to balance multiple frameworks at once. Traditionally, that has meant implementing the same controls, the same way, multiple times to satisfy each framework requirement. If your clients are still implementing and managing these tasks manually, for example, via spreadsheets or word processing documents, they’re not getting the most out of their investments.

This is a great opportunity for you to demonstrate how a SaaS-based GRC platform can streamline and automate these processes thereby freeing up team members to tackle more important work. And, if your MSSP has already implemented an easy-to-use GRC framework management platform, then you can successfully manage all of your clients using less time and fewer resources. Even better, if they want to get involved, you can show them how the platform works, too. That way everyone stays on the same page and has instant insight into their framework performance from anywhere at any time.

Employ continuous risk analysis and risk management practices

If your clients don’t know their risks, especially as their environment changes, it’s incredibly challenging to effectively manage them. The result? Your clients may be at a greater risk of a breach or other cyber event.

The hard truth is many of your clients may not have the knowledge or resources to effectively seek out and understand all of their cyber risks and their potential impact on operational resilience. As an MSSP, you can show your clients how a SaaS-based cybersecurity framework platform enables your team to routinely track and inventory all client assets, uncover vulnerabilities and other security weaknesses, and always know exactly which security controls are in place — and how they’re performing — in real time.

Think like an attacker

If your clients don’t already know which systems and operations are most critical for their business, now is the time to help them figure that out. As an MSSP service offering, help your clients conduct a business impact analysis to determine the potential impact loss of any of their most important systems may cause.

Demonstrate how your MSSP can develop, implement and manage a plan to protect them from potential breaches. Help your clients look at their enterprise from an attacker’s perspective. This will help them understand what an attacker might see as most attractive within their organization and how they might go about trying to exploit security weaknesses to get to it. By identifying these risks while thinking like an attacker, you and your clients can develop stronger strategies to proactively keep them safe and also quickly stop an attack in its tracks and respond and recover whenever a cyber incident happens.

Understand the threat landscape

Your clients’ environments and the threat landscape are constantly evolving. Help your clients stay one-step ahead of attackers with reliable, up-to-date information about cyber events and related vulnerabilities as they happen in the wild. Consider working with cybersecurity consultants who can keep a pulse on what’s happening in all things cyber. Apply that threat intelligence to your clients’ unique environments, specific goals and objectives, and their cybersecurity and compliance requirements. All of these areas are rapidly changing as well. Implementing a GRC platform is a great way to gather this information and track and manage related risks for all of your clients at all times.

To learn more about how you can empower your clients to meet their cybersecurity obligations in an affordable way, while also growing your business, check out Apptega the only GRC automation platform purpose-built for MSSPs.

Guest blog courtesy of Apptega. See more Apptega guest blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of MSSP Alert’s sponsorship program.

Sponsored by Apptega

Apptega simplifies cybersecurity and compliance management for MSSPs. Apptega’s guest blogs describe how MSSPs can navigate, monetize and automate GRC (governance, risk, and compliance).