Managed service providers, abbreviated as MSPs, specialize in providing certain services to other companies. These services, called managed services, could be anything from IT services to transportation services.
Key Partners in Digital Transformation
By outsourcing these managed services, enterprises can focus and spend their resources on their customers’ leading services. In addition, MSPs provide high-quality service since they specialize in these services, better than the business can achieve by itself.
MSPs are used mainly by small and midsize businesses (SMBs), non-profit organizations, and government-related institutes. Moreover, institutions from four primary industries choose to work with MSPs regularly: the health industry, automotive industry, manufacturing industry, and lastly, IT and Telecom industry.
Which IT Security Services are Demanded from MSPs?
The most common functions MSPs provide are IT services. These services include building and managing IT infrastructure, physical and digital data storage, data recovery and back-ups, offering training and technical support to company personnel, network management and monitoring, and improving its cybersecurity infrastructure. MSPs also focus on automating specific processes.
One of the essential services MSPs offer is cybersecurity integration. MSPs can provide antivirus or firewall services to their customers as software-as-a-service and manage and improve the company’s cybersecurity infrastructure.
According to Gartner, MSPs also synergize with IT infrastructure services, including digital transformation services and cloud adoption, bundled security features. A good example will be Microsoft 365 security bundles where IT and security services will be needed.
Many MSPs also ask their customers to offer threat detection and response services or security operation center (SOC) services where security skills and 24/7 coverage are needed to defend the IT infrastructure footprint adequately. MSPs are increasingly establishing partnerships with MDR (Managed Detection and Response) providers to respond to these requests.
Advantages of MSPs
Outsourcing services to MSPs might look pricey and disadvantageous at first, but it has many benefits. MSPs allow businesses to reach IT experts in different countries by working remotely and serving customers worldwide.
By finding IT experts in other countries, the competition between the companies to hire high-quality IT staff decreases. In addition, MSPs could help the businesses through challenging times by filling in a personnel shortage, offering additional storage and servers, and providing training and support to the staff. These benefits could help a failing enterprise become a successful business. By leaving the intricate details to MSPs, the companies can thrive in their area of expertise.
Is It Safe to Entrust All This Data to an Outsider?
By working with an MSP, the enterprise agrees to share confidential data such as authentication information, source code of the business, customer data, and backup data. If something were to happen to the MSPs, thousands of companies, customers of MSPs, would get their fair share in the disastrous outcomes.
Automated processes managed by the MSPs could crash, and the businesses could not carry out their jobs for days. In addition, in case of a data leak, all the sensitive data of the companies and customers could be leaked, having irreversible consequences to the business. Because of these reasons, it is critical and crucial to protect MSPs. MSPs should implement reliable and effective cyber security solutions.
Analysts at SOCRadar suggest that the businesses that want to start working with MSPs should learn and research the security solutions MSPs have implemented to protect themselves better.
One way to differentiate from other market players would be to offer threat intelligence and digital risk protection services to their customers, enabling them to defend themselves against cyber threats proactively.
Dark Web Threats to MSPs
Continuously monitoring the dark web can make a difference in building an effective security program for MSPs. Threat actors targeting MSPs can quickly make their way to deep and dark web hacker forums to cash out.
An example data leak incident happened on the 22nd of February, monitored by SOCRadar’s DarkMirror. A famous ransomware group named Conti has published a dataset in a post on the group’s forum belonging to a managed service provider company specializing in IT services. The dataset includes confidential data from the company’s customers and sensitive information about the company’s staff.
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