Areas of Professionalism
An MSP company needs to provide security solutions for clients. But security itself isn’t enough. Consider a wall, as an example. This is great security unless the enemy has aircraft. If they do, you need air support in addition to the wall. If their air support is superior, you must upgrade yours. Naturally, those in opposition to you and with a motive to break through your defenses will continue to develop their penetration methods. This means as an MSP, you must continue to create defenses requisite to the task of proper security. You must build the wall, fortify it, defend it on the ground, defend it in the air, and have additional interior defenses should all else fail.
You must have a cutting-edge firewall that is proactive and designed to rebuff known means of intrusion. That wall must be monitored continuously. Additionally, “antivirus aircraft” must be available to shoot down those flying ransomware vehicles of cybercriminal minds. Also, there must be a backup solution in place should some penetration method be successful. But this analogy only tells part of the story. There are specific areas of specialization which are increasingly important for your MSP to excel in, and these include:
- Threat awareness
- Management of threats
- Security of data and applications
- Security in operations and compliance
- Solutions in network/infrastructural security
The security of an MSP company must have the right sort of scouting reconnaissance to determine whether threats are in evidence. This includes knowledge of developing trends and tech world news. In March 2017, it was discovered that the NSA had designed a back door into most Windows computers for reasons of security. This discovery prompted hackers to develop the “WannaCry” ransomware which backhanded businesses in more than 150 countries. Now, businesses which took a patch managed to avoid the SMB-port utilizing malware, but those that didn’t were compromised. MSPs must have awareness of threats like these to safeguard their clients.
It’s no good having the best IT reconnaissance team on the market if nothing can be done with the data collected. In the previous section, MSPs were able to help clients by sending out a patch. This was an example of threat management. The threat was detected and a solution was sourced.
Data and Application Security
Data must be encrypted and stored in secure facilities when cloud-based solutions are derived. There should additionally be on-site security measures for data. When you get right down to it, data is core to any business. It’s the whole reason for IT management. Any MSP worth its salt will be able to manage data in multiple configurations securely. The same goes for applications. MSPs should be able to manage applications securely in even the most cutting-edge scenarios. Granted, beta-testing is designed to source and fix errors— there will be situations where new innovations predicate new security trails to be blazed. But generally, you should be able to boast strong application and data security solutions.
Operational Security and Compliance
IoT, or the Internet of Things, is quickly coming to dominate industrial operations. IoT devices just need to be set up and aligned with the available Wi-Fi in an area, or whatever compatible internet solution is available. This can often be done without either an IT team or security. A good MSP can recognize such an operational hole and patch it before a hacker uses IoT against a company. IoT is regularly utilized in such a fashion.
Compliance is additionally important. Businesses which have HIPAA requirements, and which don’t follow them, will be penalized— so will the IT service supporting them. This is called shared liability and you need to secure the compliance of your clients for themselves and yourself.
Simply put: you need a secure network so your clients can have their own network secured. The same goes for infrastructure. Password security, training courses for employees of clients, compliance review, and optimization through solutions like the cloud all come into play here.
Multifaceted Security Solutions
An MSP company must be able to secure clients from every angle. Review protocols and ensure your MSP has their services properly calibrated.