An MSP’s Guide to Combatting SMB Cybersecurity Challenges

Ever since the internet became an indispensable tool in the business world, security risks have continued to grow more profound. Today, malware—specifically ransomware—is the biggest money-maker for cybercriminals in history. These types of attacks are real threats that no business can afford to ignore, especially small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Due to limited budget, bandwidth and resources, SMBs combat IT issues differently than large enterprises. Cybersecurity is a top concern for SMBs in particular, as this group is faced with the following challenges:

The SMB Market Is the Most Vulnerable

In past years, many SMBs downplayed the possibility of security threats because they believed that they were too small for hackers to target. However, these businesses have become more self-aware in recent years, realizing that being under-protected and under-funded has made them attractive targets for cybercriminals.

According to a recent Internet Security Threat Report by Symantec, 60 percent of all targeted cyberattacks last year struck SMBs, and approximately 75 percent of all spear-phishing scams were directed at SMBs. This group is clearly unprepared and susceptible to threats, which poses a huge opportunity for MSPs. Managed IT and security services are exactly what SMBs need to remain protected and avoid becoming just another statistic.

Money Is an Issue

The reality for many SMBs is that they don't have the resources to deal with threats that large enterprises can afford. However, keeping the organization secure is critical for SMBs, as a data breach is an expensive ordeal that could ultimately cause them to go out of business.

A Security Plan Is Only as Robust as the People

With less employees comes a greater responsibility to build and solidify an IT security plan. Many SMBs do not have an IT department—which means that data storage, access permissions, data processing, and security controls should be effectively documented. Because SMBs are working with less, it is critical that conscious decisions on security controls are made in relation to risk. This type of planning also lays the foundation for other security needs, like a backup and disaster recovery plan.

In the wake of these hurdles, smart SMBs are turning to MSPs for security guidance and support. As managed service providers step up to the plate and integrate security into their services portfolio, there are some key considerations that will undoubtedly simplify and optimize the process.

1. Understand What You're Working With

As an MSP working to protect your clients, the best starting point is to gain a basic understanding of the cybersecurity threat landscape. In order to educate yourself, ask questions about what types of malware and other cyberattacks can invade and impact your clients’ systems. For example, phishing attacks can easily sneak past a firewall, so in this case, you’ll need to catch the malicious malware even after it has entered.

2. Add More Value for Less

As previously mentioned, price matters to SMBs. The good news is that MSPs can maximize their bottom line without being a burden to clients. Offering cloud-based solutions that can scale as you and your clients grow will help position yourself as a one-stop-shop. In addition, maintaining a competitive portfolio of services and offering additional security features without a significant price increase will help you cement your status as your clients’ go-to provider.

3. Offer Security Assurance

MSPs are generally challenged with simply assuring clients that their services offer true security and peace of mind. In order for your clients to feel safe with their data in your hands, you need to focus on recommending and educating, rather than selling. If MSPs remain organized, thorough and responsive, accessible, secure and recoverable data will not be an issue.

If you’re an MSP looking to educate your clients on threat management, check out these five quick tips to help them stay secure online!

With a solid grasp of SMBs’ unique vulnerabilities, real value at the right price, and a robust IT team built on trust, cybersecurity setbacks will be a thing of the past for MSPs.

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