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The Ultimate Guide to Success in Managed IT Services

What are the fundamentals to building a profitable managed IT services business? Keep reading to discover the four key ingredients for success.

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Brian Downey

As Senior Director of Product Management at Continuum, Brian is responsible for the overall security solution strategy. He has spent the past 15 years in various product and business strategy roles at several of the world’s most successful technology companies, most recently driving the initial creation and introduction of BMC Software’s new security product line. Brian is passionate about developing and delivering solutions that allow small- and medium-sized businesses to effectively secure their environments. Brian has a computer science degree from University of Massachusetts Amherst, an M.B.A. from Babson College and is currently finishing his Doctorate in Business Administration from Temple University. Brian lives just outside Boston with his wife and three kids between the ages of three and seven.

Recent Posts

3 Ways to Understand Your Client’s Security Needs and Drive More Impactful Discussions

Posted by Brian Downey on April 10, 2019

For MSPs working to make the shift to security, one key hurdle tends to be helping clients understand what their risks are in a way that drives an immediate reaction. The reality is that clients without adequate protection should act immediately to protect themselves—but with so many other priorities on the list, many times it's hard to convince your client to act now.  

This was the driver behind Continuum’s recent release of Fortify for Assessment products. The goal of Fortify for Assessment was to find a simple way to communicate environmental risks that clients would respond to, and then to provide MSPs with the tools necessary to demonstrate those technologies to their clients and then deliver them. 

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Topics: Cyber Security

SMB Security: The Biggest Risk and Opportunity for MSPs in 2019

Posted by Brian Downey on April 3, 2019

There’s no question that today’s small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are becoming more cybersecurity-conscious. They’re reading news headlines, they’re aware of the risk of attack—and now, they’re willing to invest more to protect their businesses. 

New research on the state of SMB security shows us that nearly four in five SMBs plan to invest more in cybersecurity in the next year. With security top-of-mind for many business owners, managed security presents a lucrative opportunity for IT providers in 2019. At the same time, though, there are major risks involved if you’re not offering the right security solution to this market.

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Topics: Cyber Security

Continuum Security Empower: How to Avoid Selling Security Like You’re Selling Tires

Posted by Brian Downey on February 20, 2019

Last year I decided to buy snow tires for my wife’s car. I suggested she call a shop and make an appointment, but instead, she came back to me with a menu of options—speed ratings, noise ratings, treadwear comparisons and a variety of prices. It was a lot to take in, and I quickly realized that what I thought would be a two-minute process might actually take longer to understand than I’d anticipated. It was only September, so I told her I’d take some time to mull it over before calling back. Then life happened: kids’ hockey games, work, projects around the house, and before I knew it, we were opening Christmas presents and I still hadn’t taken a look at these tires. So at that point, I decided I might as well wait until next year.

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Topics: Cyber Security, Continuum Security

Breaking News: Advanced Persistent Threat Activity Exploiting MSPs

Posted by Brian Downey on October 4, 2018

On Wednesday, October 3, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a warning to managed services providers (MSPs) and cloud services providers (CSPs) that hackers are exploiting MSP and CSP systems to reach end-client networks.

This alert from the DHS confirms that small businesses, and their managed service providers, are the new attack vector for cybercriminals, and the risks are severe. In this post, we’ll explain the threat MSPs and their clients are facing, and provide our advice to help mitigate these threats.

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Topics: IT Services, Cyber Security

Painting a Picture for Better IT Security

Posted by Brian Downey on June 18, 2018

For many of those brought up in a certain time, you will remember a painter on TV named Bob Ross. Bob Ross went viral before the internet and social media made going viral a thing. His soothing voice, well-maintained hairstyle and ability to casually add “little trees” to a canvas that would somehow come out at the end of his half hour show as a true work of art—it was mesmerizing. When I watched, I was always impressed by how he used all the tools he had at his disposal, whether it be brushes or sponges, to get the desired effect.

Now when it comes to painting, I’m no Bob Ross—in fact even finger-painting pushes my artistic limits. Because of this, I never had an appreciation for the tools of the trade. I never fully appreciated the need for the dozens of different brushes or sponges that Bob Ross was using, but I appreciated the result he was able to deliver with them.

While interesting, Bob Ross doesn’t seem to have much to do with cyber securitybut the two are actually more similar than you might expect.

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Topics: Cyber Security, Continuum Security

Enhancing Your Cyber Security Offering With Continuum Security

Posted by Brian Downey on June 15, 2018

IT service providers are doing business in a world where they’re struggling to protect their clients who are constantly under fire from cyber threats. The nature and sophistication of today’s attacks are forcing MSPs to deliver security in a completely different way than they’ve approached RMM and BDR. Simply put: without the right protection and preventative measures in place, clients won’t stand a chance in the ever-changing threat landscape.

To combat this challenge, Continuum made an exciting announcement yesterday—we’ve acquired CARVIR to expand our security portfolio, enabling MSPs to offer enhanced security to clients. Today, I’d like to take a deeper dive into the three core products that make up the Continuum Security portfolio.

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Topics: Cyber Security, Continuum Security

Continuum Acquires Managed Security Leader CARVIR, Bringing New Security Products to All MSPs

Posted by Brian Downey on June 14, 2018

Security is the single greatest threat to businesses today, yet the greatest opportunity for IT service providers. Therefore, we are excited to announce the expansion of Continuum Security, the advanced cyber security solution MSPs need to deliver the protections their clients demand, through the acquisition of CARVIR, a leader in monitored and managed security for the IT channel.

With this acquisition, we are able to expand our security portfolio and bring new capabilities to market, helping you meet the mounting security and compliance needs of your SMB clients. Keep reading to learn more about the acquisition and which exciting new features are available to you today.

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Topics: IT Services, Cyber Security, Continuum Security

FBI Issues Cyber Attack Warning to US Businesses

Posted by Brian Downey on May 25, 2018

On Friday, the FBI issued a formal warning about a cyber attack that has the potential to compromise hundreds of thousands of home and small office routers worldwide.

As an MSP servicing small- and medium-sized businesses, your clients could be affected. This post will cover what MSPs need to know about this cyber attack warning, as well as how you should handle the issue with your clients.

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Topics: IT Services, Cyber Security

3 Steps to Delivering Profitable Security Services

Posted by Brian Downey on October 31, 2017

With the constant influx of threats and attacks, today’s cyber landscape may seem daunting—even downright scary—to most businesses. However, this evolving landscape presents a big opportunity for IT service providers looking to offer reliable cybersecurity services to clients. So, how can you ensure that these services will be profitable in years to come?

Clients are now looking to you to provide a comprehensive security environment, detect potential threats, and remediate said threats before they are able to do damage. In a recent webinar, I walked through the specific steps IT providers should take to deliver profitable security services. As a recap, I’d like to outline the three key takeaways so you can understand what it takes to properly deliver security services to your clients.

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Topics: Cyber Security

An MSP’s Guide to the Petya Ransomware Outbreak

Posted by Brian Downey on June 28, 2017

The headline-grabbing nature of WannaCry put just about every IT and security team in reaction mode. Just one month after the WannaCry outbreak, we find ourselves reverting to reaction mode as the next batch of ransomware spreads across the globe—this time from the Petya family variant.

In a matter of hours, the new Petya ransomware spread its way across 65 countries. While WannaCry and Petya aren’t the first versions of ransomware, they are a new breed of ransomware, ones that use powerful exploits to enable rapid propagation within and to new organizations. As a managed services provider (MSP), it’s imperative that you understand this ransomware outbreak and how it can affect you or your clients’ businesses. Don’t know what Petya is or how you can stay protected? Here is your guide.

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Topics: IT Services, Cyber Security

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