One of the most important aspects of my job is to determine not only what specific products we are going to recommend/sell to our client base, but also—at a prioritization level—what areas we (and our clients) should be focusing on. I think we can all agree that there is no shortage of solutions out there. Some are incredibly relevant and needed; others, not so much.
As an MSP, it's important to be able to recommend the right tools and capabilities that will help your clients propel their business forward—especially when it comes to cyber security.
Cyber security is not a parallel concept; however, it is a clear disruptor to the IT industry. The disruption has been ongoing for some time now, and will continue for some time in the future. That is why 2018 was the dubbed the year of security, just as 2019 will also be the year of security, and 2020, and 2021, etc.
But, security is not just one thing; it is a combination of many things—and those components matter quite a bit. For one, dark web monitoring is emerging as a crucial element to a solidified and advanced cyber security strategy. Some MSPs, however, by default think that the murmur around dark web is just a passing fad and don't take it too seriously. I used to be one of those people.
Why I Stopped Thinking of Dark Web Monitoring As a Fad
Prior to the waning months of 2018, I had considered “Dark Web Monitoring” to be one of those things that sounded cool but seemed to be of limited and/or questionable value. It probably didn’t help that one of the first vendors I heard touting the service was Equifax. Given the timing of their promotion of the service right after their very own massive data breach, it seemed to be a farce at best. Why would I ask a company that lost my personal data to tell me if I’m secure on the dark web?
But I’ve since realized that having a strategy and solution around dark web monitoring not only makes sense, but is another arrow that we need to have in our security quiver. Why did I change my tune on this? There were two reasons. First, starting in the Fall of 2018, we started seeing email scams that leveraged stolen credentials to get users to pay an attacker. In these scams, the user would get an email that would list one of their compromised passwords and then state that the attacker had information regarding their web surfing habits and associated video that would be released if the user didn’t send money. There was so much concern about this scam in the market that we wrote a blog post about it and leveraged that post as questions came up. If we offered a dark web monitoring solution, we could help our clients better understand and get in front of these types of threats.
The second reason for my change in attitude towards dark web monitoring is more basic. Even with all the stories we hear about security threats and the bad things that are happening to companies, people still aren’t taking security seriously. For those like me that have been in the MSP business for a while, you can probably recall a time when organizations didn’t take backups seriously and had a cavalier attitude toward the protection of their data. That’s where I believe we are right now with security. People know that they should do it, but it never seems to become a priority—unless they have a security event happen, at which point it is way too late.
Building Your Business By Protecting Your Clients
While I’m not a fan of using fear as a sales tool, sometimes it takes that slight angle to get the message through. When clients are rationalizing to me why they’re hesitant to implement security changes, my hope is that maybe being able to show people that there is information—potentially critical and sensitive information—out on the dark web will motivate them to take security seriously and take the steps needed to secure their data.
My organization is planning to add dark web monitoring as a solution offering in 2019. In the end, all we can do as advisors to our clients is provide them the relevant, pertinent guidance that they have come to expect. We need to continue to hone our messaging and related offerings to make sure our clients fully understand their risks and options.
It’s one thing to read about a security solution; it’s another to see it for yourself. Be sure to demo Continuum Security as soon as you can to see all of the ways this advanced cyber security solution can transform your MSP business, drive new revenue and protect your clients in an ever-challenging threat landscape.
By Paula Rhea
By Gretchen Hoffman