Network Assessments are an important part of managed IT services, giving MSPs the ability to perform scans of their clients’ entire IT environments. This can help them identify potential security risks and threats, account for devices comprising any given network, generate detailed, customizable status reports, and much more. They also provide a standardized methodology and process to ensure MSPs and their clients are complying with industry best practices.
Network assessments can be specialized features to maximize the speed and efficacy of scans: Basic Module, Exchange Module, HIPAA Module, PCI Module, Premium Module, Security Module and SQL Server Module.
Why MSPs Should Perform Network Assessments
Network Assessments are vital to an MSP’s business. Assessing a client’s or prospect’s network allows an MSP to:
- Minimize unknown variables within a client network
- Uncover new revenue opportunities by findingnew potential for selling managed IT services
- Ensure compliance with industry standards
- Produce concrete plans of action
With regard to performing network assessments, MSPs have three choices:
- Not perform them, which is inefficient, and a lost opportunity to scope out a client’s network for potential revenue streams
- Perform manual assessments, which is labor intensive, time consuming and costly
- Perform automated assessments. While these are still performed on site, these assessments are more efficient, fast and thorough. MSPs are able to discuss their business offering, not having to be mired in the technicality of the assessment while on site.
Network assessments can be highly profitable as prospecting tools. Typically, software modules allow for unlimited usage of the modules for a low, fixed monthly fee, where they are able to maximize profit margins across all clients. They can be used to generate more leads and expand a services portfolio to continue growing business. When the assessment is complete, the MSP can produce an array of reports that can be custom branded, demonstrating the value that an MSP can provide.
Types of Network Assessments
A basic network assessment is great for prospecting. In just a few minutes, MSPs can generate powerful reports of clients’ or prospects’ IT infrastructures that identifies security risks, lists out potential issues and catalogs an inventory of new client networks in order to properly scope projects and uncover any hidden issues.
Typically, a basic network assessment software module can be used for a small monthly fee for unlimited use, allowing MSPs to offer free network assessments—a compelling offer for prospects and a way for MSPs to demonstrate specific problems that they can help them solve. With a basic network assessment, MSPs can generate reports that show prospective clients just how vital managed services are to the success of their business, while giving an inside look into their networks to better sell and scope future projects.
Many partners have success providing basic, free network assessments as a lead generation tool, but premium network assessments provide the opportunity to offer more in-depth, detailed scans and make services more recurring and essential. It’s a way to add ongoing assessments and ensure clients are complying with industry best practices, all the while increasing the recurring bottom-line revenue stream.
Premium network assessments usually provide a complete set of network reports that detail a range of assets, settings, configurations and performance, which help MSPs better serve their clients, identify new projects for budgeting purposes and demonstrate the value provided to them.
Security assessment scans enable MSPs to scan client environments to easily detect potential security threats and offer ongoing remediation services. By adding a security scan to a network assessment offering, MSPs can set themselves apart from their competition with a more robust and vital managed security service while adding additional lines of revenue.
To attract and retain clients in the lucrative healthcare vertical, MSPs need a HIPAA risk assessment tool. A network assessment specifically designed for HIPAA compliance is what MSPs need to conduct unlimited compliance assessments, allowing them to engage healthcare companies, help them become HIPAA compliant and offer ongoing compliance services.
HIPAA compliance network assessments are highly valuable, because in minutes, they can generate official documents needed for clients to sign Business Associate Agreements (BAA), including: HIPAA Policy and Procedures, HIPAA Risk Analysis, HIPAA Management Plan, Evidence of HIPAA Compliance and all associated supporting documentation. Additionally, some software modules can also deliver evidence, expert recommendations and direction to help mitigate and prevent lapses in HIPAA compliance.
SQL Server Scans
With an SQL Server assessment, MSPs can help their clients avoid the need to hire a costly database administrator (DBA). Technicians can quickly and easily run the scans and generate the reports they need, allowing them to provide managed database services without needing to hire a DBA.
Typically, these scans perform deep-dive assessments of Microsoft SQL Server environments and provide MSPs with the tools they need to properly manage networks with applications running on SQL Server. Following the assessment, MSPs could easily produce SQL Server-specific reports like maintenance plans and routine health reports.
For MSPs who have a DBA technician on staff, this type of assessment allows them to more efficiently scan the SQL server databases that they manage. It’s an essential part of a comprehensive management offering for clients with SQL server databases. Combined with NOC services, MSPs are able to offer ongoing reporting about database health in addition to network monitoring and issue remediation.
Microsoft Exchange assessment scans can be invaluable when performing migrations and allow MSPs to report with confidence when delivering ongoing security and maintenance services for clients running Microsoft Exchange. It’s a perfect day-to-day management tool and a valuable resource when conducting server migration documentation, validation and project scoping.
An Exchange scan performs comprehensive, non-invasive scans of entire Microsoft Exchange or Office 365 Platforms without needing to install anything on an Exchange server. They provide detailed documentation on individual users and their mailboxes, as well as the environment, settings, folders, devices, configuration and settings of the server itself. MSPs are able to assess security and risk, traffic usage and prioritize issues for remediation.
PCI Compliance Scans
PCI DSS is a complex compliance process for any business that accepts credit cards. A PCI compliance assessment scan can provide a turn-key solution, giving MSPs everything they need to offer comprehensive PCI services ranging from one-time risk assessments to recurring revenue from a managed service solution.
PCI compliance assessment scans enters a client’s Cardholder Data Environment (CDE) to perform PCI pre-audit assessments that are perfect for client prospecting. After offering a complimentary assessment, it’s possible to provide PCI DSS remediation services that document and prioritize security and vulnerability issues, allowing MSPs to offer services to correct these issues. And, after bringing client networks in line with the PCI security standards, they can furnish valuable documentation and reporting needed for ongoing compliance.