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5 Secrets to Managed Security Services Selling Success

Managed Security
Avast's Sean Sykes

Sean Sykes

By Sean Sykes, Managing Director for Avast

The managed-services industry is facing a watershed moment, as new technologies and new ways of working make the traditional hardware-based perimeter security paradigm obsolete. Unfortunately, changing the game by adding new services to an established practice is not easy. VARs, MSPs and consultants of all stripes face a tough choice: Stick with the status quo and compete on price, or evolve the practice to avoid being commoditized.

One way to add major value for clients is by offering a carefully curated bundle of managed security services. As the current threat landscape has shown, there has never been a more critical time to prioritize security in your services portfolio. Cybercrime now represents the most serious threat to business continuity and revenue. The roughly 28 million small businesses in the United States are under attack from a variety of fronts, from ransomware to DDoS to phishing schemes, but these organizations may not realize how vulnerable they are or, if they do, they simply do not have the resources or skills to address the issues. For example, Ponemon Institute estimates that 59 percent of SMBs have no visibility into employee password practices, and 65 percent do not strictly enforce password policies.

This is a significant, untapped market. By adding managed security services, partners can not only deliver real value to their customers as trusted security advisers, they can differentiate their business and create a strategic competitive advantage.

Here are five keys to success:

    • Stay ahead of new cyber threats. Imagine your SMB customer turns to you after just having been hit by a ransomware attack. How do you respond? If you are not prepared for a security incident as your client’s adviser on all things IT, you will lose their trust and their business. If you cannot protect them, they will find someone who will. It’s that simple. Follow reputable news sources, security bloggers, the FBI, independent testing organizations and institutes like SANS.
    • Build on your core expertise. You are most likely providing IT services remotely, likely through a remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform. Start with value-added security services that integrate with your existing RMM offering. Your staff will be comfortable with the tech, and the integration will enable you to assess, deliver and monitor security across all of your client sites.
    • Demonstrate your value with reporting. The more you can more quickly demonstrate your value to customers, the better your bottom-line results. For example, security tools integrated into an RMM can enable MSPs to work from one platform to identify vulnerabilities across endpoints and networks, monitor data and generate detailed reports that track remediation and time frames, and clearly explain how and when issues are being resolved. Make sure customers see these, not only to demonstrate your expertise but so …

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