Let’s roll back the calendar a few decades – don’t worry, this won’t take long.

In the 1990s, the internet became a “thing” we could all access and use to connect with the world. We began discovering ways this new technology could be leveraged to increase business. The technology was young and many lacked the knowledge to understand what businesses could do with the internet to grow. Technology consultants helped to provide direction and connect businesses with the world. With that connectivity came a need for support, and technology companies served small businesses as integrators of technology while offering help-desk services as they could now access and provide remote support to systems connected to the World Wide Web from anywhere.

As the dot–com era matured, more and more opportunities for speed, integration, and connectivity developed moving into the 2000s. The increased technology load on businesses demanded a different kind of service. Businesses needed more than just someone to call when something went wrong because so much of the critical operations performed demanded technology that worked consistently. Technology integrators, consultants, and help-desk services now had to be more deeply engaged, with a need to manage the entire technological infrastructure in a more predictable way both in considering the expense and the up-time demanded to successfully grow a business. As a result, Managed Service Providers (MSPs) provided the “standard” for technological support for small businesses with fully-managed technology platforms.

For the next ten years, the MSP market matured and innovation slowed, becoming “old hat.” The technology services industry shifted from motivating businesses forward from cutting edge to a race to the cheapest price – just a commodity. The lack of innovation in the industry worked for a time while businesses received the baseline services required to do what they needed to do.

Here’s the problem

We’re now more than twenty years out from those early Managed Services days. Each of us now has a “super-computer” in our pocket and/or strapped to our wrist with constant connectivity and engagement with a world of information. The technological landscape has completely changed, but Managed Services Providers are stuck doing the same stuff they did years ago– they may be pretty good at it (although you may know some who aren’t) but they’re STUCK in an outdated system that isn’t keeping up with the needs and security threats posed by modern technology– and the time for reckoning has come.

The Truth

Your technology partner holds the keys to your kingdom, and not just your kingdom, but for each of their customers– and this is making MSPs a massive target for attacks – which means choosing the low-cost service provider who isn’t taking proper security precautions puts a target on YOUR back. The latest Ransomware Report by Datto explains that 80% of MSPs recognize they are being increasingly targeted by ransomware and 89% report they are “very concerned” about what this means for the security
of their systems and for the security of their customers.* The time has come when technology support, the way it has been done for the past fifteen or twenty years, is inadequate. Not only are there greater opportunities to support your business with cutting-edge technology than the outdated solutions utilized by many MSPs, but it is time to leave the old way of managed services in the dust because it cannot keep you and your business safe. Paying that bottom dollar might sound like a great idea in the moment, but neglecting the cost of the risk you assume by failing to choose a technology partner who will do what you really need to keep your business safe, secure, and operating is playing Russian Roulette with your business. You might make it through today or tomorrow, but it’s only a matter of time before you’re hit with a breach that has the potential to bring your business to its knees, and possibly close for good.

Nothing less than a MSSP will do

What makes a Managed SECURITY Services Provider (MSSP) different from an MSP? The answer seems obvious, but is more comprehensive than you might think. An MSP may add security features to your network, provide VPN access to remote devices, and install antivirus software on your systems, and you would be “more secure.” However, remember that the entire landscape has changed. The lucrative industry of hacking and cybersecurity has come a long way since the first antivirus software was released in 1987. To be fair, antivirus software has come a long way as well, but the point is that the strategies of bad actors have changed, and although antivirus software is still valuable to protect from some attacks, it is not sufficient in itself to keep your company safe. And the difference between an MSP and an MSSP isn’t in the lowest common denominator protections, or even in antivirus software. The difference is in the approach to security for your business. MSPs are still operating with the same
old technology infrastructure enhanced by security add-ons that they HOPE will protect you from an attack, and frankly, are minimum standards at this point. In contrast, an MSSP is a new approach to address a world of developing threats. Your entire business is viewed through the lens of security when it comes to the technology you need to move your business forward. Rather than add-ons, MSSPs leverage purposeful measures designed specifically to recognize and mitigate your risks while providing assurances for business continuity should disaster strike and protection from liabilities should a breach occur.

And here’s the truth. The old approach taken by MSPs today is dying. It cannot possibly keep up with the changes happening in the technological landscape. For example, even in the past year, due to increasingly aggressive attacks, not only is your business liable, but your MSP may also be liable should you be attacked (an MSSP addresses that liability – but more on that later).

Those antiquated, limited protections cannot protect you any longer, and they will not sustain the old way of technology support. The future is Managed Security Services, and each day you delay in making this transition is another day you and your organization or business risk potentially business-closing ramifications.

Gone are the days of “race to the bottom” for the cheapest technology support possible. Not only could he “not keep up”, but that “computer guy” who helps when things break is simply not protecting your business and does not have your best interests in mind. If he did, he would recognize the danger your business is in because it is not a matter of “if” you will be attacked and breached, but “when.” The risk is too great. The danger is too real. If your technology partner isn’t an MSSP, cut them loose and find a partner who can protect your business, bringing you the confidence you need to invest fully in growing your business rather than worrying about your next cybersecurity attack.

*from Datto’s Global State of the Channel Ransomware Report - www.creativetechs.biz/expertcybersecurity