How can MSP's protect their clients?

For our July webinar we were joined by Sean Tickle who is the Head of CyberGuard Technologies Limited which is an independent company within the OGL group, that provide the latest in cyber security services. The discussion was based around how MSP’s – Managed Service Providers, work in conjunction with their clients to provide the most high-spec and trustworthy solutions to suit their every needs.

A managed service provider delivers services such as network, application, infrastructure and security, via ongoing and regular support and active administration on customers’ premises, in their MSP’s data center (hosting), or in a third-party data center. MSPs may deliver their own native services in conjunction with other providers’ services (for example, a security MSP providing sys admin on top of a third-party cloud IaaS).

The Guest:

Sean Tickle’s role is to oversee CyberGuard operations and has recently expanded from the drive of CyberGuard’s Managed and Planned service offerings, to liaising with other divisions to assist CyberGuard in meeting KPI's in growth and targets. This role ensures not only does the CyberGuard division continue to meet demand but also has the planning and foresight in place to become an organisation that offers a high standard of services to all clientele.

What the market looks like ‘post’ pandemic

Before the pandemic there was many more ‘ostriches’ (clients that have their head in the sand) that didn’t have a want for cyber security for their businesses, however this has changed post pandemic as threats and attacks have increased over this period of time. The shift in business emails have been compromised because attack vectors have become more decentralised, but the most incriminating of all is how the news is reporting on these, and hypersensitising the role of cyber threats to businesses. As we are still in the period of change, MSP’s are having to do hybrid solutions on Prem and Cloud focused, so for the future, it looks like the majority of the focus should be an increased shift towards Cloud and hybrid solutions.

Points to stress with your MSPS’s

Moreover, accountability is another main point to stress. You have to make sure that the people you are trusting are accountable for their actions, for the service they provide, what and how they’re protecting it. And this can be done in various ways, by demanding monthly service reviews with your MSP’s, and highlight the operational elements such as how many verified attacks have you had over the past month and how many were critical, how many potential sign-ins have you had from outside of the UK with email accounts and are there tags and alerts attached to this, and also, what does your threat landscape look like, such as what is happening with your market and what how are you mitigating that? It is all about building that confidence with your MSP’s: reporting, contact and communication are key.

OGL: Who their main men are

When it comes to CyberGuard, a part of OGL, their services and operational protection, that is handled exclusively by CyberGuard, that handle anything from Dark Trace to Cloud App Security for emails etc, and when it comes down to insurance, OGL are finding there needs to be a standard where EDR and a managed Firewall must be in place. If this is done, then insurance premiums can be reduced, as the success of threats are a lot lower than if they were to not have it. EDR stands for Endpoint detection and response, also known as endpoint threat detection and response, is a cyber technology that continually monitors and responds to mitigate cyber threats.

Maintaining employee satisfaction in this market

Working within this technology industry, means that if you fail or let down your clients, then that reputation stays with you. Therefore, attitude and aptitude is the most important: This is when employees have drive and passion, and the attitude to keep learning and advance off their own back.

To keep cyber security professionals, the top three things are cash, clear lines of career advancement and culture- if you can adopt a culture of freedom and autonomy to develop and grow then that keeps employees in place. In this industry there is always competition out there that offers higher salaries, so maintaining employee satisfaction is the main one.

Advice for limiting security threats for businesses

Vigilance is always going to be the most powerful in limiting cyber threats to a business’s technology, and not being complacent, for example when an email comes through, it’s about checking whether you know the address, and double checking the link. Also reporting emails as phishing can be very effective, and you’re helping cut down on further interactions. Also, making sure you can layer your defence such as Firewall’s and phishing campaigns can also help. MSP’s act as a security liaison for their customers, where they emphasise to get in touch if they are unsure about something, regardless of whether it is included in the service, as they are always there to help.

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Kate Higgs

24th August

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