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Why MSPs Should Review Their Own Security Stack

[SECURITY | 4 MIN READ] As an MSP, you need to know all the tools in your security stack are working for your customers—and what to do if they’re not.

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Any managed services provider (MSP) knows the importance of having reliable IT security products to best serve their customers. However, because there are so many facets of IT security, no security stack ever seems to be complete. Even the most multifaceted security management technology has blind spots that another software might be able to better handle.

Many security products advertise a convincing take on why you should add them to your security stack, but it’s your job to wade through the noise and choose what works best for your needs. As an MSP, you should continually reevaluate the vendors, partners, and services you deal with in your security stack to ensure that as security circumstances or customers’ requirements change, your tools will still be able to keep up.

What is a security stack?

Your security stack is your entire toolkit of IT security provisions. Each customer you work with will require different tools in their security stack based on the size of their network, the urgency of their security concerns, and any specific areas of focus for their cybersecurity services.

Because your customers’ security systems will engage with multiple issues, the security stack you rely on will require a layered solution. Your security stack should work to reduce any inefficiencies, help with rapid troubleshooting, and protect against cyberthreats. Because your objectives are so diverse, your methods should be diverse, too.

What makes a strong security stack?

The end goal of IT security managed service is to maximize returns for your customers. Therefore, each of your security products should contribute meaningfully towards this objective.

If your security-related software doesn’t provide adequate coverage against cyberattacks, it’s not maximizing profits. If your products take up too much of your time with complicated management, then they’re also not maximizing profits. The result produced by any good IT security stack should be an IT infrastructure that runs as smoothly, securely, and automatically as possible.

One of the costliest IT threats to any business is a cyberattack. Even though other aspects of IT security management can help to maximize IT functionality, all your customers will want protection against cyberattackers—and for good reason. High-profile companies lose millions every year in cyberattacks from just a single compromised password. For this reason, password security management will be central to any MSP security stack.

Communication with your customers on security best practices can also go a long way in helping them protect their IT security. Employees of your customers’ organizations need to know how to prevent “common cyberthreats” [like, trojan horses, and man-in-the-middle attacks that exploit user ignorance to access your protected data.

How can I review my security stack?

It’s a good idea to assess your security stack whenever you begin working with a new client. You should also evaluate your security inventory whenever you’re considering purchasing or getting rid of an IT security tool. Conducting regular evaluations at a minimum of once a year will help ensure that your security management tools are working for you.

Adding to your security stack should happen once you’ve made sure a new tool is necessary, efficient, and user-friendly. Before you purchase a new tool, ask yourself the following questions:  

  • Is it necessary? Adding a tool to your security stack should come at a time when your current tools are not enough. If you have any blind spots in your stack, purchasing a new tool might be crucial. If you have an existing tool that isn’t quite covering all your bases, a proactive MSP should consider replacing it.
  • Is it efficient? Efficiency in your stack means your tools will produce a high level of security protection compared to the energy and cost it takes to operate them. In other words, efficient tools lead to increased profitability. Before you add a new tool to your stack, make sure it offers high rewards compared to the resources it requires to operate.
  • Is it user-friendly? Each tool in your security stack should be reasonably intuitive. When you’re considering adding an IT security product to your stack, make sure it comes with strong customer service and easy operability. Your customers should be able to understand how it functions and how to use it. It’s a big plus if your new tool can be easily integrated with other products in your stack.

Investing in new security products

Just because you’ve already invested in a security management tool doesn’t mean you need to keep it. Whenever you identify a blind spot in your security stack or inefficiencies in the tools you already have, it’s time to make a change. Investing in a new product can increase profit margins and provide crucial defenses against bad actors.

For a comprehensive password security solution, make sure to consider SolarWinds® Passportal. Built specifically for MSPs, Passportal offers an encrypted password vault, which can be accessed by MSPs and their customers with role-based permissions. Passportal allows for quick deactivation and changes to compromised passwords, as well as multi-factor identification for optimal security. For a well-rounded security toolkit, consider adding Passportal to your stack for efficiency, usability, and maximum password protection.

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