In today’s increasingly digital landscape, the reliability and security of an organization’s IT infrastructure are pivotal to success. For businesses navigating the intricacies of hybrid work models as well as today’s growing threat and vulnerability landscape, managed service providers (MSPs) are key to delivering comprehensive yet simple and effective solutions.
Recently, threat actors have been increasingly gaining unauthorized access to remote monitoring and management (RMM) platforms, prompting the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to release the JCDC Remote Monitoring and Management Cyber Defense Plan.
Within the document, CISA identified MSPs as a focus area in mitigating cyber threats targeting SMBs. The findings reinforce the urgent need for SMBs to collaborate with MSPs to strengthen their defenses and secure their digital assets.
Many SMBs neglect to implement robust security measures because they falsely assume they are too small to attract threat actors and be exploited by a cyberattack. In fact, 59% of small business owners. acknowledge not having any cybersecurity initiatives in place, according to a 2022 survey from Digital.com.
Those businesses will often only act after learning that their digital infrastructure has been exposed to attacks or following a devastating cyberattack on their operations.
Redefining the Role of MSPs in the Hybrid Work Era
In the age of hybrid work, MSPs have evolved to become more prominent figures in a business’ organizational structure. MSPs are now at the forefront of the effort to build resiliency and safeguard the digital ecosystem – regardless of where the end users happen to be located.
Businesses are seeking trusted partners that can incorporate cybersecurity into long-term strategic plans while enabling remote work technology and helping to build vibrant digital cultures. All while educating key stakeholders and reassuring them that their data and identities are secure.
Cybersecurity as a Shared Responsibility
Verizon’s 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report revealed that 74% of recent breaches involved the human element.
That can be exacerbated when businesses shift to hybrid/remote work environments without the proper training or infrastructure. When departments function in isolation with fragmented technology leadership, the resulting risk is intolerable.
Every employee, regardless of department, contributes to an organization’s vulnerability to cyberattacks. MSPs need to lead the education effort, leveraging their technical expertise to break down silos and emerge as catalysts for the institutional shift towards security.
The best advice for MSPs that are trying to figure out their place in this new world: become the glue that binds employees together. Bridge cross-departmental divides and help employees understand that they are the first line of defense. Provide the resources, like ongoing training sessions, to ensure that security workflows are consistent and incidents are escalated quickly.
Fostering a culture of shared responsibility requires buy-in from business owners and C-suite executives. MSPs have a role in reminding them to invest in their people as much as their technology to build internal and external trust.
Safeguarding Assets in the Evolving Digital Landscape
Modern businesses can grow safely and secure their digital assets, even with complex network environments and globally distributed workers. But it takes IT leadership.
MSPs aren’t really third-party vendors, they’re trusted advisors that are integral to the client’s team. They must make it clear that even the best cybersecurity technologies in the world are ineffective if a company’s employees aren’t vigilant. Everything starts with a cohesive security strategy built on a shared responsibility model.
Jeremy Rafuse is the Vice President & Head of Digital Workplace at GoTo.