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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

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333 West San Carlos Street
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March 18, 2024 | Shay Cohen

Maximizing MSP Growth: Leveraging Compliance for Profit, Minimizing Liability, and Strategic Upselling Techniques

Here are some ways IT services providers can proactively leverage compliance framework to ensure that their clients’ defenses are strengthened — and increase their own profits.

MSPs face a fast-evolving cybersecurity landscape. New threats like ransomware attacks, phishing techniques, and AI-powered attacks require a constant adaptation of security strategies.

To safeguard clients, IT services providers must address these new challenges, particularly in IoT and cloud computing.

Several regulatory changes — including HIPAA, CMMC and CCPA — require ongoing efforts to protect sensitive information. The growth of remote work and the use of AI in cyberattacks highlight the need for MSPs to remain agile, implement advanced security controls, and improve incident response capabilities to effectively secure their clients in this ever-changing environment.

Here are some ways MSPs can proactively leverage compliance framework to ensure that their clients’ defenses are strengthened — and increase their own profits.

Strategic Partnerships and Shared Risks

MSPs play an integral role in the digital age by offering security and compliance services, emphasizing the necessity of comprehensive cybersecurity measures to mitigate security liabilities.

Shay Cohen of Kamanja

Shay Cohen

In this landscape, the master services agreement (MSA) is a crucial document, and to address liability concerns, incorporating language on shared risk is paramount. Shared risk involves MSPs and clients working collaboratively to navigate the complexities of cybersecurity.

Sharing risk entails understanding that both parties actively contribute to security posture. By aligning MSPs’ and clients’ incentives, a shared risk framework such as NIST 800-37 enables a robust defense against evolving cyber threats.

A comprehensive cybersecurity stack that aligns with industry compliance frameworks creates a resilient defense system that is essential to operationalizing this shared risk approach. Stacks of this type include proactive monitoring, threat intelligence, and continuous updates to strengthen defenses against emerging risks. MSPs and their clients share a commitment to security through a compliance framework that provides guidelines against potential risks and breaches to reduce the consequences and serves as a testament to their mutual commitment to security.

As a result of integrating a comprehensive compliance framework into the shared risk framework, overall security liability for both parties is significantly reduced.

The Role of an MSP as a Security Advisor

MSPs have expanded their roles to become trusted security advisors. They are expected to provide strategic insights and advisory services, as well as proactive assessment and response to their clients’ unique security challenges.

MSPs can position themselves as strategic partners by:

  • Implementing processes to adhere to data protection regulations (e.g., GDPR or CMMC).
  • Protecting against cyber threats.
  • Conducting regular audits and assessments of IT systems to ensure compliance with security standards.

Compliance is an Integral Component of Security

As an essential part of securing systems and data, building trust, and mitigating risks, compliance ensures adherence to established security standards.

MSPs can emphasize their commitment to compliance and help their clients understand regulatory requirements. Compliance requirements serve as a basis for upselling additional security services aligned with the framework, such as EDR, XDR, MFA, etc., and will aid in sales.

By offering enhanced security packages, services providers satisfy the increasing demand for robust cybersecurity and can sell deeper into their existing client base. To strengthen clients against emerging threats, upselling may include additional layers of protection, advanced threat intelligence, employee training programs, and continuous monitoring.

Achieving compliance is an integral part of ensuring information security, as it ensures adherence to established standards, fosters trust, and can also enable organizations to qualify for better cyber insurance, which enhances their overall level of security.

Make Compliance Easier for Your Clients

MSPs need a simple process to succeed. The changes you make for one client should be duplicated and applied to all clients, if appropriate.

The key to success is understanding the specific verticals they serve and developing a similar strategy with the necessary adjustments to meet compliance requirements. When clients are not bound by industry-specific regulations, the approach should be based on their company size and technology stack, among other factors.

Keep Track of Your Clients’ Progress and Increase Sales

Monitoring and proactively detecting threats is key to improving security. A competitive security and compliance platform helps you identify risks easily and promotes upselling. By providing real-time insight into emerging threats and potential vulnerabilities.

Effective communication is essential to upselling success. QBRs can help MSPs maintain client updates by emphasizing the value of additional security services, how far the organization is from being 100% compliant, enhanced security and reduced downtime, as well as potential savings in case of a security incident.

MSPs should become trusted security advisors to their clients, share risks, reduce liabilities, and upsell security tools to increase profits. Managing risks, implementing compliance, and protecting against threats can position MSPs as strategic partners if they follow a simple process and focus on the verticals they serve.

By using a comprehensive compliance platform, services providers can monitor and improve their client security stack, which allows them to make appropriate choices.


Shay Cohen is CEO and co-founder of Kamanja.

Image: iStock


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