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March 20, 2024 |

How Strategic Partnerships Enhance MSPs’ Cybersecurity Offerings

An inside look at what makes successful collaborations and how they boost cyber defense.

In an era where digital threats loom large, managed services providers are putting more attention on robust cybersecurity strategies.

The global average cost of a data breach in 2023 was $4.45 million, a 15% increase over three years, according to IBM. Additionally, 60% of small businesses that are victims of a cyberattack go out of business within six months, TechRound reported.

As a result, cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly important focus area for MSPs, both as a sales opportunity and a source of potential liability. That’s why vendors who craft successful cybersecurity partner programs are a great asset to the IT channel.

Success stories abound for vendors who join forces to enhance cybersecurity offerings for MSPs. ChannelPro spoke with some experts in this area, who suggested that strategies should focus on MSP needs through continuous learning, shared intelligence, and collaboration.

The Essentials

Michelle Accardi of Liongard

Michelle Accardi

Cyber threats are growing more sophisticated, so effective partner programs are vital in equipping MSPs with the necessary tools and knowledge.

That’s according to Michelle Accardi, CEO of cyber protection firm Liongard. Late last year, Liongard announced a partnership with Cork to offer MSPs a bundled cyber warranty solution.

The partnership was an example of Liongard’s dedication to joining forces with industry-leading vendors that work to keep IT services providers safe, Accardi said. “Today’s cybersecurity partner needs to be adept, experienced, and constantly evolving.”

Equally important is thorough training for onboarding, upskilling, and continuous updates on emerging threats and platform advancements. Take Liongard’s strategic partnership program with Pax8, which emphasizes being more targeted in how they communicate to MSPs, along with more involved problem solving.

For example, Liongard and Pax8 brought together more than 30 MSPs with merger-and-acquisition plans. The MSPs spent the day listening to experts and sharing best practices from their own experiences, Accardi explained.

“Partnerships like Pax8 help us connect in a more meaningful way with our [IT services providers] because we all have a vested interest in MSPs’ success and growth.”

Accardi also emphasized the need for constant communication and collaboration in adapting to new threats. Liongard’s “Welcome to the Pride” philosophy fosters a family-like environment, where sharing intelligence and strategies is paramount.

“Our community-driven initiatives and shared thought leadership ensure we tackle cyber threats as a united front,” she said.

Raffael Marty of ConnectWise

Raffael Marty

‘Well Suited’ for MSPs

Software provider ConnectWise in October 2023 announced a new integration between its ConnectWise MDR (managed detection and response) platform and the SentinelOne EDR (endpoint detection and response) solution.

SentinelOne was the third leading EDR provider that ConnectWise MDR had integrated with, joining Bitdefender and Microsoft — to make it easier for MSPs to use its platform, ConnectWise Executive Vice President and General Manager, Cybersecurity Raffael Marty told ChannelPro in a previous interview.

The big reason, Marty explained, was because his organization is MSP-focused. They carefully vet EDR partners to make sure, “they are selected based on how well suited they are for MSPs.”

In fact, MSPs’ opinions as well as those of other vendors can play a significant role in how companies set up their cybersecurity strategies. Such was the case for Schneider Electric, according to Lawrence Hann, the company’s director of channel field sales north & digital services strategy.

Larry Hann of Schneider Electric

Larry Hann

Schneider Electric began by forming a partner advisory council made up of enterprises, vendors, and MSPs. This approach led to the creation of an operational-focused MSP program, a shift from traditional hardware-centric models, Hann explained.

“We listened to what the market needed, not just what we thought it needed.”

Essential Two-Way Communication

Feedback mechanisms are a key element of a strong cybersecurity program for Zift Solutions, a provider of marketing, sales, and operations management solutions.

The firm has established continuous channels of communication for suggestions and insights between partners and vendors, said CTO Lionel Farr“This two-way communication is essential in refining strategies and staying ahead of cybersecurity challenges.” 

The strategy fosters a collaborative environment and ensures that MSPs are well-equipped to deliver advanced cybersecurity solutions to their clients. Ultimately, these are some methods to help reinforce trust and secure robust defense against evolving digital threats.

Image: DALL-E

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