Home>How Cloud Data Security Puts MSPs With the Bigwigs

How Cloud Data Security Puts MSPs With the Bigwigs

As high-profile cybersecurity breaches continue to make headlines, businesses are ramping up spending on technology and services to protect their organizations. According to a report by Morgan Stanley, the cybersecurity market should eclipse $60 billion in 2016 and double that by 2020.

The opportunity for MSPs is equally massive. Markets and Markets predicted that managed security services, including cloud data security, will reach $35.5 billion by 2020. Yet, many of the incumbent cloud providers are increasing their cloud data security offerings. So many MSPs are increasingly concerned about the ability to remain competitive — and rightfully so.

Up the ante

In April, AWS made its new security product Amazon Inspector generally available to all customers. It’s a security vulnerability assessment service that checks applications, networks and virtual machines for deviation from standard activity stored in a common knowledge base. In turn, it produces reports of threats based on level of severity. While this may spell doom for anxious MSPs entering the managed security service market, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

The appeal of any cloud service, including Amazon Inspector, is the self-service capability and potentially lower costs for customers. While these are great for organizations that have the resources to configure and continually manage their AWS environments, many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t have adequate in-house technical expertise to do this effectively. However, MSPs can remain competitive by differentiating their offerings from cloud players in several ways.

Many SMBs approach cloud data security without a clear understanding of what their particular needs are. MSPs can help them map out initial strategies, establish baseline security policies and develop the architecture that suits their business models and security needs best. Further, by continuously engaging with the customer, MSPs can help with ongoing management and mitigation if and when a cyberattack does occur. Another way to differentiate from the bigwigs is to target and bring deep expertise to specific industries. MSPs can approach these verticals with technology expertise, as well. For instance, an MSP that has proven expertise in document management technologies can target the legal business industry as a viable option for expansion.

Become the best option

Since security impacts every part of IT and the overall business, MSPs can differentiate from cloud players by offering multiple MSP security services with their cloud data security services. For example, BYOD and mobility create significant challenges for businesses of all sizes, as they’re extremely difficult to secure and manage. This new paradigm presents a tremendous opportunity for MSPs to add an entirely new revenue stream by offering desktops-as-a-service on top of existing managed security services.

As big cloud players are adding managed services to their respective offerings, MSPs are right to worry about how this will affect their own businesses. While self-service and automation are desirable features of a cloud platform for many larger businesses, the fact is SMBs often need more personalized and hands-on services that only MSPs are equipped to provide. By specializing in specific industries, providing complementary add-on services and delivering personalized customer service, MSPs can differentiate themselves from the more generic, bare bones cloud data security services the big cloud players offer.

Key takeaways

  • Market growth projections are huge and demand is growing.
  • SMBs need the more personalized and comprehensive services MSPs are equipped to provide.
  • Add additional revenue streams on top of existing avenues or by introducing new services.

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Karin is an independent industry analyst and writer, with over 10 years experience in information technology. She focuses on cloud infrastructure, hosted applications and services, end user computing and related systems management software and services. She spent nearly eight years at 451 Research, where she spearheaded coverage on emerging desktops-as-a-service (DaaS) markets. She has extensive expertise in enterprise infrastructure software and services, as well as a deep understanding of SMB and hosting markets.