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39% of MSPs report major setbacks when adapting to advanced security technologies

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SOPHOS, a leading global provider of managed security solutions, has recently released its annual MSP Perspectives report for 2024. This most recent report provides insights from 350 different managed service providers (MSPs) across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia on modern cybersecurity tools solutions. It also documents newly discovered risks and challenges in the industry.

Among the many findings of this most recent report, one of the most concerning trends is the difficulties MSPs face when adapting their service offerings to combat the latest surge of next-generation cyberattacks. When scaling infrastructure to support more advanced security preparedness, MSPs must consider how to navigate these pitfalls.

The 3 largest challenges MSPs face

The most recent MSP Perspectives report released by SOPHOS in May 2024 has shined light on several unique challenges currently being faced in the managed services industry.

Despite having access to numerous scalable IT solutions at their disposal, MSPs are still running into the following critical issues.

1. Keeping up with the latest cybersecurity technologies and solutions

For MSPs to keep up with the regularly evolving state of cybersecurity, they must keep their organizations incredibly agile. However, the reality is that considering the amount of time and resources required for research, development and staff training, they’re often unable to keep up.

This is further complicated by:

  • Complex solutions requiring in-depth knowledge
  • An overwhelming number of potential solutions to research
  • Not knowing the best options for their client’s needs

Many MSPs have already invested in industry-backed security solutions. However, the speed at which these tools are being improved or replaced means having dedicated internal resources to coordinate critical changes is becoming increasingly unmanageable.

2. Securing adequate cybersecurity talent

For years, the demand for skilled cybersecurity analysts has been outpacing the available supply of workers. With more businesses becoming highly dependent on MSPs to manage many of their cybersecurity needs, this has created a significant human resources backlog.

The challenge is that while this gap is slowly starting to close, there is still considerable competition in the market. This not only makes it harder to find qualified cybersecurity workers but also makes it more difficult for MSPs to manage staff retention.

However, when not dealing with a shortage of workers, MSPs also need to make sure they can find qualified analysts with specific skill sets that align with their clients’ needs. This can be likened to finding a needle in a haystack while wearing a blindfold.

3. Mitigating risks by emerging threats

The way organizations need to approach cybersecurity is much different today than it was ten years ago. Lack of awareness in any branch of security planning can mean opening the doors for several emerging threats.

MSPs are constantly bombarded with this fact and face challenges when addressing areas such as:

  • The evolving threat landscape: As technology continues to evolve, the threat landscape shifts along with it. The more investments are made in new cloud-based services and solutions, the harder it is to diagnose and address potential vulnerabilities they introduce.

  • Increase in sophisticated attack formats: Cyber criminals aren’t just relying on static attack methods to exploit businesses. They now regularly use sophisticated ransomware attacks and next-generation AI-driven tools to scale their distribution methods and increase the severity of security breaches.

  • Putting a high focus on security planning: Lacking the necessary internal resources to manage many cybersecurity initiatives, many MSPs are forced to adopt more reactive controls than proactive ones.

Explore threat detection response solutions

What are the primary cybersecurity risk factors for MSPs today?

The SOPHOS report continues to highlight two of the primary risk factors that MSPs are facing based on the current state of new emerging threats:

Compromised access credentials and stolen data

Cyber criminals often target the digital environments facilitated by MSP relationships. Considering modern businesses’ heavy dependence on third-party platforms and cloud-based applications, malicious sources invest much of their time in planning and executing social engineering and brute-force attack campaigns to gather compromised user credentials.

Once a user’s credentials are obtained, cyber criminals may be able to give themselves privileged access to multiple connected systems, leading to major data breaches and the facilitation of devastating ransomware attacks.

Lack of in-house cybersecurity expertise

As cyber threats become more sophisticated, the need for specialized cybersecurity expertise grows. However, with MSPs struggling to attract and retain qualified cybersecurity professionals, they’re becoming more unable to offer the level of protection their clients need.

Lack of in-house experience can also hinder their ability to proactively identify and mitigate vulnerabilities before they can be exploited. This leaves MSPs in a compromising position, potentially opening them and their clients up to larger risks.

Top 3 benefits of managed detection and response (MDR) service adoption

In response to these issues, MSPs are looking outside their own walls for the cybersecurity support necessary to facilitate their clients’ ongoing needs.

According to the SOPHOS report, 66% of MSPs are now relying on third-party vendors to deliver their Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services. This is helping them to fill the necessary gap in their security offerings and provide a comprehensive suite of cybersecurity tools and solutions for themselves and the clients they service.

This is providing benefits in the following areas:

1. Immediate access to advanced security tools and intelligence

MDR providers specialize in all areas of cybersecurity and have an advanced knowledge of emerging security threats and effective mitigation strategies to address them.

These providers also have immediate access to advanced monitoring tools and solutions like Qradar SIEM powered by enterprise-grade AI-driven threat intelligence. Having these solutions readily available and ready for deployment, MSPs can continue to scale other parts of their businesses while having more confidence in their cybersecurity readiness state.

2. Regularly updated cybersecurity protocols

MDR solutions specialists can provide MSPs with the cybersecurity awareness they need to ensure their internal protocols remain up-to-date and meet the guidelines necessary to adhere to strict regulatory requirements.

Incident response planning is another important element that MSPs need to master. By using an MDR solutions provider, MSPs can recognize and prevent vulnerabilities before they occur and make proactive strides to improve their security posture.

3. Accessible security talent pool

While MSPs need to balance their hiring efforts across multiple specialties, MDR providers have teams of dedicated security personnel already in place, with years of experience managing highly complex cybersecurity initiatives.

By engaging with MDR providers, MSPs have a wide pool of cybersecurity talent at the ready to help them address their client’s security needs and stay ahead of modern-day cyber threats.

Building a more comprehensive suite of client services

MSPs have a large responsibility when it comes to helping organizations scale their operations while staying secure. While managing cybersecurity initiatives in-house continues to be challenging for many organizations, investments in managed detection and response solutions are proving to be the way forward for progressive organizations looking to enhance their client service offerings.

The post 39% of MSPs report major setbacks when adapting to advanced security technologies appeared first on Security Intelligence.

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