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MSPs best placed to deliver security education

Distributor shares views on the role managed service providers can play in improving cyber awareness among customers

Security vendors have been increasing their support for managed service providers (MSPs) not only to drive growth, but also in recognition that channel partners are crucial to educating customers and improving data protection.

Last week saw a host of market players improve MSP programmes and products that could be sold via subscription, the timing of which coincided with cyber security month coming to an end.

Mark Appleton, chief customer officer at ALSO Cloud UK, said managed service providers played a critical role in improving cyber education.

“Onboarding via MSPs should include cyber security practices as a default and necessity, especially given the shift to hybrid and remote working is here to stay. One vulnerability can compromise the whole system, and often this is tied to human error. Enterprise defence is a team sport – so every employee is a player in ensuring cyber security practices are upheld,” he said.

“MSPs are in the perfect position to provide much-needed support to their customers, to safeguard against ransomware threats. This can be in the form of phishing simulations or quality service solutions, amongst other solutions. By giving their customer businesses the ability to check their security posture, operational teams gain a greater understanding of where potential education gaps are regarding company cyber security practices,” he added.

The channel also provides small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that would struggle to handle security in-house with a resource that can be leaned on to ease the data protection burden.

“Enterprise defence is a team sport – so every employee is a player in ensuring cyber security practices are upheld”
Mark Appleton, ALSO Cloud UK

“Having an ecosystem that works for you is essential, but it all depends on the size and data kept with your business. All these factors mean each has a different approach. SMEs, especially, must consider what is best within their budget, but MSP onboarding and support is a critical way to provide them with needed resources and access to security posture checks,” said Appleton.

He also pointed out that minimising the role played by human resources, expecting security tools to deliver a total solution, meant that some of the staff policies and best practices that could be instilled by that department were missed.

“Human resource, just like SaaS [software as a service] and cyber protection, needs the same level of ongoing patching and updating to ensure it is working at top capacity. Human error is not something that can be entirely removed in operations; educating people, therefore, is the key here,” he said.

“Ultimately, your human operational teams and software all work in a complete business ecosystem – one cannot function to maximum capacity without the support of the other. MSPs are in the best position, due to the breadth of the resources and clients that they have available, to support SMEs and other businesses in their cyber education efforts through the cloud marketplace and promote ongoing training with their onboarding practices,” he added.

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