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Small Business Cybersecurity and MSPs: Kaseya Research Findings

Small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are increasingly looking to managed service providers (MSPs) for expertise and counsel to protect their organizations against cyberattacks, the results of a new Kaseya study showed.

With more than three-quarters (77%) of MSPs reporting that their clients have been hit in a cyberattack, 65 percent increased their sales even in a difficult economy by delivering cybersecurity services, Kaseya’s 2021 MSP Benchmark Survey concluded.

The Miami-based provider of IT and security management solutions purpose-built for MSPs and SMBs said service providers are feeling the “security heat from all directions.” One in four MSPs believe their business is currently less cyber secure, a contention most recently evidenced in a cyber attack that hit CompuCom in early March 2021 expected to cost the MSP between $5 million and $8 million in lost revenue and up to $20 million in cleanup costs, according to parent company ODP.

“In our current work-from-anywhere environment, MSPs have their hands full enabling and maintaining business operations for their customers,” said Mike Puglia, Kaseya’s chief strategy officer. “Despite the pandemic, a sweeping majority (91%) of these MSPs recognize the importance of adding new offerings to their business to increase profits and revenue,” he said. Remote workforce management, IT security and backup and disaster recovery now offer the biggest growth opportunities for MSPs, he said.

As in its previous benchmark reports, about three-quarters (73%) of MSPs identified platform integration as critically important to their business in order to become more efficient and profitable, Kaseya said.

Additional key findings from the study (based on % of respondents):

  • Even though roughly 50 percent of MSPs currently provide compliance services, nearly three in four said their clients are challenged to meet compliance requirements.
  • MSPs have an opportunity to develop and leverage a niche expertise in data privacy and security laws to help their clients comply with an increasingly complex set of regulations.
  • Despite disaster events such as the pandemic that impacted business continuity and challenged on-premise backup, the majority of the MSPs surveyed (75%) use a combination of local and cloud backup for their data. Less than two in 10 (19%) rely on cloud backup alone.
  • Nearly 70% of MSPs now back up their clients’ public cloud SaaS applications, such as Office 365, G-Suite and Salesforce, compared to only half in 2019. As a result, 54% of MSPs reported an increase in cloud management revenue in 2020.
  • Fewer MSPs are testing their disaster recovery programs weekly and monthly while more are relying on annual testing when compared to the previous year (30% in 2020 versus 17% in 2019).
  • MSPs want more integrated tools for remote support. With ongoing remote work, MSPs have found themselves spread thin between disjointed tools to manage their varied responsibilities.
  • Security and cloud management services both saw particularly rapid growth through the ongoing pandemic as more businesses sought support from MSPs to secure their cloud-based collaboration tools for their decentralized work forces.
  • A majority of MSPs believe that the integration of core MSP applications, such as remote monitoring and management (RMM) and professional services automation (PSA) tools, can help their organization drive better bottom-line profits. Of these tools, RMM is the most important application with 65% of MSPs prioritizing this solution.

“We hope MSPs can use the findings in this report to inform strong decision-making in 2021,” said Puglia. “Based on the insights, there is tremendous opportunity for service providers to diversify their offerings and tackle any IT issue with a single platform that produces greater efficiency, lowers costs, and drives higher profitability,” he said.

This edition is the annual study’s tenth, conducted in December 2020 after roughly 10 months of remote work owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Some 1,000 owners and technicians of MSP firms in roughly 50 countries provided input about what they had learned during that time and what they expected their business priorities to be in 2021.

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