Security Sells: MSPs Gain Opportunities with Cyber Protection

IT infrastructure was rapidly growing in importance over the past several years and then, suddenly, it became mission-critical. No remote work is possible without IT, for example. Today, IT has become the fifth basic human need alongside air, water, food, and shelter. Yet IT is not possible without adequate protection – the modern world demands cyber protection.

Author: Gaidar Magdanurov,
Author: Gaidar Magdanurov, Acronis Cyber Officer

From the beginning of the global pandemic, MSPs played a critical role in ensuring work and employee productivity could continue in remote environments. Few businesses were prepared to completely switch to remote work, which meant MSPs had to quickly deploy new infrastructure and applications to make it happen. Given the dramatic spike in workloads, the primary focus was on getting businesses working. Of course, the need for securing those workloads can’t be dismissed.

As the new work environment, home networks bring many more security challenges. From unsecured networks and household users who are not trained in basic cybersecurity to the expanding attack surfaces of multiple devices working on the same network (many of which never see security updates), there are multiple risks that don’t exist in a professional office environment. Protecting such remote workspaces is more complicated than ever.

Against this backdrop, MSPs need an easy and efficient solution to protect unsecured environments on an enormous scale ... and customer expectations are high. They expect support, they expect reliability, and they are more willing to change partners during these turbulent times.

Any MSP unable to provide the necessary level of cyber protection or support for the new scale of remote work faces extinction.

Today’s challenges threaten even the best run MSPs

Modern MSPs have a tremendous number of responsibilities that surface most often in digitally progressive SMBs. MSPs who service these forward-thinking organizations are responsible for their clients’ digital transformations and take on tasks such as:

  • Implementing new software and hardware to enable modern productivity in remote locations, provide seamless digital experiences to customers, and ensure access to modern supply chain processes
  • Delivering cybersecurity across rapidly evolving, ever-expanding dimensions – from endpoints to the data center to work-from-home environments, and from vendor audits to employee phishing training
  • Training employees on the best practices for productive remote work and the basics of cybersecurity
  • Ensuring data protection and data management, since these critical functions guarantee secure access, privacy, cybersecurity, and authenticity, as well as compliance with business and regulatory requirements
  • Enabling greater mobility as more devices, more apps, more employees, and more locations mean the demands that users make on MSPs continue to grow rapidly

Add to all this the emergence of IoT devices and the ability to measure and control practically every aspect of a business, and the list of digital responsibilities gets even longer. Yet none of the progress made by a small business will matter if its data is lost, stolen, or manipulated without their knowledge.

These factors create significant, ever-changing challenges for the MSPs serving those businesses.

MSPs are at war

Most MSPs are rapidly evolving or planning to evolve their strategies and solutions, because MSPs find themselves at war.

This is not a war for progress, but rather a war to protect their clients from cybercriminals. It is a war centered on providing cyber protection. We’ve all seen the news of cybersecurity failures. Big companies, small companies, national governments, and local governments – every organization is a target now.

What makes it difficult to procure the defenses need to survive this war is that MSPs are battling enemies they can’t see and who use tactics they cannot predict.

While dealing with challenges of cyber protection such as growing complexity and cost, security often comes last. Thus, MSPs require an easy and efficient solution that allows them to provide security at a low cost, makes deployments easy, and enables MSP technicians to be highly productive – reducing the overall cost of management of growing customer infrastructure.

Data has become very valuable to malicious agents

MSPs have clients whose employees are creating something that bad actors want: data.

That valuable data attracts malicious agents who have caused a tremendous amount of damage. In fact, there are now over 6 million data records lost or stolen every day – that’s 4,294 per minute.

So far, the hackers are winning the war.

Unfortunately, this war cannot be solved with an army of people. According to the non-profit IT security organization (ISC)2, there is a gap of nearly three million cybersecurity professionals.

It also won’t be won with old-school solutions and strategies.

Legacy tools and processes do not work anymore

Traditional backups and traditional anti-virus solutions were never designed to face this new battlefield and therefore cannot protect client data against modern cyberattacks. Combining legacy tools is also problematic because it introduces greater complexity and lower reliability, which not only requires additional resources to maintain but also makes conflicts inevitable.

MSPs cannot win this war alone: they need to ally with vendors who can protect data and provide a suite of security solutions. In fact, in a recent white paper, IDC recommends that IT organization take the following actions:

  1. Create a cyber protection center of excellence that focuses on data security and availability
  2. Embrace a strategy of cyber protection by more closely integrating data protection, disaster recovery, and data security operations
  3. Design cyber protection into infrastructure architectures, not as an add-on
  4. Leverage automation and artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning to maximize responses to evolving threats

That is great advice but, unfortunately, we continually meet MSPs who struggle to reach those standards with current staff, processes, and patchwork of legacy vendor solutions and strategies.

A fresh approach is needed for today’s challenges

Modern cyber protection requires a fresh approach. At Acronis, we predicted the challenges of today, built a roadmap, and applied significant development resources to build a new generation of cyber protection solutions.

We knew integration and automation would help alleviate the need for MSPs to hire expensive new team members who have cybersecurity experience. We knew MSPs were suffering from agent fatigue (too many agents installed for too many separate services). We knew that failing legacy anti-virus solutions and an extremely complex web of vendors, interfaces, licenses, and fees were putting MSPs and their clients at risk.

We also knew that we could solve all of these challenges, enabling MSPs to make IDC’s recommendations a reality for them and their customers.

Many MSPs already know that Acronis leads the world in cyber protection and that our unique approach solves safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security (SAPAS) challenges with innovative backup and disaster recovery solutions.

Now, with Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, we are changing the game by integrating data protection with cybersecurity – creating a synergy that eliminates the complexity and makes security a center point of a modern MSP solution, while keeping clients protected and costs low.

With its full-stack anti-malware protection and comprehensive endpoint management, Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud combats advanced cyberattacks with a unique integration of technologies including anti-virus, anti-ransomware, and anti-cryptojacking defenses, while simplifying daily IT operations, endpoint deployments and management, and reporting. MSPs can easily protect all client data from modern cyberthreats with existing staff while generating new revenue and decreasing churn.

Dennis McKernan, Director of Security at Union Technology Cooperative, said: “Overall, Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud is a great vision in terms of being able to leverage one tool to do a lot of things … There is a ton of opportunity with the product, and we are really excited about it.”

With one license, one agent, one backend, one console, and one experience, Acronis is helping MSPs solve their core challenges in protecting data in 2020 and beyond. Our single goal at Acronis is to help MSPs thrive and grow in an easy, efficient, and secure manner so they can protect their clients’ most valuable assets: data, applications, and systems.

If you want to join our community of winning MSPs, be sure to check out Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud today. To support businesses during the current challenging environment, Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud is available at the same cost of Acronis Cyber Backup Cloud for all service providers until July 31, 2020.

Gaidar Magdanurov is Acronis Cyber Officer. Read more Acronis guest blogs here.