Chris Swagler | August 1st, 2022

Industry leaders and key stakeholders are urging companies to adopt established cybersecurity standards as Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are becoming more frequent targets of cyberattacks. The purpose of enhancing cybersecurity for MSPs is to raise their level of internal security to protect themselves and their clients. Industry frameworks offer best practices and step-by-step guidelines for risk mitigation, including creating security awareness training programs, avoiding email-based attacks, and protecting servers and web services. There are numerous cybersecurity industry standards available to MSPs: the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, CIS Controls, and ISO frameworks are among the most common. Recently, the MSP+ Cybersecurity Framework, a set of MSP-specific cybersecurity guidelines, was unveiled.

An MSP software vendor explains that because the frameworks offer precise recommendations, they can be very beneficial for MSPs trying to strengthen their security policies or putting a plan together. Even though the frameworks don’t have a one-size-fits-all solution, companies will be more secure if they implement security controls and policies. When it comes to cybersecurity best practices, no one expects MSPs to be more advanced than the common published standards.

The most challenging aspect of implementation is getting started because security is a shifting target that constantly requires revision. However, small steps can improve companies’ posture and make it simpler to move forward with additional changes. MSPs need to first conduct a pre-breach risk assessment and set goals consistent with their entire business strategy. As part of the risk-assessment process, MSP companies must involve all internal stakeholders, from C-level executives to client support. Even though some MSPs utilize their internal staff to adopt a framework, others will use a third-party company and hire a security consultant. Companies need to examine what cybersecurity industry standards are available, speak with an expert, choose a framework and or control set, and make it happen.

Protection of business-critical data is the most evident advantage of internal security frameworks. MSPs will have fewer incidents and strengthen the clients’ trust and can join a supportive community they can rely on for assistance by aligning with a framework. When choosing a standard as their foundation for cybersecurity and risk, MSPs need not figure it out on their own. MSPs will have a competitive advantage by implementing a cybersecurity framework and attaining cybersecurity skills to launch new services that will attract new clients. Companies can enter markets, including enterprise IT, by proving their internal operations meet certain security requirements.

When it comes to their own cybersecurity, numerous companies will seek out MSPs that have done due diligence. However, adopting a framework is not without its challenges. MSPs may find it difficult to complete the certification requirements because it can take a lot of time and resources to become certified. To complete the certification process can take six months to over a year. Continuous maintenance to remain compliant can be costly, to the point where smaller MSPs may conclude it’s not practical. Everything in security comes with a price and a risk and MSPs, like any company, need to weigh the expense of implementing strong security protection against the danger of not doing due diligence.

The scope of a cybersecurity industry standard is another common challenge because no standard can protect companies from every risk. MSPs need to add extra measures that are specific to their own companies, practice constant vigilance, and assess their security policies and procedures at least once a year. Comprehensive security guidance is included in cybersecurity frameworks like NIST’s, for the most severe cyberattacks, including ransomware or supply chain attacks.

Cybercriminals are always looking to implement new or alternative methods to infiltrate networks and breach security. MSPs should not view cybersecurity frameworks as the only solution to their security issues, but also utilize a cybersecurity company to protect their clients’ data. Additionally, it’s crucial for MSPs always to remain alert to the latest threat landscape and implement cybersecurity industry standards to mitigate internal security risks. Partnering with SpearTip allows MSPs to strengthen product and service offerings by integrating our toolset into their offerings as an enhanced security solution. We assist MSPs with protecting themselves and their clients against costly cyberattacks. Adding the ShadowSpear Platform to MSPs’ offerings brings enhanced client stability, expert support, extended detection and response, and an industry-leading return on investment.

If your company is experiencing a breach, call our Security Operations Centers at 833.997.7327 to speak directly with an engineer.