Navigating Cybersecurity Challenges by MSPs

As the world continues to digitize and expand threat surfaces, cybersecurity challenges are getting more complex and sophisticated. The year 2023 was a difficult year for cybersecurity teams, and it seems that 2024 will be no different with an increasing number of sophisticated threats that continue to bombard organizations' rapidly expanding threat surfaces. This has resulted in cybersecurity teams being overwhelmed and unable to protect the organization from malicious threats seeking to penetrate corporate networks, take over critical business systems, hold them for ransom, and exfiltrate data. Thankfully, managed service providers (MSPs) are stepping in to fill this security gap. They are providing superior security coverage, giving customers peace of mind that they are doing everything they can to stop attacks and mitigate the impact of network breaches. However, the same challenges that make life difficult for enterprise security teams may hamper MSPs' ability to service their clients effectively and efficiently. MSPs are businesses and need to keep an eye on shrinking margins to show profit and grow. Here are six cybersecurity hurdles that will dominate the conversation in 2024, and how MSPs can overcome these challenges while keeping an eye on the bottom line:

1. The Cybersecurity Skills Gap Innovation is driving businesses to new heights as advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and robotic process automation (RPA) continue to mature. However, every innovation leads to additional security requirements, and MSPs often find themselves bolting on additional toolsets that then need to be integrated into an already bloated security stack. Hiring and retaining experts who can manage these tools is increasingly difficult, and developing skillsets in-house can be expensive. To close the cybersecurity skills gap, MSPs can implement a holistic security solution that monitors the entire threat surface across diverse toolsets. Security event information from the cloud, the network, applications, and endpoints can be consolidated and centralized in a single management platform where analysts can get an overview of security posture across threat surfaces and the ability to drill down to individual events. This includes traditional prevention solutions such as antivirus (AV) and anti-malware (AM) tools as well as more advanced security solutions such as endpoint detection and response (EDR), extended detection and response (XDR), and threat intelligence.

2. Compliance Complexity A new compliance-related acronym seems to jump into the public consciousness every day, which can be especially difficult for MSPs who cater to more than one industry or region and must address multiple compliance requirements for different clients. MSPs can get a handle on the evolving compliance landscape by putting processes in place that help maintain good cyber hygiene. While regulations differ in terms of the type of information they deal with, they pretty much all have the same goal of keeping data secure.

3. Evolving Cyber Risks Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) and phishing kits are lowering the barrier to entry for even the least savvy threat actors. Traditional security solutions are not enough to stop these attacks, putting organizations at great risk. Fortunately, the cybersecurity industry is extremely collaborative, and MSPs can leverage the expertise of their vendors and partners as well as other MSPs.

4. Shifting Business Strategies Breaches are inevitable, and detecting threats already inside the network and how to mitigate the impact of these threats is a much more efficient strategy. MSPs should consider offering their clients managed detection and response (MDR) services that focus on mitigating the impact of attacks on business operations.

5. Providing Services at Scale It is extremely difficult to scale security operations everywhere clients do business. MSPs need to approach each vertical they service with a specific set of requirements mapped against each customer's priorities.

6. Transforming Security Solutions Cybersecurity teams are bridging the technology gap by using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and large language models (AI/ML/LLMs) to enhance their own capabilities. MSPs should use the power of generative article intelligence (GenAI), big data, and other advanced innovations to improve their understanding of their customers' security posture and threats.
In conclusion, MSPs have an amazing opportunity to help their customers assess risk, uncover potentially harmful vulnerabilities, and mitigate the impact of attackers already inside their networks. However, the same challenges that are frustrating enterprise cybersecurity teams may make managed security services cost-prohibitive for even the most efficient MSPs. Fortunately, the right managed detection and response (MDR) solution can help MSPs meet these challenges and deliver effective, efficient services at scale.