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Cyber security risks are a growing concern for governments, individuals and businesses alike. Even small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are not immune to attacks from outsiders. Computer viruses, ransomware, data breaches and various other hacking techniques have all become increasingly prevalent and dangerous for those who are caught unaware.
According to Tech Republic, the five leading cyber concerns for 2017 and beyond are:
- Reverse deception tactics used to hide stolen data
- Increasingly sophisticated phishing campaigns
- Cyber espionage and other large-scale cyber attacks
- Alternative crypto-currencies, similar to Bitcoin, used in money laundering
- DDoS-for-Hire services that make it easier than ever to target websites and servers
The rise of these threats and the increasingly sophisticated implementation of them has made it more important than ever for businesses to employ the help of managed security service providers (MSSPs) in securing their data.
How Recent Global Cyber-Attacks Impact Managed Security Service Providers
With cyber threats becoming increasingly prevalent and sophisticated, old methods of passive protection simply are not enough to secure a company’s valuable data. This has been made clear by multiple high-profile attacks over the last year and in years prior: Companies are simply not doing enough to protect their sensitive information.
This is where managed security service providers (MSSPs) have an opportunity to shine.
A managed security service provider can offer a proactive approach to cyber security. By having a team dedicated to constant monitoring and prevention, a business can feel more at ease about the safety of its data. An MSSP will work to provide multiple layers of threat protection, stopping potential risks early before they have a chance to cause real damage. They also provide ongoing support and maintenance to keep systems well-protected.
For this reason, the MSP sector is booming and set to grow even larger. According to a report by Frost & Sullivan, the managed services sector is anticipated to be worth $12.78 billion by 2018, with projected growth of $29.9 billion by 2020. Much of this growth can be attributed to small and medium-sized businesses that are just now beginning to fully understand and appreciate the necessity of managed services.
How to Secure Customers and Grow an MSP Business
With a growing need for top-notch security, businesses are increasingly looking for a managed service provider to improve system security. This is good news for MSSP businesses, but it also means increased competition. With so many MSSPs crowding into the space, it can be hard to stand out.
As an IT security business, you face two primary struggles when building your customer base. First, you must ensure that your customers know that they need your services. Second, you must strive to set yourself apart from the competition.
Small and medium-sized businesses may be looking for an IT security service for the first time. These companies may not fully understand what it is that they need or how one firm will differ from another It’s up to you to reach out to these businesses and prove how your service is the best to meet their business needs.
Here are a few tips for growing your MSSP business:
- Identify your target customer. Knowing the type of business you wish to attract is crucial for managing your marketing efforts and preventing you from spreading yourself too thin. Consider what types of businesses you wish to work with, and stick to that sort of client. Maintaining a specific type of clientele will help to establish you as an authority in that sphere and assist in bringing in word-of-mouth referrals from your existing clients.
- Design services that you believe in. Research what other companies are offering, and brainstorm ways to offer a better product or service. Think of what makes your company different from the competition, and build your brand around those qualities.
- Utilize dedicated client support. One-on-one customer service is invaluable, and it helps to build trust with your clients. When you assign every business its own specific point-of-contact, you can better manage the workload and provide more personalized quality customer service.
- Remember that you are first and foremost selling trust. The key to marketing this kind of service is building rapport and trust with your future clients. You are selling your service first and foremost; your clients will not necessarily understand the technical details of what you offer, but they will recognize exemplary customer service and support. Keep this at the forefront of your mind as you seek to build your brand awareness.
- Use case studies and testimonials. As they say, “the proof is in the pudding.” Show your potential clients the quality of your services by providing case studies, testimonials and other rich content that can showcase your expertise and skill. These make fine additions to your company’s website and can help form the heart of your social media campaigns as well when you spread the word of your company’s offerings.
- Piggyback on the news. Cyber threats and attacks across the globe are not good news, but they are something that businesses are becoming increasingly aware of. Take advantage of this as a way to keep your potential clients informed and to position yourself as an authority in the niche. Utilize your company’s social media channels to share news of important attacks and risks, and keep an eye on evolving new trends in hacking so that you can answer questions about what your service will do to counteract them.
- Grow your team. You may think that a team of IT professionals are the most important part of your MSP business, but the truth is that a diverse team is a necessity for success. You should have a dedicated sales team who can work on building leads and handling marketing while your IT experts focus on what they’re best at. It’s also a good idea to hire a project management specialist as early as possible. Establishing systems for workflow management and strategic planning now will help to streamline your processes and enable you to provide more efficient and top-quality service.
Managed security service providers are no longer a luxury or something hired only by larger companies. Small and medium-size businesses are quickly realizing the necessity of maintaining cyber security, and these companies often cannot afford or have no interest in having their own dedicated IT firms. By understanding the needs of your target demographic and the offerings of your competition, you can build your business and join in the projected growth in the MSSP sphere.