Due to increasing cyberthreats, even before COVID-19, managed service providers (MSPs) were getting high demands for cybersecurity solutions from their customers. But since the coronavirus outbreak, there has been a phenomenal rise in cyber-attacks, with hackers trying to exploit remote workers who are vulnerable to phishing attacks.

There is a widespread realization among MSPs that cybersecurity has become the most pressing concern for customers. At the same time, providing the right solution to combat cyberthreat is the major challenge MSPs are facing now.

Acronis, a global leader in cyber protection, announced the results of a survey conducted by Omdia (Formerly Ovum), which showed that now the service that customers most request from managed service providers (MSPs) is security.

The report, entitled “Understanding the Security and Data Backup Market for Managed Service Providers (MSPs),” shines a light on the top technical, business and organizational challenges faced by MSPs and top three planned areas of security improvements in the next 12 months.  

Supported by Acronis and conducted by Omdia, the study surveyed 263 MSPs across the US and UK and found that, minimizing data loss is the most important cybersecurity capability today.

“Understanding the Security and Data Backup Market for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) :
Acronis – Omdia Report”

Data loss prevention is the most demanded security capability

Minimizing data loss is an increasingly demanded cybersecurity capability by organizations to manage and protect critical information (critical data examples: intellectual property, corporate data, customer data, and so on).

MSPs showed great demand for reliable security offerings with 97% of respondents indicating importance of ensuring minimal data loss or corruption in the event of an attack. 88% need the capability to quickly mitigate damage for discovered cyberthreats.

From a company’s perspective, data protection is significant as there are many ways a data loss can occur, which if happens, can damage the company’s brand, strategic business data and property. SMBs thus demand a highly advanced cybersecurity solution that can address the variety of data loss risks an organization can face.

Acronis Cyber Protect, one of Acronis’ latest offerings, provides a unique integration of backup with full-stack next-generation security and management tools. A single integrated solution simplifies day-to-day operations for service providers, increases the productivity of their technicians, and delivers much higher security and reliability for end customers, avoiding downtime and data loss that could lead to customer churn.

Below is the chart that shows the future most important cybersecurity capabilities by country.

Security is the most requested service that customers want from MSPs: Acronis-Omdia report 1

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MSPs plan to develop cybersecurity services

50% of MSPs put security, or security related services as the top 3 most requested new service. 89% have reported the need to offer a service that goes beyond anti-virus, anti-ransomware, and firewalls. 10% put keeping up with technology and 18% cost as the biggest challenges in delivering the most requested new services.

This comes with no doubt that MSPs are looking to develop their existing processes to underpin their success in providing security services.

Below is the chart that shows the planned areas of security improvements in the next 12 months.

Security is the most requested service that customers want from MSPs: Acronis-Omdia report 2

“Service providers are looking to earn higher profit, avoid customer churn, and improve the ease of use of their technology stacks for their teams. In the survey, 84% of respondents confirmed that it is difficult to work with multiple vendors and suppliers for each aspect of the security stack. Instead of using multiple tools for backup, anti-virus, anti-malware, vulnerability assessments, URL filtering, patch management, etc., a single, integrated cyber protection solution would greatly improve their ability to efficiently provide better services to their clients. This is why we see rapid adoption of Acronis Cyber Protect by service providers from all over the world,” commented Gaidar Magdanurov, Chief Cyber Officer at Acronis.

Challenges to offer cybersecurity services: skills, manageability and high costs

MSPs serving to small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) agree that they still come across many challenges while offering cybersecurity services.

Below is the chart showing top business and organizational challenges facing MSPs.

security

High costs associated with acquiring skills and expertise are the biggest challenges. According to Omdia survey, 92% of respondents say the skills and expertise required to deliver security services are high in cost due to low resource availability, making it the biggest challenge for them. There is also an agreement on the difficulties in management of too many suppliers/vendors.

Omdia distinguished analyst and one of the lead authors of the report, Roy Illsley said,COVID-19 continues to have a relentless grip on the world, resulting in the most challenging business environment we’ve seen since last decade’s Great Financial Crisis and the Great Depression of the 1930s.”

In these circumstances where businesses are meeting a new threat that they are ill-prepared for, cybercriminals can only thrive. To fight this, MSPs and their customers must have the capacity to leverage the most suitable solutions to handle these increasingly sophisticated attacks.

Technical challenges: low detection and vulnerability scanning capability

Early identification of a cyber-attack is the topmost technical challenge for MSPs (94%). Having encryption as default is another most important challenge for 93% of MSPs.

Below is the chart mentioning three key technical challenge MSPs face.

Security

The challenge for MSPs is to recognize the risk of continuing to use legacy solutions from multiple suppliers/vendors to protect their clients. The demand for agile, integrated solutions designed particularly for the MSP market is very high in these most challenging times.

Acronis Cyber Protect is based on the Five Vectors of Cyber Protection — safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security (SAPAS). Cyber protection, which IDC calls the new IT discipline, addresses the need to combine data protection and cybersecurity, which have historically been treated as separate practices, to mitigate risk and meet the emerging challenges created by modern data use.

MSPs need a proactive approach to address the skills gap

Customers want security as a service from MSPs, MSPs want to have everything under their control, make security improvements to address the skills gap, and simultaneously reduce cost and effort. All in all, MSPs want a solution that can deliver:

  • Rapid identification of incidents.
  • Automation to overcome the lack of skills.

According to the report, a large majority of MSPs (78%) want to be able to identify threats fast to protect data of an organization, and 71% of MSPs are looking for a fully automated solution that saves their time in setting up security policies and reduces cost.

cybersecurity

Acronis Cyber Protect provides a unique backup integration with full-stack advanced security and management tools. A single integrated solution streamlines operation for service providers, improves the productivity of their technicians, and gives much higher security and authenticity for end customers, avoiding downtime and data loss that could lead to customer churn.

“Understanding the Security and Data Backup Market for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) :
Acronis – Omdia Report”

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