MSPs Tap MSSPs For Security Services

By Andrew Burton

According to our latest research, managed service providers (MSPs) rely heavily on managed security service providers (MSSPs) to provide security services to their clients. Nearly 75% of respondents to our Global State Of The MSP Report currently have a managed security offering, but are more likely to offer it in partnership with an MSSP or other vendor (43%), likely due to the complexity of IT security.

Of the MSPs not currently offering managed security, 44% plan to offer it in partnership with an MSSP or other vendor in the next 12 months. 25% plan to offer their own security services within that same time frame.

MSPs partnering with other service providers to deliver services certainly isn’t a new concept. It does seem to be a growing trend though, and it will be interesting to see how it unfolds. We are also hearing that MSPs are increasingly working with larger clients with in-house IT teams. This model is being referred to as “co-managed IT.” Perhaps MSPs working with MSSPs (or other specialized IT providers) is an extension of this concept, and we’ll see an ecosystem of different types of IT contractors develop over time.

Managed security offerings vary widely, but most focus on the same tools and technologies: antivirus, backup and disaster recovery, email security, patch management, endpoint detection and response, and content filtering. This year, respondents said their top security offerings were:

  1. Antivirus (70%)
  2. Backup and disaster recovery (69%)
  3. Email security (64%)

It is also worth noting that MSPs said that security would be a top growth driver in 2020 before the COVID-19 outbreak. We conducted a second follow-up survey and that did not change. MSPs said, if anything, COVID-19 and resulting work-from-home mandates would only accelerate demand for security services.

“It is incredibly promising to see that so many MSPs either already offer or plan to offer security services in the near future,” said Datto CISO Ryan Weeks. “I am further excited by the trend of MSPs partnering with MSSPs, to assure high value and a successful entry into the space. IT security is a complex environment and surrounding yourself with experts is a great way to bootstrap your knowledge.”

To learn more about what trends to expect in the channel in the coming months, download the full report.

Additionally, Datto’s information security team recently conducted an on-site analysis at five US-based MSPs to test the security of their infrastructure. The study utilized industry standards like the NIST Cybersecurity Framework Benchmarking Exercise, Threat Modeling Exercise, and Grey Box Penetration Test. To see the results of their study and access practical tips and tools you can use to improve your infrastructure security, download our Infrastructure Analysis Toolkit.

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