How Managed Service Providers Can Benefit from a Unified Security Platform Approach

With the IT threat landscape constantly evolving, it has never been more important for organisations of all sizes to have a unified approach to security.

Rather than purchasing and deploying point products that undertake specific tasks, tools need to be brought together in a cohesive whole. Taking such a unified approach will help to create a scalable platform that helps an organisation to elevate, modernise and expand their overall security.

Interestingly, this trend is providing some significant opportunities for MSPs. By offering their clients a unified security platform rather than a list of individual tools, they can position themselves ahead of the competition.

The advantages of a unified approach

When considering the advantages of taking a unified approach to IT security, it’s worth examining some recent high-profile attacks and their causes. Often, they come about as a result of complex and disconnected security.

One recent example was the Colonial Pipeline attack in the United States. This came about as the result of a compromised password and a legacy VPN which opened the door to an attack that crippled oil delivery for a large portion of the country. In another example, a school district in Florida suffered a ransomware attack in which the hackers demanded $US40 million to return key files.

In both these cases, the organisations had a range of security measures in place but had now followed a unified strategy. Gaps existed within their infrastructure which gave cybercriminals relatively easy access to digital resources.

The problems could most likely have been prevented if the organisations had worked to bring normally disconnected layers of security together to reduce the attack surface. This is precisely the value that an MSP can deliver to its clients.

Improved productivity and visibility

As well as opening up new opportunities to grow an MSP’s business, a unified approach to security also delivers some other benefits.

One is an improvement in the productivity of staff. Rather than having to constantly switch between multiple tools and platforms, they can instead focus on managing a cohesive whole.

Visibility is also improved. The fragmented views offered by point solutions is replaced with a broad view of all components within an infrastructure and their security status.

Another factor to be considered is overall profitability. By working with a single security vendor, an MSP is often able to save money through volume discounts and a reduced need for additional staff training. These savings can be passed on to clients which makes the offering even more attractive.

The scalability of security offerings is another important factor for MSPs to consider. With point solutions, MSPs often have to force their security technology to fit their business model. Their ability to effectively scale is therefore restricted. A unified offering overcomes this challenge.

When these factors are considered, it becomes clear that a unified approach to IT security makes sense for MSPs that are keen on long-term business growth. Factors such as productivity, visibility, profitability and scalability all point to this being the best strategy to pursue.

To achieve this vision, it is important for MSPs to work with vendors who can deliver a comprehensive portfolio of high-quality IT security tools that work together as a unified, cohesive whole.

The selected vendor should also be one that continues to invest in ongoing product development and enhancement. The threat landscape is not standing still and so the protective measures being used must also evolve.

The MSPs that will succeed at delivering quality security services to the clients in coming years will be those that understand the importance of a unified strategy and have the knowledge and skills to deliver.

Anthony Daniel
Anthony Daniel is Regional Director – Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands at WatchGuard Technologies. He has more than 15 years’ sales and senior account experience in the IT and telecommunications industry and is responsible for leading WatchGuard Technologies’ regional sales growth and business expansion while overseeing all aspects of management, including channel partner development, distribution strategy and revenue growth. He was previously Senior Regional Sales Manager for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands at SolarWinds and has also worked in senior sales management positions at Oracle, Vocus and Vodafone.