MSPs and MSSPs must partner to protect against sophisticated cyber attacks

By Mark Robertson, chief revenue officer and co-founder at Acumen.

  • 1 month ago Posted in

For many years, cyber security has been baked into the deliverables of Managed Service Providers (MSPs). These organisations have packaged basic security tools into their offerings to help protect clients against routine security threats. 

Until recently, it has been a good model. 

Organisations have been provided with a one-stop-shop for all their IT and security needs, while MSPs have released a lucrative revenue stream through the upselling of cyber security tools.

But the time has come for this model to change. 

These basic cyber protections are no longer a match for the sophisticated cyber attacks we are seeing today. 

Over the last few years, cyber attacks have evolved from technical nuisances into business destroying threats. Ransomware has become mainstream, while criminals now impersonate employees or business leaders and trick organisations out of millions in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, the ubiquity of certain software is leaving organisations exposed to vulnerabilities, which are providing criminals with limitless access into their networks. 

Cyber attacks are no longer just basic technical threats, they destroy business-as-usual, so organisations’ defences must be robust enough to meet this challenge.

The traditional security services that have been delivered via MSPs are no longer enough to keep organisations safe. Instead, these defences must be enhanced, so they are catered to the evolving nature of attacks today and delivered round-the-clock, 365 days a year, embedding both technical tooling and human expertise.

But for many MSPs, these are skills and resources they don’t hold inhouse. MSPs are not experts in the field of cyber, they often don’t run their own inhouse Security Operations Centres (SOCs) and they don’t have the resources to manage security on a 24/7 basis for their clients.

So how can they overcome this challenge, where they can still cater to the evolving security needs of their clients, without overburdening teams or drastically changing the overall function of their business?

It turns out Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) might just be the solution. 

Establishing new relationships to deliver bespoke cyber protection

MSPs and MSSPs have worked in close proximity for many years, but today it is more important than ever that they strengthen their relationships to enhance the security services offered to organisations.   

While MSPs have increasingly been relied on by their customers to provide basic cyber security services, very few have the resources needed to protect against the sophisticated attacks we are seeing today. But this problem can be tackled by partnering with MSSPs and outsourcing the security needs of their clients.


Trusted MSSPs will work 24/7, helping keep their clients safe in cyber space. They will boast SOCs where they can monitor the security status of organisations in real-time, allowing them to detect and respond to attacks as soon as they happen. Furthermore, MSSPs will possess all the best security tooling and human expertise to keep clients safe. Security is their business, it is their focus and expertise, so they are always up to date with the latest attack trends, and they have all the inhouse resources needed to manage security effectively.

When MSPs outsource the security of their clients to MSSPs, this can free up internal resources, provide customers with more advanced cyber defences while delivering new recurring revenue opportunities. Rather than MSPs purchasing tools internally and upskilling staff, they can partner with trusted MSSPs, who are experts in the field of cyber and have unrivalled knowledge of today’s attack landscape. 

Furthermore, cyber security is no longer an issue that should be rolled into IT. Cyber attacks are all-encompassing, they are no longer siloed to IT. Today successful attacks can damage the share price of an organisation, put customers and employees at serious risk and even threaten the future on a business. With the impacts of attacks never being isolated to IT, this means defences must be business-wide as well. MSSPs can support organisations with their security strategies, ensuring all staff are trained effectively and processes are adopted to ensure cyber security runs business-wide, and not just within the IT department. 

Cyber is a key challenge for all organisations today and MSPs and MSSPs have a duty to protect their clients. When MSPs don’t have the inhouse resources to cater to the evolving security needs of their clients, partnering with MSSPs is an effective solution. This means MSPs don’t have to make unnecessary investments or overburden internal resources, but they can continue to serve their customers, keeping them safe even in the face of today’s most sophisticated attacks.  

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