Acronis has released research conducted by VansonBourne showing that consolidating and integrating cybersecurity, backup and disaster recovery (DR) services produces
In conjunction with ChannelPro Network, the survey of 400 managed service providers across the globe, titled MSPs Speak: Cybersecurity and the future role of the MSP, dives deep into the biggest challenges and opportunities that MSPs (managed service providers) currently face when providing cybersecurity, backup and disaster recovery services. Available as a free download (use the short link www.securitysa.com/*acronis1), the report focuses on critical issues like cybersecurity attacks, ‘vendor sprawl’, remote work environments and the use of SaaS tools by clients.
MSPs feel vulnerable and a lack of trust abounds
Data from the study underscores why MSPs urgently need the efficiency gains vendor consolidation makes possible, beginning with today’s dangerous threat landscape. Given the recent flurry of supply-chain attacks seen in the MSP industry, it is not that surprising to learn 96% of MSPs are concerned about suffering a cybersecurity breach in the next 12 months.
This sense of vulnerability is amplified by a lack of trust in two directions: 49% of MSPs responded that their clients do not completely trust the security of the services their organisation provides, while 53% of MSPs do not completely trust the vendors they use to provide cybersecurity services.
To combat this sense of vulnerability, many MSPs have added additional tools to their technology stack. MSPs use an average number of four vendors to provide cybersecurity, backup and/or DR services, with 30% report using more than five vendors.
The role of SaaS management
MSPs report that their clients use an average of 14 SaaS tools, a finding very consistent with recent Acronis end-user research (short link: www.securitysa.com/*acronis2). However, MSPs also report only managing an average of 58% of their clients’ SaaS tools, with only 3% indicating they manage 100%. This discrepancy results in greater vulnerabilities for clients, because SaaS data is not being properly protected and the MSPs have limited visibility into these environments. However, there is a huge potential for growth for service providers if they are able to prove to their clients that there are benefits to them managing the licences, on-boarding, security and performance of these SaaS applications.
MSPs report that the biggest obstacles to managing more of their clients’ SaaS tools are not having the right relationships with line of business decision makers (44%), not having the right tools (41%) and a lack of trust (39%).
More tools, more problems
Unfortunately, deploying technology tools against a problem does not make it go away. In fact, the resulting ‘tool sprawl’ can and does create a new set of problems. According to the results, the two most commonly faced challenges are the integration of security offerings with existing business and IT systems (40%) and security workflow and process creation and updates (37%).
In addition to integration, training, documentation and workflow challenges created by more tools, there is a glaring cost concern. Over the past two years, the average cost of providing cybersecurity, backup and/or DR services has increased by 19%. However, 71% of MSPs report struggling to demonstrate the value of these cost increases to their clients, which creates a serious dilemma and pressure on profit margins.
Benefits of consolidation and integration
Given the reported tool sprawl among MSPs and corresponding integration, workflow and cost issues, it is not surprising that 92% of MSPs report having consolidated vendors and 70% plan to consolidate further due to the substantial savings they’ve realised from lower licencing costs, training costs and employee documentation costs and the hours of time they save when recovering from incidents.
Further time and money savings can surely be realised, as 41% of MSPs indicate they want to see the automation of backup and recovery tasks more tightly integrated into their cybersecurity services to address the ongoing and pervasive threat of ransomware more adequately.
The results from this research are clear – MSPs are facing numerous challenges in providing cybersecurity services and simply throwing more tools at the problem is making matters worse, not better. As such, there is a trend towards consolidating vendors, as well as more tightly integrating existing vendors with workflows and those MSPs which are successful in these efforts will have a material advantage over their competition.
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