Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes, as they offer a cost-effective and efficient way to manage and run IT systems. In the related and ever-evolving aspect of cybersecurity, the question of whether to use your MSP to address your cybersecurity needs vs. using a dedicated Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) is bubbling up more and more. So, it's important that small businesses understand the pros and cons of this decision.
When it comes to IT management, MSPs offer a wide range of services including server maintenance, cloud management, software updates, helpdesk support, and troubleshooting. This can help to keep your IT systems running smoothly, reduce downtime, and ensure that your business is always up-to-date with the latest technology.
size and maturity matters
It's important to note that not all MSPs are created equal. For an MSP to effectively manage both your IT and cybersecurity, it needs to have the necessary resources and expertise. It's easy to start with this rule of thumb - the bigger and more mature your MSP is, the more likely they'll be able to properly and effectively address your cybersecurity needs. Unfortunately, too many MSPs are out there "selling" cybersecurity when they simply shouldn't be. They're just not prepared for the inevitable.
Generally, a larger MSP is more likely to have the scale and resources to support the added burden of cybersecurity. A larger MSP also usually has a more robust infrastructure, including backup systems, which can help to ensure that your business remains protected and operational even in the event of an emergency.
In addition, larger MSPs also often have more comprehensive insurance coverage. This can help to protect your business in the event of a data breach or other cybersecurity incident. Insurance can help to cover the costs associated with responding to an incident, as well as help to mitigate the financial impact of data loss or theft. When choosing an MSP, it is important to consider the size of the company, as well as its insurance coverage, to ensure that your IT and security needs are being met.
Advantages of using one technology partner
Having a single MSP for both IT management and cybersecurity means that all of your IT and security needs are being handled by the same provider. This can help to ensure that all of your systems are properly configured, updated, and protected. It also means that if an issue arises, the same team of experts will be able to address it, rather than having to work with multiple vendors.
Another benefit of using a single MSP for both IT management and cybersecurity is that it can help to reduce costs. When you have multiple vendors, you may end up paying more for each service than you would if you were to bundle them together. By working with a single MSP, you can often negotiate a better rate, which can help to save your business money in the long run.
Additionally, a single MSP can also provide you with more comprehensive reporting and analytics. This can help you to better understand your IT and security systems, and make more informed decisions about how to improve them.
Lastly, a single MSP can also provide a single point of contact for all of your IT and security needs. This can make it easier to communicate with your provider and ensure that all of your concerns are being addressed in a timely and efficient manner.
disAdvantages of using multiple technology partners
While using a single MSP for both managing your IT and being your cybersecurity partner can provide many benefits, there are also some potential downsides to consider. One of the main negatives of using an MSP to manage your IT and an MSSP to secure your IT is that it can create confusion and inconsistencies in your IT and security systems. With multiple vendors involved, it can be difficult to ensure that all of your systems are properly configured and updated, and that your security measures are working effectively.
Another potential downside of using separate MSPs for IT management and cybersecurity is that it can lead to delays and inefficiencies in addressing issues that arise. When you have multiple vendors involved, it can take longer to identify and resolve problems, which can lead to prolonged downtime and increased costs.
Furthermore, working with multiple vendors can also lead to higher costs for your business. Each vendor will likely have their own pricing structure, which can make it difficult to budget and predict costs. In addition, having multiple vendors increases the chance of having overlapping services, resulting in paying for duplicated services.
Finally, working with multiple vendors can also make it difficult to get a comprehensive view of your IT and security systems. You may have to rely on multiple reports and dashboards to get a full picture, which can make it harder to identify trends and make informed decisions.
In summary, while using a single MSP for both managing your IT and being your cybersecurity partner can provide many benefits, it needs to be the "right" MSP - one that can truly handle both sides of the equation. At the same time, using both an MSP to manage your IT and an MSSP to secure your IT can create confusion, inconsistencies, and lead to delays, finger pointing, inefficiencies in addressing issues, increase costs, and make it difficult to get a comprehensive view of your IT and security systems.
What do you think? Has this info been helpful? Are there ways that we can help you make this decision? Please let us know in the Comments box below or shoot me an email if you’d like to discuss this in more detail.