5 tips for choosing your cybersecurity provider

February 6, 2018

The cybersecurity landscape can seem like a crowded place. When it comes to choosing a cybersecurity partner, many solutions can look similar, boast impressive track records of success, and provide varying levels of value to managed service partners (MSPs).

But there are always key differences between software partners for MSPs — and the differences should not be ignored. Following are five tips that can help you make an informed choice in selecting a cybersecurity provider that you can work with for the long term and that you won’t regret.

Following are five tips that can help you make an informed choice in selecting a cybersecurity provider that you can work with for the long term and that you won't regret.

1. Prioritize performance

Regardless of your choice of provider, it’s your reputation on the line when a customer suffers an outbreak or targeted attack. So, how can you predict the real-world results that will determine the success of your MSP business? Don’t fall in love with the marketing; turn to independent testing for an objective listing of the year’s most effective cybersecurity organizations.

Here’s the thing, though: A single test doesn’t say much. Look at the overall number of tests entered and the number of top finishes to see which company consistently rises to the top. It’s a bad sign if a company avoids independent tests to hide their weaknesses. The best providers are eager to be tested.

2. Beware the one-trick pony

Start-ups might call it “specialization,” but limiting the ways you can stop threats can be downright dangerous. Find a provider that offers more than antimalware protection — much more. From ransomware to phishing to advanced persistent threats (APTs), cybercriminals come at businesses from every angle. Customers need versatile protection for their physical, mobile, and virtual environments.

The right cybersecurity provider can actually save you time and effort in the long run. It’s easier to manage a multifaceted solution from a single provider than a patchwork of solutions. What’s more, when the in-house technologies work seamlessly together, you won’t face integration headaches down the road.

3. Get top technical support

Technical issues are inevitable. And when something happens that requires urgent assistance, you need a security provider that will have your back. If they’re slow to respond or lack technical or interpersonal skills, you could face cyberattacks, financial loses, and damage to your reputation.

Start by looking for local support that’s available 24/7. And do some background work to learn more about their offerings and reputation. Have they received industry recognition?

4. Check for channel focus

Competition can be fierce for cybersecurity MSPs — and the field is only getting more crowded. The global managed security services market is projected to reach $29.9 billion by 2020 (according to Allied Marketing Services: Global Managed Security Services Market — 2013–2020). The good news is, if you choose a cybersecurity organization that’s committed to channel-driven sales, you won’t have to worry about competing with your provider.

A provider that focuses on the channel is motivated to provide you with the knowledge, tools, and resources you need to sell. Your success is their success. You’re also more likely to benefit from financial incentives and other offerings created to make selling easier and more profitable.

5. Remember your marketing

No matter which company you choose as your cybersecurity provider, you’ll need to continue to build leads and communicate with customers. If you can find an organization that’s committed to helping you, you’ll get a jump on the competition.

Find out if your potential provider offers an array of marketing resources or just a few items. You’re going to want high-quality materials such as logos, templates, and presentations. It’s also important to ask what kind of access you’ll have: Is it automated, or do you have to place a phone call and wait for an answer?

Now that you have your game plan, it’s time to do your research. Remember to focus on the facts and think long term when you choose your cybersecurity match.

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