How Cybersecurity Solutions Contribute to Margins
August 24, 2023—
4 min read
According to McKinsey, the total addressable market for managed security services will reach $400–500 billion (USD) in the years to come. As small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) are increasingly the target of cyberattacks, many are calling on the assistance of a third-party provider. For MSPs, this explains why managed security is no longer an optional offering, but a requirement to compete for new business. To capitalize on the opportunity, MSPs need to be strategic and intentional about the cybersecurity solutions they incorporate into their stack.
In this post, we examine how cybersecurity solutions contribute to your margins and how to maximize your return on investment.
How cybersecurity solutions can improve your margins
Keep your clients happy and in business
Being the victim of a cyberattack is enough to ruin anyone’s day. Clients that suffer from ransomware, phishing, or spear-phishing attacks will be understandably upset with their MSPs. As experts at providing technology services, MSPs are often considered to be responsible for the security of their clients' Microsoft 365 environment—even if that responsibility is never formalized or explicitly stated by the client.
Unhappy clients that have suffered from an attack are more likely to take their business elsewhere, but they may also wind up with no business at all if the attack is serious. For small- to medium-sized businesses, the costs of remediating a cyberattack or paying an attacker’s ransom can be devastating. Even if the business survives, it’s a huge setback that threatens future growth. And if your clients’ business isn’t growing, neither will yours.
Protect your business continuity
If you’re following the same cybersecurity practices you preach to your clients, then you’ll also be better protected from cyberattacks.
Like SMBs, MSPs are an attractive target for cyberattacks—especially those focused on critical infrastructure and the supply chain. By attacking an MSP, a threat actor could potentially access dozens of different businesses’ systems and data. Just as with your clients, cybersecurity solutions can allow you to keep your systems secure, protect your business continuity, and preserve your reputation as a reliable partner.
Demonstrate value to clients and justify your price
SMBs are realizing the need for cybersecurity and are actively investing in it. Many have experienced security incidents or data breaches, or know a victim that did. In a recent ConnectWise study, nearly eight in 10 SMBs report being affected by a cyberattack. The same percentage of respondents also say their cybersecurity concerns demand action.
By investing in cybersecurity solutions, you can deliver value to security-conscious clients and maximize your total addressable market. Even if your prospective clients aren’t concerned about security, they can be educated about its importance and may be willing to pay a higher fee for your services as a result.
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Actionable ways to increase your cybersecurity stack’s contribution to margin
Communicate and educate
Some MSPs may see cybersecurity as a cost sink. This perspective isn’t limited to MSPs—SMBs may share this view, too. When they’re protected, your clients may wonder if they need managed security. If they experience a security incident, they may question why they’re paying for the service when it doesn’t keep them secure.
You can dispel this illusion by regularly educating clients and prospects on the importance of cybersecurity. For prospects, that means tailoring sales conversations and marketing materials to discuss the cybersecurity landscape and threats facing SMBs. For clients, that involves holding regular meetings (e.g., once a quarter) to detail the performance of your cybersecurity stack, any planned updates, and new and emerging threats.
Vade for M365 makes it easy to demonstrate the value of your services to clients. The Added Value report, for example, details the number and type of threats targeting your clients that were detected by Vade and missed by Microsoft. This enables you to demonstrate the ROI of your services in quantifiable terms, a strategy used by MSPs like 403Tech and Prog-IT.
Added Value Report
Review your cybersecurity solutions regularly
Cybersecurity isn’t a one-time investment or event. As long as threat actors exist and continue to innovate, cybersecurity solutions and best practices will evolve. To keep pace, you need to continually review and reassess your stack.
You may discover that your solutions are obsolete or vulnerable due to vendor neglect. It’s not only important to replace them, but to find and stick with partners that actively invest in research and development. Vade, for example, maintains a 95 percent retention rate in large part because of our ongoing focus on addressing new and emerging threats.
When evaluating cybersecurity solutions to incorporate in your stack, consider multiple factors. You should not only analyze the depth and breadth of protection, but also the solution’s ease of use and scalability. The higher your time on tool, the lower your margins. Thus, usability is a major factor when shopping for new solutions.
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Standardize and bundle
MSPs that standardize and bundle their services grow at a faster rate than those that don’t. That’s because they can improve the efficiency and quality of every aspect of their business—from sales and marketing, to implementation, to fulfillment and support, and more.
Standardizing and bundling your cybersecurity solutions is simple. Rather than offering custom solutions and services for every client, you provide the same package to every client with minor variations. This type of tiered model limits your focus and enables you to develop core proficiencies. It also allows you to strike a balance between giving your clients flexibility and ensuring they purchase the minimum services needed for you to be effective. To learn how to bundle and price your services, download our MSP Quick Start Guide, which includes best practices and examples.
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Learn how to evaluate cybersecurity solutions
Your cybersecurity solutions have the greatest impact on your margins as an MSP. They also determine your scalability, efficacy, and reliability as a business. That highlights the importance of learning how to evaluate solutions and assemble the right set for your clients.
To discover the framework for starting or scaling your MSP, download our new MSP Quick Start Guide. Designed for new and established MSP founders, it contains best practices, tools, and resources focused on the most important aspects of your business. You also learn about the cybersecurity solutions you should include in your stack and how to evaluate them.