Cybersecurity driving MSP business

COVID-19 is accelerating requests to MSPs for cloud migration and cybersecurity

Posted 24 June 2020 by Christine Horton

Cybersecurity is top of the agenda for Managed Service Providers (MSPs), according to new research.

The 2020 Datto State of the MSP Report has found that more than a third (34 percent) of MSPs are concerned about the cybersecurity of their customers. This is a slight increase from 30 percent in the prior year.

The report indicates that MSPs were already expecting cloud migrations and security to be major drivers of managed services, and the impact of COVID-19 on SMBs is accelerating those trends. These are now expected to drive the managed services opportunity through 2020.

Nearly three-quarters of MSPs currently have a managed security offering but are more likely to offer it in partnership with an MSSP [Managed Security Service Provider] or other vendor (43 percent). This is likely due to the complexity of IT security.

Complex environment

Managed security offerings vary widely, but most focus on the same tools and technologies: antivirus, backup and disaster recovery, email security, patch management, endpoint detection and response, and content filtering.

“It is incredibly promising to see that so many MSPs either already offer or plan to offer security services in the near future,” said Datto chief information security officer, Ryan Weeks.

Datto chief information security officer, Ryan Weeks

“I am further excited by the trend of MSPs partnering with MSSPs to assure high value and a successful entry into the space. IT security is a complex environment and surrounding yourself with experts is a great way to bootstrap your knowledge.”

Forty-three percent of MSPs offer managed security in partnership with an MSSP or other vendor. Meanwhile 31 percent offer their own managed security services.

Of the MSPs not currently offering managed security, 44 percent plan to offer it in partnership with an MSSP or other vendor in the next 12 months. A quarter plan to offer their own security services within that same time frame.


Weeks says the demand for greater security is not surprising given how common ransomware attacks have become, and the cost of downtime and ransom payments increasing year-on-year.

“This further underscores the importance of a more comprehensive multi-layered approach to cybersecurity within public and private SMBs,” said Weeks.

“60 percent of MSPs reported that two-factor authentication (2FA) is an essential countermeasure, but that number should be closer to 100 percent. The IT channel has more work to do to help MSPs and SMBs understand the truly powerful preventative nature of this countermeasure and drive adoption.”

Research published last week suggests a third of UK consumers will avoid a business “for up to several years” if their personal data is compromised due to poor data security practices during COVID-19.