The scramble to offer security: service providers see opportunity in COVID-19 landscape

Nearly eight out of ten managed service providers see opportunity to help customers fill in security gaps created by new COVID-19 working environment

Posted 25 June 2020 by Christine Horton

More than seven out of 10 managed service providers (MSPs) view the lack of in-house security skills among customers as an opportunity to create new business.

That’s according to The Evolving Landscape of the MSP Business Report 2020, published recently by security and backup vendor, Barracuda MSP.

Jason Howells, director international, Barracuda MSP

A further 79 percent of MSPs see customer security concerns around COVID-19 as a good opportunity, particularly with the rise of remote workers.

“We’ve seen it every year before now, but it’s really come to the fore because of the COVID situation we’ve all found ourselves in,” said Jason Howells, director international, Barracuda MSP.

“It was a huge scramble for MSPs to try to help their customers with remote working. There was an awakening for a whole bunch of people who didn’t really play in that space and realised they needed to.”

Howells said that MSPs recognised that if they don’t help their customers with their lack of in-house skills “then somebody else probably will.”

“There was a huge awareness of the need to be able to have a skill set around security. Some of these MSPs we spoke to are potentially entering into this MSSP (managed security service provider) space for the first time and are reaching out to us as a vendor to see how we can help.”

Increase in spending

IT industry trade association CompTIA’s Trends in Managed Services report states that managed services spending is expected to increase from $292.4 billion in 2019 to $319.5 billion by 2024.

Rising security concerns and a lack of in-house skills within end user customers are two of the biggest factors pushing organisations towards third-party service providers. Eighty-eight percent of MSPs questioned by Barracuda say that demand for security services was either ‘moderately’ or ‘significantly’ increasing.

As such, nine out of ten are extending their current service offerings over the next 12 months, with security at the forefront.

TDP reported that more than a third of MSPs are concerned about the cybersecurity of their customers.

Sophisticated cyberattacks

Howells also points to cyberattacks becoming more sophisticated, adding it is no longer enough to rely on perimeter point products in the new world of remote working. “As a vendor you need to be able to offer a multi layered approach. MSPs need the ability to bundle and create different services and new services that are relevant to their customers.

“MSPs are just realising they have a huge opportunity to become more relevant to their customers,” he said.