By Carlos Arnal Cardenal, WatchGuard Technologies
As mobile and hybrid workforces continue to flex the network perimeter, endpoint protections are now a requirement for complex IT environments that include computers, servers, laptops, and other devices. In fact, according to WatchGuard’s Q2 2021 Internet Security Report, in the first half of this 2021, endpoint malware detections originating from scripting engines like PowerShell have already reached 80% of their entire detection volume from 2020. And total ransomware detections at endpoints are hitting numbers just shy of 2020 totals (through June of 2021). It’s clear that organizations need advanced endpoint protections.
The question is, how can MSPs make sure they meet each customer’s specific requirements and deliver a cutting-edge IT approach that’s sustainable for their business? And do this without increasing their costs. To help, I’d like to explore five recommendations MSPs should consider when looking to offer advanced endpoint security services.
- Managing a customers’ security from a unified platform has many advantages beyond just operational efficiency. It saves time, money, and the need to hire more staff. When it comes to endpoint prevention and detection, having visibility and traceability of all threats and automated technologies is essential. That’s why it’s important to look for solutions that offer cloud-based platforms with centralized management. This also allows the MSP to manage the whole life cycle of customer licenses – from trials to renewals – from a single environment.
- Every MSP understands the challenges associated with offering a variety of security products to customers. It usually brings functionality overlaps, notification overloads, and separate management consoles that offer little to no integration or automation. This forces security professionals and the MSPs to manage multiple agents and consoles and to handle hundreds of daily alerts. This leads to alert fatigue or worse, invalidated alerts or ignoring of potentially important events. Therefore, it’s important to consider solutions that consolidate functionality, intelligence, and automation to improve security response and operations. Furthermore, advances around AI and machine learning algorithms are increasing threat detection automation, classification of running processes, and prioritization of alerts.
- Zero trust is no longer a buzzword. It’s key to certifying all running processes and preventing any program (or even lines of code) from executing without having been previously certified. For MSPs serious about preventing breaches – and increasing their chances of security success in customer environments – this security model should include automated procedures to classify and certify every single action, or even be delivered as feature-as-a-service. MSPs should be considering how to offer zero-trust and threat hunting services. Advanced endpoint security solutions often include threat hunting capabilities that allow suspicious activity to be analyzed and investigated for indicators of attack. This enables MSPs to sell new services and use the information gleaned through a management console.
- MSPs want tools that make managing a distributed network, including remote employees, easier. Essentially, simplicity for increased efficiency. Despite how complex things may look in today’s security landscape, MSPs must add solutions to their portfolios that don’t require new IT infrastructures on the customer premises for management and maintenance, and that are integrated and provide a high level of automation. This reduces TCO.
- And finally, MSPs should look for vendors that offer continuous and specialized training. This should include marketing resources and other value-adds that help build the business. There’s a known shortage of security experts in the space; vendors can help you fill that expertise shortage and deliver solutions and services that are tailored to your customers' needs. Be sure to ask questions about integration, automation, security, power, and simplicity. The goal is to lean on your vendor relationship for greater profitability and efficiency.
Customers want and need advanced endpoint protections. But many struggle to find solutions, which is why the MSP market is growing so rapidly. By selecting solutions that follow these five recommendations, MSPs can ensure they’re delivering cutting-edge technologies that drive profitability and reduce resource burdens.
About The Author
Carlos Arnal Cardenal is Product Manager at WatchGuard Technologies.