Managed Service Providers (MSPs) today have a tremendous opportunity to help solve the cybersecurity knowledge gap for many small- to mid-market businesses. We’ve all read the “X-number of shortage of cybersecurity professionals by 2020” in the major publications. For example, CNBC’s article, “A serious shortage of cybersecurity experts could cost companies hundreds of millions of dollars,” or this from Forbes: “The Cybersecurity Talent Gap Is An Industry Crisis.”

Then, in a similar vein, there is no shortage of commentary about the knowledge gap for skilled cybersecurity professionals and how organizations are facing a persistent challenge to recruit high-caliber talent as well as keep pace with the internal training and education needed to keep up with today’s fast-moving, ever-evolving threatscape.

Plus, on top of all of this, small teams are just trying to get by on a daily basis.

“Between keeping old tools updated, making sure new things on the network don’t open new holes, trying to avoid red-tape burnout, and listening to a never-ending train of cyberheros hock their wares, there’s not a lot of time to actually get a lot of things done,” Reddit User u/jayheidecker.

But lucky for Service Providers, this endless workload for small- to mid-market companies chasing cyber issues creates an opportunity.

This is why MSPs are looking at adding another “S” and delivering a managed security offering in their portfolio. From small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs or SMEs) and up to the Enterprise, everyone is thinking about security and protecting their assets, data, and customers, but are extremely strapped for the best resources to do it well. This why outsourced security providers are growing at a very rapid pace.

This is no longer a “big city” market, or products previously only reserved for the Enterprise because they paid vast sums of money for it. SaaS allows local and regional SP’s to offer bundled security services at a reasonable cost to capture more customers, verticals, and markets previously out of reach due to cost.

So, what are the 3 main reasons an MSP should consider adding security services?

1. Fill the Knowledge Gap

The people gap and technology gap is big and going to get bigger. SP’s can and should start investing in training and certifying their people on cybersecurity tools and knowledge bases to properly equip them to engage powerfully with customers seeking security and monitoring solutions. Start by becoming experts in a single industry like healthcare, finance, manufacturing, or retail. You’re already an expert in delivering specialized services to current customers within a niche market – translate and bring that knowledge into your cybersecurity offerings. You will be able to provide an even broader set of solutions and value to current and prospective customers.

2. The Market is Growing

Security is now on everyone’s mind. The market for AI in Cybersecurity alone is projected to reach USD 38.2 billion by 2026. SMB, Mid-Market, and Enterprise are all expanding in terms of spend, and getting ahead of the curve on the right solutions that deliver ROI to your clients will be increasingly important. Bundling together services and spreading them across a larger market of clients allows SP’s to deliver a comprehensive suite of products, grow mindshare with the client and protect the overall relationship. You also can position your MSP as the primary service provider and data provider across IT, SOC, etc.

3. Attacks Are Headline News

Just about everyone thinks that the recent onslaught of massive breaches and attacks is going to get worse before it gets better – and the worldwide media will not let you forget about it.

“As companies increasingly pursue digitization to drive efficiency, reduce costs and build data-driven businesses, they simultaneously move into the “target zone” of cyber attacks. As the digital economy expands, the threat landscape naturally follows suit. Compounding the situation is the use of machine learning and AI as hackers and other bad actors look to scale their bad behavior,” Cyber Breaches Abound in 2019, TechCrunch

Cybersecurity is timely, relevant, and impossible to ignore right now. The headlines do the marketing for you. With high-profile media attention, the C-Suite is prioritizing security higher than ever in the boardroom and across procurement dollars to protect against imminent attacks.

SP’s have an opportunity to help shore up cybersecurity programs for future attacks to current and prospective customers. Beginning to leverage the best in breed solutions today, solutions that deliver ROI and reduce the client’s threat risk, will help SP’s be viewed as critical confidants/experts as the more sophisticated AI tools begin to be utilized by bad actors.

By Kyle Pullman, Strategic Partnerships at MixMode