How to select a Managed Service Provider (MSP) to set-up and maintain your hybrid work cybersecurity

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How to select a Managed Service Provider (MSP) to set-up and maintain your hybrid work cybersecurity
MSPs can also help with the challenge of getting multiple security products to work together as a cohesive whole.
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

The repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt by organisations around the world.

As offices begin to reopen (and lock back down again) many companies are adopting a hybrid work model in which employees have varying degrees of flexibility to continue working from home for some portion time each week.

As a result, many organisations want to implement a ‘zero trust’ security model that assumes that nothing and no one can be trusted until their identity has been confirmed. For IT teams with limited resources, establishing this is beyond their scope or technical skills and they are seeking help from Managed Service Providers (MSPs).  Experienced MSPs can advise on the components required and the most effective means of deploying them, but how to select the right one for such a mission-critical task?

The role of the MSP

Making use of an MSP can also help to overcome another challenge being faced in the IT security space which is a lack of skilled people. Rather than needing to attract and retain security staff, the services of an MSP can be used to get the job done.

MSPs can also help with the challenge of getting multiple security products to work together as a cohesive whole. Their integration experience gained on other projects can be used to benefit new clients beginning the task of evolving their security capabilities.

Because they are focused on IT security, a qualified MSP will also be in a good position to offer strategic device about new products and services that are coming to market. The security threat landscape is constantly evolving and so an organisation’s security defences much also evolve.

Selecting the right MSP

When selecting an MSP to assist with overcoming security challenges, it is wise to choose one that has experience in an organisation’s business sector. This will ensure they are well versed in the issues faced and are familiar with the most effective ways of overcoming them.

It’s also important that an MSP has a good culture fit with a client organisation. Use initial discussions to gain an understanding of their work practices and how they engage with their clients. Determine how they work alongside internal IT teams and where the lines of demarcation will be drawn.

Once a suitable MSP has been selected and engaged, it’s important to review the relationship on a regular basis. This will ensure that goals and objectives are being met and IT infrastructure is continually being protected from cybersecurity threats.

With the working landscape likely changed forever as a result of the pandemic, it’s important to have appropriate IT security measures in place. Working with an experienced and knowledgeable MSP is a great way for this to be achieved.

Anthony Daniel is Regional Director, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands, WatchGuard Technologies.

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