Why you Need to Make Privacy and Security a Priority for your MSP Business

Privacy and security have come to the forefront of a lot of people’s thoughts recently. One example of this is that I’m seeing dozens of my friends and colleagues move away from using WhatsApp for their instant messaging and turning to tools such as Telegram Messenger and Signal.

 

Why are they making this move, you might ask?

 

Well, WhatsApp recently informed users that in order to continue using the service, they would have to start sharing some personal data with WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook (Facebook bought WhatsApp for the princely sum of $19 in February 2014).

 

It’s fair to say that a lot of people don’t trust Facebook, and they don’t want to give them any more personal data.

 

But what does this have to do with IT Solution Providers and Managed Service Providers (MSPs)?

 

Privacy and Security are Key Points for Clients

 

As trust in our leaders and institutions reaches an all-time low, privacy and security are becoming a key point for every IT consumer and that definitely includes your clients.

 

We’re seeing cases of MSPs and MSSPs being targeted by ransomware spreaders and it is easy to understand why.

 

MSPs hold the keys to the kingdom. We are the gatekeepers of dozens (and in some cases hundreds or even thousands) of client systems and data.

 

This is a big responsibility for us to bear.

 

I’d suggest that we not only need to bear that responsibility well, but we also need to be seen to be taking security and privacy seriously.

 

Drink Your Own Champagne

 

For example, how seriously do you take the cybersecurity of your internal systems?

 

Most MSPs that I know have implemented 2-Factor Authentication (Here are The 5 Top Benefits of 2FA for your MSP Business) for their key systems.

 

In fact, I was pleased to see that Atera made 2FA Mandatory for MSPs in 2019.

 

But, have you told your clients about these security steps?

 

I’d recommend that you stress how important you take privacy and security to your clients and use it as a key point of differentiation from other IT providers.

 

In my experience, your clients will look to you for guidance on how to stay safe.

 

Recommending to your clients that they use systems such as 2FA. When they ask you if you use 2FA, you need to be seen to be practicing what you preach!

 

The French call this “Drinking your own Champagne” (and the Americans call it “Eating your own Dog Food”) and it is very important for MSPs to remember.

 

You can’t tell your clients to take privacy and security seriously if you don’t!

 

Demonstrating Security and Privacy

 

There are other visible steps you can take to demonstrate how your business takes security and privacy seriously.

 

  • Show photographs or give a video tour of your internal data center or comms room. Demonstrate the *physical security* that you’ve put in place. The locks on cabinets. The biometric door system. It shows your clients (and potential clients) that you take the storage of their data seriously.
  • Demonstrate how your MSP business has become compliant with standards such as GDPR in Europe, HIPPA in the USA, or whichever legislation is applicable in your part of the world.
  • Talk about how you’re using Cloud Backup Solutions to keep your data secure in the event of a disaster. The days of the office manager swapping tape or USB drives for backup are *long* gone.

 

By demonstrating how seriously you take security and privacy, don’t be surprised if your client’s approach you for help with their security practices too!

 

Everyone wants the peace of mind of being secure, and by leading the way, you will raise your trust-levels with your Managed Service clients.

 

Conclusion

 

Trust in our institutions is at an all-time low.

 

People don’t trust big organizations with their data or privacy.

 

But by demonstrating how you take privacy and security seriously, your clients will trust you to not only keep their data safe but guide them in keeping their own client’s data safe too.

 

I’m intrigued to hear what steps you’ve found to increase the levels of trust your clients have in your business. Leave a comment below or get in touch.