The MSP Zone

Are Supply Chain Problems Forcing VARs Out of Their Business Model?

Pandemic related supply chain disruptions are happening on a global basis. Since the beginning of the pandemic, everyday items have become subject to distribution disruption. These supply chain disruptions are also having an impact on value added resellers. Could supply chain problems signal a business shift for VARs towards managed services?  

 

Highlights:  

  • VAR supply chain disruption 
  • Impact on VAR business model 
  • Impact on managed services 

 

MSP Zone Reading Material: The Value Of VARs Is Diminishing In Cybersecu rity: Here’s How To Get It Back (forbes.com) 

MSP Consolidation Rumors On the Rise Again

It seems there is never a shortage of M&A related chatter within the IT channel and we appear to be in the middle of one such rumor mill once again. In fairness, this may be part rumor and part misconception (probably more the latter).  

Is there an M&A consolidation frenzy taking place in the MSP profession? We will examine that question.  

 

Highlights:  

 

MSP Zone Show Notes: Private equity is ready to take MSP consolidation to the next level | TechCrunch 

MSP Contract Negotiations Series - Termination Clauses

MSPs have agreements with everyone; customers, vendors, partners. The managed services agreement with customers, perhaps, is the most important. Regardless of the type of MSP you are, the types of services, or your customers, the contracts you use will likely be negotiated.  

The terms you negotiate with customers matter, and sometimes there are ways you can arrive at terms which are mutual beneficial to both MSP and customer.  

 

Highlights:  

  • Term & Renewal 
  • Termination 
  • Termination for Convenience 
  • Termination for Cause 

MSP Zone Guest: Rob Scott 

The Cost of Human Error in Cybersecurity

Too often we think only of technology as that which will save us from cyber security threats. Yet, there is an even more powerful resource in the fight against cybercrime…people.  

 

The human element is where the majority of email borne attacks are being focused. Are we doing enough to help those users fight what is aimed at them?  

 

Highlights:  

  • Cybersecurity attacks have become more prevalent and more sophisticated, and organizations of all sizes and industries are being targeted. 
  • Phishing emails look so real these days – end users are clicking despite organizations best efforts to educate and train. 
  • The costs to organizations – those clicks open the door to ransomware among other attacks.  Costs to businesses go far beyond paying the ransom.  Downtime, damaged reputations, and lost customers add up. 
  • Traditional email security measures are no longer enough. 
  • What MSPs should consider for next generation email security protection. 

 
MSP Zone Guest: Dave Baggett, CEO of Inky 

Do We Lack Cyber Standards or Enforcement?

A few episodes ago we discussed the challenges cyber insurance carriers are having identifying and categorizing risk. This has been evidenced in difficulties MSPs (and their customers) have been experiencing in obtaining and renewing cyber coverage.  

A recent article in Crain's lends further evidence of this  issue. But, is it a lack of cybersecurity standard we face, or is it lack of enforcement and adoption of a standard?  

 

Highlights:  

  • Current Cyber Standards 
  • MSP vs End-User Standards 
  • Enforcement of Cyber Standards 

 

MSP Zone Reading Material: Insurance carriers scrutinize cybersecurity controls | Crain's Cleveland Business (crainscleveland.com) 

Will The Insurance Industry Survive Cybersecurity?

Insurance is one of those topics often misunderstood by many, and yet has an undeniable impact on many industries. The common belief is that MSPs have been the more risky bets for cyber insurance carriers but that may not be true. In fact, the problem of cyber insurance coverage, best practices, and underwriting, may be far more serious that we realize.  

 

Highlights:  

  • What is the cyber insurance problem we face?  
  • Which industries are impacted?  
  • Are MSPs the cause or the solution?  

 

MSP Zone Reading Material: Ransomware Has Been a ‘Game Changer’ for Cyber Insurance (insurancejournal.com) 

M&A Buyer Tactics You May Want to Avoid

MSPs looking to acquire other MSPs are everywhere. MSP buyers have always existed and will always exist. Having seen what works and what doesn't, I thought it would be helpful to discuss a few commonly employed buyer tactics I believe a) don't work, and b) actually may work contrary to your organization's best interests.  

Highlights: 

  • What are MSP buyers looking for?  
  • Buyer outreach tactics currently used 
    • Randomized outreach 
    • No personalization 
    • Commodity approach to M&A 
  • Advice for how to reach  
    • Make it personal 
    • Develop relationships 
    • Communicate, don't solicit 
    • Sell your yourself, not the other MSP 

What is Cybersecurity as a Service?

The Information Technology industry has long suffered from nearly constant changing of names and the introduction of new names to replace old ones. Whether this is a successful rebranding technique developed by analyst and marketing firms, I'll leave that for another time.  

What is clear to me, however, is that repeatedly changing terms and definitions can have a detrimental effect on a profession. Is Cybersecurity as a Service a new gimmick, or merely an old service being wrapped in new packaging?  

 

Highlights: 

  • What is Cybersecurity as a Service? 
  • Does it differ from managed services?  
  • Who is driving this naming convention? 

MSP Zone Reading Material: Cyber Security As A Service Market Present Scenario, Key Vendors, Industry Share and Growth Forecast up to 2027 | Virtual-Strategy Magazine 

Changing Legal Landscape for Managed Service Providers

It has been several years since GDPR went into effect and it has had an impact on MSPs and clients alike. Today, many more laws are being and have been enacted that aim to copy what GDPR has accomplished, in large part, to combat the rise in ransomware attacks.  

 

Highlights:  

  • Impact of GDPR on MSPs 
  • Differences between GDPR and MSP supply chain vendor policies 
  • Which approach protects the MSP and the client most?  

 

MSP Zone Guest: Rob Scott 

 

Is the UK Changing Data Privacy Laws?

It was going to happen eventually after the UK left the European Union. The UK is deliberating on whether GDPR will remain as a central theme in data privacy and security for UK citizens. This decision asks the larger question of what could replace GDPR as a privacy and security framework for the country.  

Highlights: 

  • What does it mean if the UK does abandon the principles of GDPR? 
  • What would the UK use instead? 
  • Suggestions for the UK policy makers 

UK To Consult On Weakening Data Protection Laws (forbes.com) 

Big Tech cloud services could face resilience test, says Bank of England | Reuters 

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