Are all MSPs turning into MSSPs? (And should yours?) 

As market demand increases, MSPs must provide cybersecurity services to stay relevant. But does it mean all MSPs should transform themselves into MSSPs? 

While some believe all MSPs will turn into MSSPs or they’ll cease to exist, the answer may not be so clear-cut. Let’s explore the nuances and options to add security services to your offerings, whether you decide to pivot to an MSSP or stay as an MSP.

Are all MSPs becoming MSSPs?

While incorporating security services into your MSP offerings is essential, you don’t necessarily have to become an MSSP — it’s like not all doctors are surgeons. MSPs provide very different services than MSSPs — and there is demand for both. 

MSPs offer IT management services, while MSSPs focus solely on cybersecurity offerings. MSPs help clients leverage technology to improve business efficiency and perform IT maintenance tasks. Meanwhile, MSSPs specialize in stopping breaches, ensuring regulatory compliance, responding to intrusions, and monitoring security incidents.

Most traditional MSPs offer baseline cybersecurity services like system and email monitoring and application patching. On the other hand, MSSPs provide comprehensive cybersecurity services, including endpoint and network protection, threat detection and response, threat intelligence, threat hunting, etc.

But the line is blurring as more MSPs build up their cybersecurity stack to meet market demand, incorporating various MSSP functions into their packages to complement traditional MSP services. Whether you plan to transform into an MSSP or stay as an MSP and beef up your security services, adding security functions to your existing operations is non-negotiable. 

3 ways to add security services to your MSP (without starting from scratch)

Building a security practice from the ground up is a long and windy road that requires a lengthy timeline, extensive knowledge, and a tremendous investment — especially in today’s tight labor market, where talent shortages affect even the most resourceful organizations.

The good news is you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Here are 3 options for MSPs to add security services or pivot into MSSPs:

1. Leverage your MSP platform’s capabilities

Many MSP platform providers have incorporated cybersecurity technologies into their stacks. If you already use these vendors, you may add security capabilities to your offerings without juggling more partners or third-party services.

This option is ideal for smaller MSPs starting their cybersecurity practices. It allows you to get up and running quickly without a high upfront investment. You can streamline your tech stack and reduce the complexity of managing multiple platforms and vendors.

However, you should be aware of the constraints. Your choice of security tools will be limited to your vendor’s selection. Whether the security stack is complete and up-to-date depends on the provider. Also, find out if you can access a comprehensive security information and event management (SIEM) solution, vulnerability management, threat-hunting functions, and incident response guidance. 

Do your homework and ensure your MSP platform vendor is transparent about its processes and capabilities. Otherwise, you may not realize that you don’t have all the bases covered until an incident happens — an unpleasant surprise you don’t want to have.

2. Buy or partner with an MSSP

You may acquire or partner with an MSSP with all the tools, processes, and vendor and customer relationships already in place. You can access a complete security stack that’s proven to work for a specific industry or clientele. Your partner will manage the technology and deliver security services.

You may negotiate a partnership where your team would interface with customers and own the relationships, positioning your company as a trusted advisor. However, your partner should handle the customer communication if an incident happens to ensure prompt resolution.

This option can be ideal for established MSPs with a strong client base to attract high-quality partners or the funds to acquire reputable operations. However, finding a partner that complements your offerings, aligns with your philosophy, and has a track record serving your target market can be challenging. 

Also, you must invest in onboarding the team and merging your processes — otherwise, you could risk inefficiencies and a disjointed customer experience.

3. Use a SOC as a Service (SOCaaS) vendor

This option is gaining popularity as it allows MSPs to incorporate security services into their offerings while maintaining control over their processes, security tools, and client relationships. In particular, a reputable SOC as a Service vendor like inSOC gives you affordable access to an advanced and comprehensive tech stack, including SIEM, threat hunting, and vulnerability management.

Unlike an existing MSP platform, which often has a limited selection of tools, our Open XDR platform allows you to integrate any security tool into our partnership to maintain your current processes without worrying about vendor lock-in.

Unlike acquiring an MSSP, which requires a substantial upfront investment, you can access all our tools and capabilities with a flat monthly fee. And unlike partnering with an MSSP, our team acts as an extension of your operations. Our thorough onboarding incorporates our proven security processes into your workflows to ensure a seamless customer experience. 

inSOC’s SOCaaS packages are tailored for MSPs and MSSPs with everything you need to deliver top-notch cybersecurity services to end customers. Plus, we don’t stop at the technology — our threat assessment reporting helps you improve client communication, and our sales and marketing enablement ensures you’re getting the most out of your investment from day one.

Stay competitive with the right security offerings

Whether you decide to transform your business into an MSSP or stay as an MSP, you must implement a comprehensive security stack. There are several ways to add security services to your offerings without reinventing the wheel, and partnering with a SOCaaS provider allows you to hit the ground running with minimum constraints and limitations.

Learn more about our SOCaaS solutions and get in touch to see how we can help.

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