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A question of trust

Technology Reseller asks Jason Howells, Director International, Barracuda MSP about its offering for MSPs

Technology Reseller (TR): What findings in your survey stood out for you?

Jason Howells (JH): There’s a very clear indication that a majority of MSPs (91%) are planning to increase the portfolio of services they offer their customers. That is largely driven by security concerns, which is great for us at Barracuda because we’ve been involved in the security market for almost 20 years. End users are reaching out and asking for help and there are several reasons for that, the biggest of which is the lack of skills around security at the end user level. As attacks around email become more sophisticated and more aggressive, which in the current Covid environment they absolutely are, there is a huge opportunity for the MSP community to fill that gap.

To do so, MSPs need to have that skill set, so we are advising them to build relationships with vendors that understand the MSP world and can help them, perhaps by providing a fully managed service.

TR: How does Barracuda MSP help MSPs satisfy their customers security concerns?

JH: This year’s report once again highlights the importance of trust in the customer/MSP relationship, with over 70% of respondents seeing an increase in trust from SMEs over the last 12 months. If you think about the IT infrastructure of a normal organisation and all the data held within it, it is clearly a big step to hand that over to someone else to manage. What we do – and have tried to do ever since we came into the MSP space five years ago – is make sure we have the right management platforms, the right skill sets, the right integrations with business tools to maintain that trust.

We offer a huge amount of fully managed services to MSPs to help them fulfil customer needs around security. We can help them do that very easily with fully managed firewalls and a whole bunch of other services so that they can focus on providing customers with the stuff they are comfortable delivering. We can also plug a gap in an MSP’s security offering and manage it fully for them to stop customers looking elsewhere.

TR: It must be hard for you as a vendor to stay one step ahead of the cyber criminals.

JH: This is the challenge we all have. The amount of money involved in cybercrime is phenomenal and attacks will continue to evolve and become more sophisticated. That is not going to change. Our job as a security-focused vendor is to make sure we to keep up with it and, with 18+ years in this field, we are very well positioned to do that.

The key is to have a multi-layered approach. One of the biggest threat vectors right now is email, even more so now that we are dispersed in our home working environments. The stack we have around email security is not just one service; there are probably 6 or 7 different layers that can help us stop an attack, including employee education, and then remediate a breach if one does occur.

MSPs today have to be streamlined, efficient and control costs. Being able to get a bunch of stuff from one vendor helps them tick those boxes.

TR: And you offer an RMM as well.

JH: Yes, we acquired Managed Workplace a couple of years ago and that allows us to position ourselves at the heart of MSPs. They need such tools if they are going to service many different end users and do it efficiently.

TR: Cyber criminals target MSPs as well. What are you doing to help MSPs secure their businesses?

JH: Cyber criminals want to reach as many people as they can, and if they can penetrate an MSP, they are potentially penetrating multiple businesses. As a vendor, we give our partners the opportunity to use our products free within their business. There is lots we can do to make sure our MSP partners have the right products in place and use them to keep their customers safe and secure as well.

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2018