For telecom service providers, the time for security is now
It’s no secret that this past year’s shift to remote work exposed cybersecurity vulnerabilities for Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) and their clients alike.
As IT teams raced to restore productivity for their now home-based colleagues, IT workarounds, collaboration apps and portable data sources such as USBs, risked what was once robust and secure infrastructure, says Jay Ryerse, VP of cybersecurity initiatives, ConnectWise
But, while cybersecurity presents some very clear operational and strategic challenges, it also offers some exciting growth opportunities for TSPs who can deliver what customers need; effective, affordable security solutions and services. Indeed, research has revealed that 92% of SMBs would consider moving to a new service provider if they offered “the right cybersecurity solution”.
What’s more, the same study showed that 86% of SMBs consider cybersecurity among their top five priorities, with two thirds looking to invest more in order to cut down on possible risks. Further, half of the SMBs polled for the report consider cybersecurity expertise as an added benefit of working with a managed service provider (MSP), mostly because the majority do not have in-house skills needed to properly deal with security issues.
That’s a compelling proposition and as a result, now is the ideal time for TSPs to take a step back and look again about their cybersecurity services, whether there is scope for improving them, or even if it’s time to diversify and add this vital set of capabilities to their existing portfolio.
Delivering effective cybersecurity protection is an increasingly urgent requirement. Both TSPs and their SMB clients are the targets of sophisticated ransomware, Business Email Compromise (BEC), phishing, and other types of cyberattack. The problem is, legacy solutions alone, from antivirus software to network firewalls are no longer sufficient to maximise protection and to mitigate the impact of a breach.
Historically, the industry’s answer to the particular security challenges faced by TSPs has been to add new tools to the security stack. But when every new challenge equates to a new tool, the result can be siloed, discrete security data sources that are difficult to manage and even more difficult to keep safe. What’s more, the process of building insights from these security assets to inform smart decision making becomes significantly more challenging, and in many cases, impractical.
Delivering security in a piecemeal fashion is neither efficient or cost-effective, and can create dangerous gaps and blindspots. So, in order to maximise the revenue and client retention opportunities of security services in the post-COVID-19 era, TSPs have to rethink security strategies and learn how to accommodate the new security landscape. It’s time to reconsider security strategies and make adjustments for the current threatscape by monitoring their customers’ needs and tailoring their approach to sales, service, education and training to fit those needs.
As the integration of landline, mobile and internet services continues to accelerate, TSPs should be a natural, ‘go-to’ partner for businesses that want fewer, but better, supplier relationships.
With the right framework, products, services, and community, they can significantly increase their ability to sell and support cybersecurity more successfully. Service providers that focus on building their expertise and capabilities across this vital, ubiquitous business priority will be well positioned to build long-term relationships across their customer base.
The author is Jay Ryerse, VP of cybersecurity initiatives, ConnectWise.