How MSPs can talk to clients about Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud
for service providers

If there’s one hot theme in the IT channel today, it’s how often managed service providers (MSPs) hear that their clients are looking for greater cybersecurity. That’s hardly surprising. With so many employees still working from home, cybersecurity risks are at an all-time high. Yet some MSPs are not always sure how to start a conversation with their client about their security posture.

Thankfully, October provides them with the perfect cover for having this conversation. That’s because it is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month here in the U.S. and European Cybersecurity Month in the E.U. In both cases, the goal is to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity – making it an ideal time to review your clients’ security situation.

Now is also a good time for the discussion since organizations are planning their budgets for next year. Identifying critical areas for improvement now means they can set money aside for the services you can provide that will close those gaps.

Understanding your clients’ cybersecurity risks

In order for an MSP to protect client data, you need to understand your clients’ vulnerability and risk. What are the security systems currently in place? How often do they train their staff on avoiding phishing or other attacks? Do the solutions and strategies they currently use address any regulatory requirements they might have?

To facilitate your ability to make a security assessment of potential clients during the sales process, or to assess areas that your existing clients may need to address, Acronis has created the Cybersecurity Assessment Questionnaire. Each question is worded in simple language and the questionnaire is organized and coded according to the categories of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover.

The 50-question assessment guide is available as a free tool to help MSPs ensure their clients are taking the necessary steps to safeguard their data, applications, and systems. The questionnaire is even offered as an editable Word document that MSPs can customize – either by removing questions that don’t pertain to services they offer or by white labeling it with their own logo.

Becoming a cybersecurity know-it-all

Asking these and other probing questions is only half of the equation. Knowing what the best practices are so you can gauge the effectiveness of their current practices enables you to make the recommendations they need to stay secure while building their trust in your expertise.

Few people can have all the answers to every issue a client might have, which is why the Acronis Cybersecurity Assessment Questionnaire also provides answers for each question. In creating the questionnaire, we asked Carole Theriault, founder of Tick Tock Social and co-host of the award-winning Smashing Security podcast, to develop answers for each based on the best practices for 2020.

There are also additional tips and specific information about Acronis cyber protection solutions like Acronis Cyber Protect that you can refer to throughout your conversation with the client.  

By utilizing Theriault’s expertise, we’re making sure MSPs who use the questionnaire have all of the information they need to assess their clients’ cybersecurity posture and make knowledgeable recommendations while exhibiting the confidence and knowledge their clients expect from their IT provider.

Maximizing the Cybersecurity Assessment Questionnaire

MSPs interested in tips on how to get the most out of this free tool will have an opportunity later in Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Carole Theriault, the expert behind the Acronis Cybersecurity Assessment Questionnaire, will be among the world-class presenters at the Acronis Global Cyber Summit 2020.

Being held as a free virtual event from October 19-21, the Acronis Global Cyber Summit is the largest gathering of cyber protection professionals. The three-day summit will feature a lineup of tech leaders and cybersecurity experts who will share their knowledge and best practices for MSPs about building a successful security-focused organization.

On October 20, Theriault will be showing attendees how to use the assessment tool to grow their MSP business and improve the security of their clients. Her presentation is just one of the more than 30 sessions designed to provide actionable insights to those in the channel.

Other scheduled workshops include: “How Modern MSPs Win in a Remote Work World”, “Don’t Become Obsolete! Learn How to Build a Security-First Managed Service Business” and “How Modern MSPs Maximize Profits: Let’s Do Something Right Together”.

To see a full list of speakers and sessions or to register for the free event, visit the 2020 Summit page.

Final thought

Cybersecurity is a pressing concern for every organization, and many rely on an MSP to deliver the expertise and experience that their business lacks. The ability to talk knowledgeably and confidently about security issues is no longer limited to managed security service providers (MSSPs) – it is an absolute must for any MSP that wants to remain in business.

Armed with the free Acronis Cybersecurity Assessment Questionnaire, this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month can be a great opportunity for you to help your clients while nurturing your MSP business.

To get the conversation started, download the Acronis Cybersecurity Assessment Questionnaire.

About Acronis

Acronis is a Swiss company, founded in Singapore. Celebrating two decades of innovation, Acronis has more than 1,800 employees in 45 locations. The Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud solution is available in 26 languages in over 150 countries and is used by 20,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.