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SMBs seeking service providers in face of rising cyber threats

SMBs are struggling with their cybersecurity solutions, with three quarters worried about being the target of a cyberattack in the next six months, and 91% considering using or switching to a new IT service provider if offered a better option.

This is according to the SMB State of Cybersecurity report, conducted by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by ConnectWise, the provider of software and expert services for technology solution providers (TSPs).

According to the report, 68% percent of respondents say the right offering means having confidence in an MSPs ability to respond to security incidents, while 58% stated its having confidence in an MSPs ability to minimise damage or loss.

With 86% of SMBs placing cybersecurity within the top five priorities for their organisation, six in 10 will invest more in cybersecurity because it reduces risk for their organisation.

The research also highlights that more than half of SMBs surveyed (52%) agree they lack the in-house skills necessary to properly deal with security issues, and 49% of SMBs find more cybersecurity expertise as an added benefit of working with an MSP.

This interest in cybersecurity investment suggests SMBs are seeking out MSPs to help close the skills gap and presents a growing market opportunity for MSPs to protect clients against the expanding threat landscape, the study states.

Currently, only 13% of SMBs are having regular cybersecurity related conversations with their MSP. Even more significant is the fact that 29% of SMBs talk to their MSP about cybersecurity only after they have suffered an incident.

According to the study, MSPs must work to reinforce that confidence and build closer relationships with their clients.

While COVID-19 has resulted in an increase in the number of cyber attacks, the pandemic did not significantly impact respondents' views towards prioritising cybersecurity.

However, COVID-19 has raised new concerns for SMBs, with 79% of respondents worrying about their remote devices or remote employees being breached. As SMBs continue to explore and expand their remote workforce, this can also present areas of growth for MSPs, the study states.

ConnectWise vice president of cybersecurity initiatives, CISSP, Jay Ryerse says, "Confidence remains a key factor for SMBs in choosing the right MSP offering for their business needs."

He says, “There is an increased market opportunity for MSPs who participate in an ongoing basis in cybersecurity training, remain current on the latest threats, and become versed in cybersecurity technology.

“As MSPs raise their understanding across the entire cybersecurity discipline, they find themselves strongly positioned for growth in a post-pandemic economic recovery, emerging from the experience stronger and more agile, and with customers better prepared for the cybersecurity challenges that lie ahead.”

The study was carried out between June and July 2020 and gathered information from 700 IT and business decision makers who are involved in cybersecurity in their organisation.