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Security is essential for everyone, no matter which department a person works in, how big or small the company is, or what industry the organization belongs to. Sensitive data is sensitive data. That gives MSPs, or managed service providers, an easy way to create a conversation with customers about routine security checks. Vulnerability assessments are a great, noninvasive tool that offers many benefits covering a comprehensive set of controls.

It’s important to note that a lot of the security controls monitored for these assessments overlap. Examples include device inventory, email, and web browser protections, software inventory, data protection, malware defenses, and controlled access to confidential information.

 

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Vulnerability assessments MSPs perform

Because there are so many moving pieces within an organization, there’s more than one way to determine whether a company’s infrastructure and processes are at risk of losing valuable data and assets. The process for each security test is to identify the problem, evaluate the systems and processes in the environment, mitigate risks, and then create a prevention plan.

Assessments are not static, threats come and go, and evolve as new security measures appear, or new tools arrive on the market. Because of this, you should make cyclical assessments to ensure environments stay as free of vulnerabilities as possible. By doing this, you will also build a relationship of trust with your customers by bringing new or changing vulnerabilities to their attention when they arise.

A physical security IT assessment checks tangible and intangible assets. These include computers, hard drives, IP addresses, as well as employee policies for keeping these items in proper condition. An employee that refuses to keep their software updated can be just as big of a threat as a manager who doesn’t enforce company policies like ensuring an employee’s computer is locked when they leave their workstation.

Monitoring hardware, software, and the network are also critical. Although hardware is becoming more and more resistant to natural elements like water, wind, and dust, the software, and network configurations are still susceptible to cybersecurity attacks if the right defense systems aren’t implemented and kept updated. Having solutions that protect data coming into the workplace, as well as going out, like emails, can prevent data leakage.

These are just a handful of assessments MSPs employ to make sure an organization’s work environment is secure for their employees, vendors, and customers. Now let’s switch gears and discuss why all MSPs should be thinking about vulnerability assessments.

On top of these assessments, all companies should monitor insider threats, focusing on how employees affect the security of the workplace. As an example, disgruntled employees that don’t care about the organization’s mission can cause severe damage by stealing assets and leaking confidential data. Employing solutions that can detect new attacks prematurely is a service provided by MSPs who know how helpful it is to identify these instances and begin investigating whenever necessary.

 

Benefits of vulnerability assessments

One of the main selling points for an MSP performing these security checks is that they’re able to mitigate risks for their customers. These assessments uncover risks that weren’t always obvious in the environment. To better understand their customer’s environment, MSPs will usually test each system’s capabilities and note shortcomings. After testing, they’re able to do a few things. First, they provide insights to leaders as well as users on what is problematic. Second, they can decide what the best mitigation strategy is to implement to create a more healthy, safe environment. This bolsters trust between the two entities: the customer and the MSP.

Ensuring compliance from an industry standpoint is another benefit of utilizing MSPs. Depending on the industry, there may be just one or a few compliance standards that an organization needs to adhere to. Risk assessments can flag when there’s something amiss within an organization’s compliance. This is helpful because it can keep a business running smoothly from both an operational and legal standing.

Although you can never have a perfect view, once MSPs complete these assessments, they have a good picture of a company’s environment. This is valuable for articulating helpful suggestions for a safer, more secure environment. It could be a big solution like a full cloud migration or noninvasive data collection, as well as contracting for security-as-a-service.

When MSPs perform vulnerability assessments for their customers, the benefits are not just one-sided. That’s because vulnerability assessments can generate a new revenue opportunity for the providers. With a plan in mind, MSPs can notice gaps and suggest services, like hardware or software, to fill them. These changes can provide incremental increases or large streams of revenue going forward.

Check out Office Protect for more information on a great tool to create a safer environment for your company and clients by finding and mitigating notable vulnerabilities in Office 365.

Written by Mathieu Pipe-Rondeau Marketing Communications Specialist @ Sherweb

Mathieu is responsible for Sherweb’s blog content and organic social media. Highly conscious of branding and related communications, he’s constantly on the lookout for new and better ways to showcase Sherweb to the world. Mathieu has ten years of communications and marketing experience, including expertise in knowledge management, process creation and improvement, technical writing and content strategy. When he’s not producing engaging content, Mathieu enjoys cooking, singing and skateboarding with his son.