How MSPs Can Solve Their ‘Too Many Tools’ Problem

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Too many tools are a problem that extends throughout the cybersecurity world. As attack surfaces expand, threat actors find new ways to exploit weaknesses, and technology advances, organizations often turn to the latest and greatest security tool to keep themselves safe. The issue is that more tools can equal more problems, and nowhere is that more evident than with MSPs. 

Not only are MSPs using a variety of tools to secure their own environments, from firewalls to antivirus to identity and access management (IAM) tools, they also must deploy and maintain IT and security tools for their vast client portfolios.  

While tools can enhance visibility and protection, they act as a double-edged sword, increasing the volume of alerts, the variety of events, and the amount of both personnel and budget needed to make the tech stack operate as intended. 

Why More Tools Won’t Better Secure MSPs’ Clients 

According to a recent survey conducted by Arctic Wolf, 36% of MSPs/MSSPs use more than 10 cybersecurity tools and 30% use four to five vendors to deliver services to their clients.  

When an organization — be it an SMB, enterprise, or an MSP — relies on a technology stack that utilizes a high volume of tools, they open themselves up to a myriad of issues that can stifle their security initiatives more than harden them.  

Three issues a high volume of tools can cause are: 

  1. Strained resources. Not only are MSPs taking on a high volume of clients — 43% have 500 or more — but the various tools they’re maintaining can lead to an onslaught of alerts. This, in turn strains their already overworked, and often inexperienced internal personnel (the average tenure of an MSP employee is only three years).
  2. Alert fatigue. Tools increase ticket volume — at least one in five MSPs/MSSPs surveyed generate 500+ cybersecurity tickets — which can easily create alert fatigue. That can have a quantifiable impact on an MSP’s finances, staffing, and the overall security posture of the clients they serve. Too many alerts, and the fatigue they create, prevent swift action and takes up time, which means less billing hours for proactive measures.
  3. Obscured visibility and disparate platforms. If one alert is popping up on one tool and a different alert on another, or if one vendor only provides certain visibility, while another can’t integrate with that first vendor, it can create patchy visibility, turning the IT environment into a maze MSP employees must navigate.  

MSPs Need to Move Toward an Operational Mindset 

There’s no doubt that MSPs want to be the security provider for their clients. Many are now offering a variety of cybersecurity solutions — 81% offer or are planning to offer MDR services and 94% offer or are planning to offer vulnerability management — so they need to make sure these services, as well as their internal cybersecurity, is managed both efficiently and effectively.  

MSPs can’t simply reduce their client’s attack surface and effectively manage environments by adding more tools to the mix. MSPs need to shift from a tool-focused mindset to an operations mindset. The answer lies in a perspective shift and move toward consolidation. A consolidated approach can help MSPs better serve clients by utilizing a smaller number of security operations-focused tools that will reduce complexity and risk while increasing efficiency. 

The Value of a Managed Security Provider 

While MSPs are adept at managing organizations IT infrastructure and end user systems, trying to juggle a variety of cybersecurity tools and vendors is only creating more risk for themselves and their clients. They need in-depth security expertise, the capacity to hunt down threats, and the ability to mitigate and contain any impact from incidents. That’s where a third-party solution like Arctic Wolf can transform an MSPs cybersecurity offerings.  

Arctic Wolf allows MSPs to provide 24×7 eyes-on-glass coverage by a team of experts, rapidly deliver in-depth security services focused on managed detection and response (MDR) and address the advanced cyber threats impacting their clients. By partnering with Arctic Wolf, MSPs can generate turnkey recurring revenue with industry-leading solutions for MSP security practices, including risk management, cloud monitoring, and managed detection and response. 

Learn more about how MSPs can better serve their clients with our report, “Closing the Gaps: Bridging the Divide Between SMBs and MSPs.” 

Explore how an MDR solution can transform an MSP’s cybersecurity offerings.  

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Arctic Wolf

Arctic Wolf provides your team with 24x7 coverage, security operations expertise, and strategically tailored security recommendations to continuously improve your overall posture.
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