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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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Using the Cloud for Scalability: So You Think You’re Secure…

Posted June 15, 2015by Adrienne Merrick-Tagore

Most MSPs think they are providing their customers with a solid security posture by providing regular patch management, by using antivirus on endpoints, and by using firewalls to secure their customers’ networks. These are all necessary solutions, yes, but they require another layer of protection. Ideally, you’re ahead of the game and using RMM to operationalize your workflow and manage your customers’ IT. But the thing is, you need to proactively manage your security too. Firewalls and antivirus alone don’t cut it anymore.

It seems like there are new security breaches and threats coming to light every day. Your SMB customers are increasingly in the attackers’ cross hairs. And while attackers are innovating, the typical security offering hasn’t changed much for SMBs. 

SMBs Make Attractive Targets

Why are attackers more interested in SMBs? Malware (even zero-day malware) is cheaper and easier than ever. Additionally, attackers can use cloud payment systems and job posting boards for cybercrime-as-a-service for just a few hundred dollars. At the same time, an effective security program requires layers of different types of security products to protect networks, endpoints like laptops, and to manage authentication credentials. SMBs simply can’t protect themselves, so attackers get a higher ROI when they go after SMBs.

SMBs can also be attractive targets because they’re often the weakest link in the supply chain for larger enterprises. Think about the recent Target breach: attackers actually got into Target’s payment system by going after Fazio Mechanical, a small HVAC company that worked on refrigeration systems. While Target had invested in security, Fazio Mechanical represents a small business that didn’t have the help of an MSP to properly protect themselves.

An Incomplete Security Solution

So now let’s take a look at security from a technology perspective. Antivirus is certainly necessary, but by itself isn't a complete security solution as it identifies threats after they’ve already infected a device. According to Gartner, traditional antivirus typically identifies only 20-50% of new or low volume threats. Antivirus has been around forever. OK, technically antivirus has been around since 1987, when Bernd Fix removed the Vienna Virus from an IBM platform. But the point is: antivirus is reactive. It identifies malware and other threats after they’re already in your system. We all know that being proactive is key to being a successful MSP, so clients can't solely depend on traditional antivirus solutions. 

The next logical step is to strengthen your security solution and take a proactive stance on malware protection. For decades, that meant installing a firewall. Firewalls are great for securing ports on the corporate network, but the world has changed. Now, work is a thing we do from coffee shops and airports — work isn’t a place we go to. In reality, mobile employees often bypass firewalls and other on-premises appliances by not using their VPN when on the go, since VPN slows down their connection. The cloud has changed how we do business. We want access from anywhere. We want our connections to be fast. We want to scale our business by being on 24/7. The cloud has enabled businesses to grow at an unprecedented velocity. But just as the cloud benefits businesses, it also makes it easier for attackers to infiltrate businesses. So how do we stay secure? In this new world, security needs to work in the cloud. It needs to protect users wherever they roam, so that corporate data is secure, whether it’s on or off-network.

That’s where OpenDNS comes in — providing cloud-delivered, predictive network security.

What Is Predictive Security?

It’s not just a buzzword.

It’s acting to block threats as advanced attacks are being set up, rather than reacting to attacks when they happen, or after the fact. Predicting threats requires acquiring data unrivaled in scale and scope. OpenDNS sees over 70 billion daily Internet requests across our global network, and we convert this data into intelligence using algorithmic classifiers. What’s really cool is our focus on pioneering security automation, preventing researchers from becoming a bottleneck in attack forecasting.

So when you stop by the OpenDNS booth at Navigate 2015, take a look at how quick and easy it is to add a predictive, cloud-delivered security layer, using OpenDNS with Continuum. And in the mean time, try out OpenDNS Umbrella for MSPs. The trial is free and doesn’t even require a credit card to sign up. If you’re still not sure, you can check out this video demo to see how it works.

OpenDNS is an exhibitor at Navigate 2015, our second annual user conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Click here for more information about the event!

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Adrienne Merrick-Tagore is Product Marketing Manager at OpenDNS, focused on the MSP business. Prior to joining OpenDNS, she worked in Marketing at WhiteHat Security. Her current focus is simplifying communications between groups, both internally and externally. Having experience in the security and finance industries, Adrienne is familiar with the fast-paced, risk-management mindset and uses that background to craft compelling stories, bringing data analytics to life in the enterprise B2B and B2C worlds.

RMM 101: Must-haves for Your IT Management Solution
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