Author: Erik Leong

With the cost of cybercrime predicted to reach $8 trillion in 2023, more and more companies are looking to cybersecurity managed service providers (MSPs) to enhance their security posture and ensure their data and assets are protected.

Working with cybersecurity MSP enables you to assess potential problem areas in your business and implement solutions. Plus, it can save both time and money in the short term and lay the groundwork to prevent an even larger disaster down the line.

There are countless cybersecurity MSPs to select from, but the goal is to ensure you choose the right provider. One with a strong reputation and proven track record who can meet the specific security needs and goals of your organization.

To help you make the best choice, we asked our partners at Netrio to share some of the critical considerations for choosing a cybersecurity MSP.

Here are eight questions to include as you vet potential partners.

#1. What’s their experience and expertise?

When choosing a cybersecurity MSP, experience and expertise can make a difference. You want a provider with a track record of successfully handling similar cybersecurity challenges in your industry.

Years in business don’t necessarily tell the whole story.  You need to know how they stay current with emerging threats or technology. What kind of ongoing education programs do they offer their employees? Also, look for certifications and accreditations demonstrating the MSP’s commitment to cybersecurity best practices.

Finally, ask if they have any use cases or case studies, they can share with you. These are excellent ways to see real examples of the work they do and what kind of results you can expect.


#2. What tools and technology are they using?

Technology evolves quickly, and cybercriminals move even faster. Part of being a top-notch cybersecurity MSP is staying on top of current technology and tools, so you’ll want to know if they’re up to date with the latest security solutions. Furthermore, do they align with your company’s technology stack?

The range of available tools and tech will dictate the cybersecurity services they can provide. Risk assessment, threat detection and response, vulnerability management, and security awareness training are all services you may be looking to a cybersecurity MSP for, so understanding what tools and tech they use is a must.


#3. What are their response times and SLAs?

When it comes to mitigating and responding to cyberattacks and data breaches, time is of the essence. As such, you’ll want to be clear on your cybersecurity MSPs response times and SLAs for incident response.

Do their response times and SLAs align with your company’s risk tolerance? What are your compliance requirements, and do those align? Are their SLAs realistic based on their resources?

Response times and SLAs can heavily affect everything from minimizing downtime and achieving a prompt resolution to mitigating financial loss and managing reputational impacts, so this needs to be discussed in detail when vetting cybersecurity MSPs.


#4. What kind of reporting and monitoring do they offer?

A key aspect of successful cybersecurity management is detecting and stopping threats before they happen.  However, reporting and monitoring aren’t just about threat detection. Working with an MSP who provides extensive reporting and monitoring can also help with everything from resource allocation to trend analysis.

When speaking with potential partners, ask them about what types of reports and monitoring they offer and at what frequency. Also, you’ll want to know what level of access your team will have to the information and if you’ll get real-time insights.


#5. How do they handle compliance and data privacy?

Whoever you choose as your cybersecurity MSP, you’ll want to feel very confident they have a deep understanding of your industry’s specific cybersecurity requirements and compliance regulations and standards. Standards like HIPAA can have wide-reaching impacts, and your MSP should be well-versed.

Ask the MSP how they will secure and handle your company’s sensitive data. What processes and procedures must they adhere to protection and data privacy standards?


#6. How do they communicate with clients?

Strong working relationships are built on a foundation of good communication that is consistent and clear, and your cybersecurity MSP is no exception.

Most MSPs offer 24/7/365 support, but you should still have a single point of contact for any issues.

When speaking with potential MSPs, consider their communication style. How willing do they seem to collaborate with your internal teams? What kind of regular touchpoints are they providing? Are there transparent processes in place for communication about emergencies?

#7. What are their disaster recovery and continuity capabilities?

While no company wants to consider the worst-case scenario with their cybersecurity, being prepared for it is critical. Cybersecurity MSPs generally offer robust disaster recovery plans that include ensuring business continuity, but this isn’t something you should make assumptions about.

Ask them to walk you through some disaster recovery scenarios including:

  • What tools and tech do they use for disaster recovery?
  • What steps are taken to ensure business continuity in the case of an unexpected event?
  • What is their communication plan?
  • What types of disasters are covered in the plan?
  • How often are plans tested and updated?
  • Do they have backup locations?
  • What tools and tech do they use for disaster recovery?

These questions will help you assess the cybersecurity MSP’s disaster recovery capabilities and allow you to determine whether they align with your company’s needs and expectations for business continuity.


#8. Can the relationship grow with you?

Whatever your cybersecurity needs are, those will change and evolve. Choosing a cybersecurity MSP who can grow and adapt to your organization is in your best interest.

Think of this as a long-term partnership — and the right partner will be there to support your growth while also helping you achieve ongoing cybersecurity success.

Ask potential providers how they support their clients who are trying to scale. It will be much easier to meet your business goals with a supportive partner that grows with you over time.

Get the Support You Need When Vetting Cybersecurity MSPs

In a digital landscape where threats evolve rapidly, choosing the right cybersecurity MSP isn’t just about protecting your business today; it’s about securing your future.

By diligently asking your potential cybersecurity MSPs these crucial questions, you can build a partnership that safeguards your data and assets and supports your company’s cybersecurity success.

Bridgepointe knows how mission-critical security is in today’s threat landscape. Our cybersecurity experts focus on setting you up with the right security strategy and solutions to help you identify and defend against a wide range of threats.

Book a no-obligation consultation with one of Bridgepointe’s security specialists now.