Will Your Managed Service Provider Survive COVID-19?

A screen shows the word CORONAVIRUS with an arrow with a downward trajectory, symbolizing the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.Aside from those who sell sweatpants and hand sanitizer, most companies are experiencing some economic stress related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is particularly true for small businesses with fewer resources available to help them weather the recession: 37.7 percent of those included in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey for June 21-27 reported that the pandemic has had a “large negative effect” on them, and an additional 45 percent said they’ve experienced a “moderate negative effect.”

Small managed service providers (MSPs) are no exception. Although the need to accommodate remote workers is driving demand for outsourced IT support and services, those without the resources to meet complex tech needs and compete with bigger MSPs could still close down. If you currently rely on a small managed IT service provider, here’s why you might want to consider making a change now.

Why Small IT Service Providers Might Not Make It Through the Pandemic

Robin Robins – a well-known marketing and sales consultant for managed IT service providers and founder of TechnologyMarketing Toolkit – recently posted a video on her website in which she addresses a question from a smaller MSP without a sales team or much in terms of monetary resources. This provider reports experiencing a dip in sales and client loss as a result of COVID-19.

This is just one example of how the pandemic is already affecting smaller IT service providers. With the case count continuing to grow and the World Bank expecting the U.S. economy to contract by 6.1 percent this year, it seems unlikely the financial pressure will ease anytime soon.

Losing business and lacking the staff and resources needed to identify and seize new opportunities, these smaller companies might not survive as the public health crisis continues. That could leave you in a less than ideal position if you rely on one of these MSPs and they close their doors.

MSPs and Cybersecurity: Is Your Current Provider Putting You at Risk?

Even if the MSP you work with doesn’t go under, you might want to consider whether they have the skills, staff and tools needed to protect your network and data from constantly evolving cybersecurity threats. Fending off increasingly crafty hackers was already difficult before the pandemic, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated the problem, inspiring coronavirus-themed scams and schemes.

In an alert issued earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) warned that malicious actors had started incorporating COVID-19 into their efforts to access sensitive data. Pandemic-themed phishing messages have proliferated: Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) reported 18 million COVID-19-related malware and phishing Gmail messages daily near the beginning of the U.S. outbreak.

On top of that, the public health crisis has worsened ransomware attacks. During the first quarter of the year, the average ransom payment rose to $111,605, up 33 percent from the fourth quarter of 2019, according to Coveware.

Additionally, with everyone working from home, hackers are now attempting to exploit weaknesses in remote work infrastructure. To combat COVID-19-driven cybercrime and avoid costly data breaches, it’s imperative to partner with an IT service provider that can deliver high-level security expertise and next-gen solutions like network and endpoint Managed Detection and Response (MDR) and zero-trust network architecture. If your current MSP doesn’t have the ability to also serve as your Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) and address any compliance requirements your company has, you might want to consider other options.

Ultimately, choosing the right MSP to handle your IT can make the difference between long-term success and struggling to stay afloat. At Stratosphere Networks, we offer a wide range of managed services, including co-managed IT, managed IT and comprehensive managed cybersecurity services – in addition to trusted advisor services and strategic consulting to give you a competitive edge.

For information about how we can help you contain costs while giving you on-demand access to high-level expertise and improving your security posture, please give us a call at 877-599-3999 or email sales@stratospherenetworks.com.

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