Building a Security Practice

network-securityEvery day it seems there is a new blog from an MSP coach telling you to differentiate your business from the competition (target a vertical market, use different toolsets, better service, etc), yet none of them ever tell you about the power of security.  Given the media coverage over the past year regarding security breaches and password thefts, chances are your clients are reading the news stories and becoming increasingly concerned with the level of security on their own networks.  When is the last time you considered bolstering your firm with a suite of network security services?

Small business owners have a lot to lose if their network was compromised, considering that for most the business is their sole source of income, their retirement savings plan, their legacy.  There is significant value for both your clients and your own IT practice in offering services such as vulnerability management, penetration testing, and managed network security (using technologies such as hosted antivirus protection, hosted anti spam, global firewall management systems, etc).

Here are a few steps you can take to start building a security practice:

  1. Start talking to your clients about security and learn their top concerns.
  2. Appoint someone in your firm to take the lead on driving the security practice – you the owner are typically too consumed with running the business, and doing sales.
  3. Choose a vulnerability management system.  There are a few managed solutions available where daily, weekly, or monthly scans can be performed and email you branded reports of the status of the scans.
  4. Align your company with an antivirus provider and get your technical team certified on their product.
  5. Partner with a hosted anti spam solution that you can rebrand using your own logo and colours.  This provides your client with a sense that YOU are protecting them.
  6. Align your company with a leading UTM (Unified Threat Management) firewall brand and get your technical team certified on the product line.
  7. Get setup with a leading password management solution for your IT practice.  Even if you put all the best security in place for your clients, the doors are wide open if you aren’t properly protecting their passwords.

Take the time to put a few of these things in place and begin discussions with your clients around network security.  Most likely this is something on their minds and by taking the initiative on it now, you can reap the rewards.


This is a guest post written by Colin Knox on behalf of  Colin is the CEO of PASSPORTAL Inc. an online password management solution for IT providers and MSPs.  He is also the President of XCEL Professional Services a leading MSP in Calgary, Alberta Canada.  Having operated his own MSP for the previous 4 years, and previous experience in senior management at other firms for years before, Colin has experienced many rights and wrongs to running an effective and successful MSP.