Did you know that adding security as part of your customer conversations is an opportunity to grow your business? And, as end-of-support for Windows 7 nears, now is the time to begin conversations about the cost savings and productivity benefits of cloud-based Windows 10.

Unique vulnerability of SMB customers

Most SMBs feel vulnerable to a cyber-attack, but worry that security is too complex, and requires staff and expertise they lack. As it turns out, fear of attack is not unfounded. Small businesses are the targets of more than half of known security breaches[1], which on average cost a staggering $120,000[2].

Understanding your SMB customer’s vulnerabilities will lead to better conversations about their advanced security needs.

Lack of expertise and familiarity with security best-practices

Years ago, an internet firewall, PC antivirus, and email filtering were sufficient to protect your business. Today, data in the cloud requires different security provisions. Sophisticated attackers now make attacks that are difficult to identify and repel.

 Not enough resources

Nearly two-thirds of SMBs (62 percent) believe they lack the in-house skills to identify, assess, and mitigate security risks[3].

 Decentralized workforce and systems

Remote and flexible work teams add another layer of benefits and challenges. More than half of the global workforce works remotely at least once per week[4]. SMBs are twice as likely to hire remote employees[5], opening themselves to the risks associated with decentralized teams and systems.

 Overwhelmed with available offerings

The number of competitors and offerings can be overwhelming, resulting in inaction.

How partners can help with Microsoft 365 Business

As a Microsoft partner, you are in a distinct position to help clients benefit from the cloud while mitigating cybersecurity threats. “We don’t wait for customers to talk about security, we lead with it as something that’s critical,” says Jason Fox, Product Architect at Microsoft partner Rackspace. “We don’t use fear-mongering, though. Our approach is to ask ‘Have you thought about these things? Here’s what could happen, and our recommendation.’”

Building your security solutions around Microsoft 365 Business provides SMBs advanced security capabilities and simplified data control, as well as the confidence to embrace new technology. Because cost is a major consideration for SMBs, Microsoft 365 Business helps reduce operational costs through seamless activation, centralized productivity and security management, and reduced support costs. Microsoft 365 Business customer and Director of MachineLogic, Nathan Taylor, sees the platform as “a great combination for us. It’s a fundamental security platform. You get more value out of O365 without bolting on a ton of stuff.”

Opportunities for Microsoft partners

Offering advanced security solutions to meet current customer needs increases your profitability and customer lifetime value of existing cloud customers. There is also potential for securing new customers in this sector, with the vast majority of SMBs saying they would consider hiring a new managed services provider (MSP) if it offered the right cybersecurity solution[6]. Once you’ve established the foundation with Microsoft 365, continue to build your business and margin with monthly managed services.

Next steps

Start with these resources to learn more about how to build your security practice:

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[1] Verizon, Data Breach Investigations Report

[2] Kaspersky Lab, Costly Cloud Breaches Putting Digital Transformation Strategies at Risk, Finds Kaspersky Lab, May

[3] Vanson Bourne for Continuum, Underserved and Unprepared: The State of SMB CyberSecurity in 2019

[4] Upwork, Upwork Future Workforce Report, April 2018

[5] Owl Labs survey, March 2019

[6] The State of SMB Cybersecurity in 2019 – Vanson Bourn

 

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