Ah yes, the classic line from small businesses: “We’re just a tiny fish, why would hackers bother with us?”

But the data shows a startling reality: 41% of small businesses were victims of cyberattacks in 2023. The truth is, hackers actively target the little guys precisely because they bank on SMBs having slim security.

The struggle for MSPs trying to protect their SMB clients is real. Skilled security professionals are in high demand and expensive. Meanwhile, attackers are bypassing traditional defenses by, instead of using malware, mimicking legitimate IT activities within systems. They’re hitting cloud infrastructure and exploiting identity. And to top it off, they’ve pivoted from stealth to speed, making fast response capability an imperative.

“I think the mean time now is about an hour and 12 minutes for a hacker to access your data if you fall victim to a phishing attack. That’s really fast. So speed is of the essence,” says Redha Morsli, CEO of FSi Strategies, an MSP specializing in Microsoft technologies. Morsli has watched the attack landscape intensify in recent years as cloud and hybrid environments have become the norm.

Compounding the issue, organizations tend to use a patchwork of disjointed, non-integrated security tools. And the more tools an org uses, the worse off they actually are—organizations using more than 16 security tools actually face nearly three times more security incidents.

“What you really want is less tools with more capabilities,” says Morsli. “If you’ve got too many tools doing the security work, it’s going to be much more likely that something’s going to slip through the cracks because unless they’re from a single platform like Microsoft, they’re not integrated.”

Small but Mighty: An Enterprise-grade Platform

While the hurdles are high, MSPs can help their SMB clients level up their cyber game to enterprise protection status—which is where it needs to be in a hard-hitting threat landscape. Microsoft, says Morsli, has developed its products for enterprise-grade security, and made its solutions available to small and midmarket businesses at a fraction of the cost.

“The good news is, Microsoft’s security stack is simply phenomenal,” he says, citing the company’s investments in products like Defender, Entra, Purview, Priva and Intune. He favors Microsoft for its comprehensive, integrated solutions spanning protection for not only devices, but also data and identity.

But Morsli cautions that the complexity of properly deploying and managing Microsoft’s security stack is difficult for MSPs to handle alone.

“You still need to know what policies you want to configure, what’s important to your customers and the uniqueness of their environments, and then you need ongoing maintenance of these policies,” he says. “And that doesn’t solve the overall problem, that you need to have eyes on them.”

The Importance of an Elite Security Partner

A partner who specializes in Microsoft with the expertise to monitor and manage Microsoft’s security solutions and the Microsoft environment is a force multiplier for MSPs, and ensures you are getting the maximum value from your Microsoft security investment, Morsli says.

“As somebody that owns an MSP, it’s hard to have visibility 24/7,” he says. “A model that a lot of MSPs have is they like to hire individuals and grow them. And unfortunately, we don’t have the time for that…We don’t have time to draft the QB and to train them, and have them sit and understand how to do this. The stakes are too high for that.”

How does the team at FSi Strategies spend its time? Helping clients strategically leverage Microsoft technology to do more, Morsli says. And while his company is helping clients be more productive, his partnership with Blackpoint ensures the security side is taken care of with components such as:

  • A 24/7 security ops center staffed with analysts who spot active attacks as they happen and take action on threats in real time
  • Integrations with Microsoft Defender to manage and threat hunt on Defender alerts
  • Purpose-built MDR technology to catch threats that bypass Defender
  • Protection for the Microsoft 365 cloud environment in the form of Blackpoint Cloud Response
  • The ability to identify malicious activity based on behaviors rather than malware
  • The fastest response times, with an average of 7 minutes for cloud incidents and overall average of 27 minutes
  • A comprehensive suite of tools to pair with Microsoft solutions, keeping MSP operations streamlined and systems cohesive and integrated

Protecting clients with world-class security may seem like a tall order, but Morsli encourages MSPs to start simply, with leveraging the Microsoft products and licenses their customers already have, and building on top of that.

“Security is a wonderful opportunity to position yourself as a true strategic partner for your customers,” Morsli says. “So make good, strategic decisions about the technology and the partner you’re going to be leveraging. Security is very hard to do by yourself, and it’s even harder if you don’t have a comprehensive, fully integrated platform that leverages intelligence and has full visibility in your organization to secure those identities, devices, and data…When you have that combination of Microsoft Security cloud stack with Blackpoint, that’s just a winning combo in my opinion.”

Watch more insights from Redha Morsli in our on-demand webinar, Accelerate Your Defense Against Modern Threats.

The Blackpoint Brief

The Blackpoint Brief is our monthly e-newsletter to cover the latest APG research, SOC saves, sales resources, webinars, and in-person events. Stay up to date so that you can best protect your clients.