An Interview with Ian Thornton-Trump
In this episode of TubbTalk, I talk to Ian Thornton-Trump, expert in cybersecurity and chief security officer of Cyjax, a threat intelligence and cybersecurity company.
We talk about the importance of being proactive, trusted advisor as a service and why you need to be an agile, resilient MSP owner.
How MSPs can use Cybersecurity Keep Their Clients Safe
Ian’s key recommendation is to encourage clients to use multi-factor authentication on all devices. Ensure all tools and services are covered, and make it clear that you won’t work with a company without MFA.
Get clear on the roadmap for the apps your clients use, too. What integrations are they using? Ian says MSPs need to focus on their own IT lifecycle rather than their clients’.
“Look at new tools and how you can make money from them. Learn how to use Azure, security solutions and more. You have to be prepared to evolve your offerings.”
Why MSPs Fail at Security Before a Cybersecurity Attack Even Happens
Ian explains that MSPs are about the preventative and the reactive when it comes to supporting their clients. They need to look at the numbers – the sooner you detect a breach, the less it will cost the client. However, what does that really mean?
How much data is involved? If you can reduce the amount of sensitive data being stored, that can save between 40 and 60% of what the client is paying now. “Instead of reacting when the customer has a ransomware attack, what can you do to anticipate it and prevent it happening?
“Listen to what’s being talked about, pay attention to how other businesses are getting hurt and don’t let that happen to your businesses.”
‘Trusted Advisor’ as a Service
Ian explains that the trusted advisor as a service concept is about working out how to make a customer less risky to your business. Get to know their business so well that you can advise them and help them avoid making mistakes.
You can also say, ‘If you do X, I’ll do Y’. Encourage them to adopt the tools and software you think are the best fit and give them a discount or other incentive to do so. If they adopt your preferred security solution, for instance, this lowers their risk. Upgrading their software means they’re less vulnerable to exposure.
“Guarantee a long-standing customer relationship by incentivising their security. Telling them it’s a regulatory requirement isn’t enough. Something has to change and we need to be proactive about improving our clients’ security.”
What Research MSPs Should do to Stay up to Date with Cybersecurity
Ian says it’s important to find ways to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of IT. “Listen to podcasts that focus on technology and the channel, like Richard’s.” He recommends exploring new technologies and understanding how they’ll help.
Your business has to be dynamic, because your customers certainly will be. Be strategic and give them whatever they want. Look for ways to make money from things like security, and be willing to adopt new technology.
“An MSP should never be surprised by their clients. If you have one that’s doing strange things, then have a conversation to learn why they’re doing it. They pay you to help them.”
Why MSPs Need to Communicate the Importance of Cybersecurity
An MSP needs to ensure that their clients are all taking basic steps to protect themselves. They need to practice good password management. If you have a client who doesn’t want to do this, then Ian says you need to get rid of them.
They’re a risk to your business and your other customers. Not because they’re a cybersecurity risk, although that’s also a possibility. Instead, Ian explains that all of your resources are focused on getting the customer out of a problem they got themselves into. And that happens at the expense of your other clients.
The Agile, Resilient MSP
Ian says being agile and resilient is important to grow your MSP. Get into the mindset of saying yes rather than no. When a client asks for something, go off and explore the options to find the right solution.
You also need to be resilient when a client decides to make big changes in their business. For instance, if they decide to merge with another company, see that as an opportunity, not just a challenge.
How to Connect with Ian Thornton-Trump
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Mentioned in This Episode
- CompTIA IASO