How Information Security Audits Can Lead to New Opportunities for MSPs

by Sarah Harvey / June 18th, 2019

Managed service providers (MSPs) have a unique role: they are entrusted by other organizations to fulfill some or all of their business functions. Often times, organizations hire MSPs to create and maintain strong security postures, and when these organizations partner with managed services providers, they want to know that they won’t bring more risk into their environment. So, how can they ensure that they won’t increase risk?

How Can MSPs Demonstrate That They’re Secure?

What would it cost you if your organization compromised client data because of insecure managed services? How would you be impacted if your services were hacked? MSPs cater to various industries and are likely to interact with a number of various sensitive assets on a regular basis. After all, as vendors, MSPs rely on the data of other organizations to fuel their business. Because of this, MSPs must make it a priority to ensure that they offer secure services, and they can do this by undergoing annual information security audits.

Common Frameworks for Managed Service Providers

While managed service providers may be required to comply with various frameworks and legal regulations depending on the industry they’re in, types of organizations they work with, and services they offer, we believe that MSPs should consider undergoing audits for the following common information security frameworks. By doing so, managed service providers will be able to find and mitigate vulnerabilities in their security posture, assure their clients that they are secure, and get assurance by a third-party auditing firm that they are doing everything they need to be doing to keep their clients’ sensitive assets secure.

  • SOC 1: When you engage in a SOC 1 audit, an assessor will review your internal controls over financial reporting. For managed service providers who are outsourced to provide financial reports to other organizations, a SOC 1 audit may be necessary.
  • SOC 2: As an MSP, it’s likely that your customers will want to verify that you’re doing everything that you can to secure their sensitive assets. Undergoing a SOC 2 audit is a key way to demonstrate this. Why? By engaging in a SOC 2 audit, you can ensure your current and potential clients that their information is secure, available, and confidential.
  • PCI: Many businesses in the retail industry partner with MSPs to outsource some of their business processes. As an MSP, if your services get compromised by a malicious hacker and your clients’ payment card information is stolen, how would that impact your business?
  • HIPAA: Do you provide managed services to healthcare organizations? If so, you would be considered a business associate and are thus responsible for ensuring that you comply with the HIPAA Security, Privacy, and Breach Notification laws.
  • GDPR: If part of your managed services involves working with organizations located in the EU or with the personal data of EU data subjects, you’re responsible for complying with GDPR.

Benefits of Information Security Audits for MSPs

If your clients can’t trust you to ensure that their sensitive assets remain secure, then why would they do business with you? As a managed service provider, and trusted third-party vendor, undergoing information security audits is so much more than something to check off a to-do list. Instead, it’s an investment that will result in a stronger, more robust security posture, a competitive advantage, and most importantly: peace of mind for your clients.

Regardless of the industry or type of organization MSPs partner with, ensuring that people, processes, and technologies used to deliver your managed services must be a top priority.  Want to learn more about how KirkpatrickPrice can help you secure your managed services? Contact us today.

More MSP Resources

How Can a SOC 2 Bring Value to MSPs?

When Will You See the Benefit of an Audit?

5 Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Audit Partner

What Type of Compliance is Right for You? 10 Common Information Security Frameworks