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July 22, 2015

How to Validate Your Security Services with an Effective Risk Assessment

Drew McCallum
Product Solutions Analyst
ConnectWise, Inc.
Security Services Solutions

By now, you know there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for security. Every infrastructure is unique and some are more vulnerable than others. Are you accounting for this diversity when pitching prospective clients on your security solutions?

And what about your current clients? Are you routinely checking the pulse on their individual infrastructures to ensure there are no holes that could leave them exposed to the latest and greatest threats?

If the answer to any of these questions is no (or occasionally), it’s time to start thinking about implementing regular IT security risk assessments.

Why You Should be Conducting Risk Assessments

Effective IT security risk assessments are those that can be used to gauge and communicate a monetary impact related to security threats. Ask your prospective clients if they know how much money an exposed infrastructure could truly cost them. Use what you find in your assessment to sell them on the true value of your services.

For current clients, conduct regular assessments so you continue to provide them with the best service possible. If you aren’t scrutinizing their systems frequently, you could find yourself in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

4 Steps to an Effective Assessment

While security risk assessments will certainly vary client to client, follow these 4 steps and you’ll be well on your way to validating superior risk mitigation and prevention at a premium.

1. Take inventory. Until you know what’s out there to protect, you can’t begin to offer the very best protection. A remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform like LabTech can help you quickly identify and evaluate IT assets, so you can have complete visibility into your clients’ IT networks.

2. Identify vulnerabilities. Where are the greatest weaknesses? Are non-compliant devices being used on the client’s network? Are they running an ancient server that could crash at any moment and cripple their business for days (or weeks)?

Vulnerabilities come in many forms. Generally speaking, you want to look for issues that could cause downtime or data leaks. Remember, this isn’t a one-and-done event. It’s important to reassess clients’ systems at regular intervals. Even if you can only get around to it once per year, it’s a nice value add to keep clients coming back for more.

3. Assess risk and prioritize. While any number of damaging things could happen to a client’s environment—a careless employee could leak sensitive data or a snow storm could cut power for days—the likelihood of any given ‘dangerous’ event certainly varies. For instance, if the customer lives in Michigan, there’s no almost no chance of a hurricane wiping out their on-site data center.

Probability is key here. Instead of overwhelming your client with possibilities, focus on their top vulnerabilities—the ones that are most likely to happen and will cause the greatest impact/business disruption.

4. Suggest solutions. Now that you’ve identified what the client is up against, it’s time to suggest solutions. As we talked about above, every security solution has its strengths and weaknesses. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. With your assessment in hand, you can begin to narrow down the field by evaluating the options based on the client’s greatest needs.

Performing a security risk assessment can help you more easily justify the cost of your services to your current and future clients alike. Show them what they stand to lose by ignoring security concerns and you’ll be able to overcome primary objections with ease, and get closer to closing the deal.

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Drew McCallum Product Solutions Analyst
ConnectWise, Inc.

As co-founder of his own managed services business, Drew truly understands the day-to-day challenges of building an IT services business from the ground up.

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