This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: New blog articles in Microsoft Tech Community.
In this blog, Kevin Gritsch and Nick Ross at Pax8 discuss how to defend your company against risks and why you should offer Microsoft 365 Business to your customers. If your New Year’s resolution is to take advantage of the growth opportunities in the security space, this is the perfect blog to get you started.
Help your SMB customers become more secure with Microsoft 365 Business
By Kevin Gritsch, Director of Solution Engagement, Pax8 and Nick Ross, Internal Operations Director, Pax8
Pax8 is a cloud distributor in the Microsoft Partner Network, and many of our partners are Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) who provide managed IT services for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). We know from firsthand experience that security is a huge priority as SMBs migrate their workloads to the cloud and enable a mobile workforce. This is a great opportunity for CSPs to provide a smart and easy solution to help protect their businesses.
Microsoft 365 Business has proven to be a great fit for the size of their clients’ businesses because of their security, productivity, and mobile management needs. In fact, all of our CSPs who offer Microsoft 365 Business have had remarkable success. A great example of this is machineLOGIC, a Denver-based Managed Service Provider (MSP). machineLOGIC’s President Daniel Johnson explains, “Each time we’ve described what’s included with Microsoft 365 Business, clients want to move forward, recognizing immediately the value to their business, security, and success.”
But first, let’s make sure your security house is in order. MSPs and CSPs have recently become a target of cyberattacks, and it’s important that you shore up that risk to safeguard your customers.
It starts with securing your own business
Cybercriminals are targeting MSPs and CSPs in hopes of gaining access to several customers at once. This has become such a big issue for both partners and customers that last year the Federal Trade Commission mandated that service providers implement security practices. If you haven’t already, it’s critical that you strengthen your security posture. These four steps can help you better protect your data and customers:
- Apply Conditional Access policies. Conditional Access lets you write policies that allow, deny, or limit access based on the circumstances. In the riskiest situations, you can automatically block access. For other conditions, you can require a specific action first before allowing access. For example, if a user tries to sign in on an unknown device, you can require device enrollment before granting access.
- Implement multi-factor authentication using Conditional Access. With multi-factor authentication, users must provide at least two forms of authentication. Use Conditional Access policies to enforce multi-factor authentication when risk is elevated. This allows you to optimize productivity, while boosting security.
- Lock down your endpoints. You should go beyond traditional anti-virus by leveraging a solution like Azure Advanced Threat Protection (Azure ATP), which monitors user, device, and resource behaviors to detect anomalies and block or flag high-risk incidents.
- Develop an incident response plan. It’s not possible to entirely eliminate the risk of a breach, so if and when you suffer from a security incident, it’s helpful to have a blueprint to guide action during a high stress situation. A good incident response plan will allow you to recover as quickly possible, limiting damage to your organization and your customers.
Once you have the appropriate security measures in place, then you can help your customers better safeguard their own business.
Help SMBs transform their businesses for the modern workplace
Businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on cloud-based services and mobile workforces. However, SMBs often don’t have the same resources for this type of transformation as a large enterprise would. They may lack security-focused staff or lack the time to research the best tools. By filling these needs, you become an indispensable partner.
Microsoft 365 Business is a comprehensive solution designed to empower workplace mobility, while reducing risk. Microsoft 365 Business provides the Office 365 productivity, communication, and cloud storage products that users know, plus crucial security tools:
- Secure access to your organization with intelligent identity and access management.
- Increase productivity with single sign-on (SSO) and secure access to apps using automatic provisioning and deprovisioning.
- Defend against malware with Microsoft threat protection tools that work together to help secure your email, data, devices, and identities.
- Support a bring your own device policy and protect your information, even when accessed on your employees’ personal devices.
As Johnson says, “Microsoft 365 Business offered our clients the most value for their IT spend, including complete device management, email protection, threat protection, Intune, virtual desktop infrastructure, and more.”
If your customers tend to be larger businesses, Microsoft 365 Enterprise offers comprehensive security and productivity solutions geared to the needs of enterprises. There is tremendous opportunity in this market too. Microsoft research identified a 10 percent increase in year-over-year revenue opportunity in enterprise security sales in 2019 over 2018.
Simplify the cloud journey
Many of our partners are so busy servicing their own customers, that they too struggle to stay current on the latest technology. These CSPs turn to Pax8 for education and enablement to augment their expertise and service. The Pax8 Wingman program offers hands-on professional support from pre-sales through post-sales:
- Pre-sales support. Pax8 is an expert in Microsoft 365 solutions. When its partners are prepping for a sales call with an SMB, Pax8 provides guidance, sales materials, or a proof of concept to help the customer make the sale.
- Deployment support: Access deployment guides. Pax8 also staffs Cloud Engineers who can help partners plan, assess, design, migrate, customize, and optimize cloud solutions.
- Post-sales support. Once the solution is sold and deployed, Pax8 account managers and technical support are available 24/7.
- Simplified billing. The Pax8 solution integrates with popular Professional Services Automation (PSA) software, such as ConnectWise, Autotask, Tiger Paw, Kaseyo, and Syncro. The billing platform has saved our partners hours and even days each month by providing a single monthly and annual usage-based bill for each partner and their customers. Services are prorated depending on when a seat was provisioned.
As SkyCamp Technologies President, Craig Campbell explains, “Pax8 makes it easy for me to run my business and help our clients adopt more cloud solutions to keep their businesses running efficiently and securely.”
Make 2020 the year that you become a security-based CSP with Microsoft 365 Business. If you need additional support, reach out to Microsoft.
I’ve been really impressed with Pax8’s growth. The company exemplifies why a security-focused practice is a good business strategy. I hope Kevin Gritsch and Nick Ross’s advice helps you increase profits and better safeguard your customers in the coming year!
Learn more about Microsoft 365 Business.
Read up on the opportunity for security CSPs.