Why a Cybersecurity Policy is a Must-Have for your MSP in 2022

By Lily January 3, 2022

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Does your MSP have a consistent way in which it implements and manages cybersecurity? If not, you are opening yourself and your customers up to a lot more liability than you realize.

Failing to have good practices in place opens your business to risk and liability that can directly affect your bottom line. Security breaches cost an average of $3.83 million to resolve.

Any breach involving your customers that they can link to your security practices spells out major liability concerns for your MSP.  

In this article, we explore why an MSP cybersecurity policy is a must-have in 2022 and how it reduces risk and improves operations.  

Why Cybersecurity Policy Matters to MSPs

Policies are simply a set of rules that outline how an organization manages its operations. These rules are important as they create a baseline for the overall operation.

This is even more important for MSPs as the security policies created to apply to the security of the MSP’s data and the customer’s data.

Having these policies in place expresses that your MSP is doing due diligence in protecting customers’ information, which is essential for reducing potential liability. 

Risk of Lax Policy

Failure to implement strong security policies can cost MSPs. In a recent lawsuit, an MSP was sued by a customer that had fallen prey to a phishing scam.

The attack cost the customer $1.7 Million in damages, and the business sued the MSP because the MSP’s security policies were too relaxed, which led to the breach. 

By creating and following strong security policies, MSPs do not leave any room for customers to place the blame on them for security failures.

This is important for MSPs to consider as any customer data they fail to protect might be covered under compliance regulations such as Sarbanes Oxley (SOX), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

These regulations all have strong penalties for failure to comply. Recent studies have shown that the cost of non-compliance can run over $14 million, which is a significant liability that MSPs will want to avoid. 

Benefits of Cybersecurity Policy

Cybersecurity policies prevent one-off solutions for organizational security. Rather than re-developing the wheel every time your organization must address a security need, security policies instead outline the baseline rules that you must follow to meet it.

It creates an overriding vision of security that drives consistency and improves security across your MSP and customer base.  

A good cybersecurity policy that is strictly adhered to can also reduce potential liability for your organization. It is not enough to have a good security policy in place, but it also needs to be adhered to consistently.

This makes it harder for customers to argue that any security failures are the fault of your MSP rather than failings on their part. 

Developing Good Policies

Developing good policies is a combination of art and science. Some prescriptive items should be in all policies, and other factors about how things are stated require a bit of thought for their development.

An example of this is that policies should be developed with high-level guidance about controls and processes so that they are evergreen.

Rather than listing specific technologies to manage a control such as “Actifile for encryption,” they should instead list all sensitive data to be encrypted up to FIPS 140-2 standards.

This way, the baseline of what needs to be done is understood, yet if the technology changes, it does not force a rushed update of policies.

What Should be Included?

Fortunately, the prescriptive items are more of a check box for policy development. For example, all policies need an objective statement and a listing of strategies to meet the objective.

When developing new policies, it’s easy to include sections for this information before defining the steps, so it is never missed.

Other template details are that policies need to be formally accepted by business leadership. This is usually done by including a signature portion at the bottom for key stakeholders such as the COO or Director of Information Security.

This signature is to denote that they had a say in the development of the policy. 

Templates For Rapid Implementation

Regarding templates, even MSPs that have never developed security policies have resources to get them started.

There are several existing security templates available online that are sufficient to get you started.  SANs offers examples of these standardized cybersecurity policy templates.

Templates are divided up by security domain, and they range from generic acceptable use policies to more targeted removable media policies.

These templates have been used widely throughout the industry and will form a solid baseline for your MSP business and its customers. 

A Partner Who Can Help

We-Bridge has the experience to help your organization with solutions that can help grow your organization and secure your clients. Schedule a demo today to learn how We-bridge can help your organization evolve its security posture.  

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