Five ways MSPs can jump-start Compliance as a Service

Published March 26, 2024
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Evan Pappas

The need for businesses to become compliant with specific cybersecurity standards is becoming increasingly important in nearly every industry. MSPs and clients are looking to reduce the risk of cyber attacks, avoid regulatory fines, and build trust with customers. 

In ScalePad’s 2024 MSP Trends Report, Compliance as a Service was the number one service MSPs were looking to add in the upcoming year. MSPs across the industry are realizing that compliance is no longer an option anymore. It’s a must-have.

But how can MSPs get started on offering compliance as part of their service? Let’s walk through five ways MSPs can jumpstart compliance as a service in their business.

Determine your capabilities and market

MSPs need to start by assessing their capabilities, cybersecurity compliance knowledge, technology infrastructure, and staff expertise. That way you can understand which areas need development to begin the compliance process.

As part of understanding your MSP’s capabilities, businesses need to identify their target market segments that require compliance services. Depending on the makeup of your current clients and goals for future clients, different frameworks are applicable. 

For example, businesses that work in medical services may have to adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which protects patients’ personal information of patients in the healthcare system.

Be sure to research compliance regulations and standards relevant to the industries you support as an MSP..

Build your services and pricing model

Once you know what your MSP’s capabilities are, you can begin to plan out and build the services you will start with. By understanding your target market, supported industries, and goals, you can build the correct service structure while considering the cost of service and projected revenue generation it will bring.

Services could include risk assessments, policy development, compliance audits, and ongoing monitoring. 

Pricing can be based on factors like complexity of service, the size of the client’s organization, and the level of ongoing support.

Invest in training and certifying staff

To execute compliance as a service, an MSP’s staff needs to be trained and certified in this area. That’s why the development process needs to provide plans for staff to get education on the regulations and best practices needed for your target market and the planned services offering. Two certifications in this area include the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

  • CISM certification is an advanced certification that focuses on developing and managing an information security program and understanding how security works to further business goals. CISM certification is conducted by the nonprofit organization ISACA.
  • CISSP certification is focused on protecting web-based information systems, specifically on operation and threat response. CISSP is offered by the independent ISC2 organization. 

While not required to offer compliance as a service, these certifications can support MSPs in becoming compliance experts for their customers. 

Implement in your MSP

When clients are looking for compliance as a service from an MSP, it’s often a good sign that the MSP itself is compliant with standards like SOC 2 or ISO 27001. 

By establishing the workflows and processes for internal compliance, MSPs can lead by example and experience. When your staff has real experience with meeting compliance standards, they are better equipped to provide that service to your clients.

MSPs, of course, also benefit from compliance as their data security will be improved, increasing the value of their service and even becoming more competitive in the market.

Market compliance service to existing and new clients

Once all the pieces are in place, MSPs should be able to determine which of their existing clients have compliance needs. Working collaboratively with those clients to address those needs will be a great way to jumpstart an MSP’s experience in the field. 

With the experience of implementing compliance as a service, MSPs can then develop a marketing plan to earn new clients specifically for their new compliance offering. 

It’s also an opportunity to leverage digital marketing channels like your website and social media, and offer educational content like white papers, webinars, and case studies to show prospective clients your MSP’s expertise.

Take the next step in the compliance journey

Every MSP is at a different place in their business journey, so while not all of the five steps above may apply to you directly, the details can be adapted to fit your business profile. 

It’s important to stay adaptable to the compliance requirements that clients need. By building out compliance as a part of your MSP, both leadership and staff can make more informed decisions regarding the way they provide service to clients. 

MSPs looking to jump into compliance as a service have a lot of work to do, but proper preparation, planning, and goal setting can prevent that workload from being overwhelming. Instead, it can be another aspect of your business planning process.

Equipping your MSP with the right tool for the job is also an important step. That’s why many MSPs are using ControlMap to manage and build their compliance service for customers. Learn more about how MSPs are guiding themselves and their clients to compliance with ControlMap.