Microsoft Defender

Source: ConnectWise

Microsoft and ConnectWise tackle SMB cybersecurity demands for MSPs

Cybersecurity is no longer a luxury that small and micro enterprises should ignore. According to data from the Australian Signals Directorate, the average cost of a cybercrime for small enterprises in Australia increased to $46,000 in 2023 from $39,000 in the previous year. Even while many of these businesses may want to protect themselves by putting strong cybersecurity measures in place, they must overcome two significant obstacles in the process:

  1. Lack of cybersecurity expertise

Over the next four years, CyberCX, projects that there may be up to 30,000 open cybersecurity jobs across Australia and New Zealand. These numbers highlight the challenges that businesses still have when trying to scale their security teams in the face of a skills shortage and rising demand.

  1. Expensive digital solutions

According to a new study commissioned by Microsoft, growing manufacturer pricing is one of the biggest issues facing technology partners today.  With 64% of SMBs preferring to buy cybersecurity solutions as part of a package that satisfies all their needs, they see no need to spend additional budget duplicating tools.

Microsoft Defender

Source: ConnectWise

With this in mind, and the rise in cyber threats, there is an increasing need for managed service providers (MSPs) who can support their customers’ cybersecurity with specialised knowledge and affordable solutions.

A curcial collaboration

Leading cybersecurity software vendor and MSP expert ConnectWise announced a new collaboration with Microsoft in September 2023. Together, they provide MSPs with a solution to meet the expanding cybersecurity needs of SMBs, to help overcome the two major obstacles mentioned above.

Microsoft Defender for Business’s SMB endpoint detection and response (EDR) software is integrated with ConnectWise’s co-managed Security Operations Centre (SOC) services to form ConnectWise MDR with Microsoft Defender for Business. Together, they create a Managed Detection and Response (MDR) solution with an emphasis on SMBs.

“The integration with ConnectWise represents our shared commitment to empowering managed service providers. This collaboration aims to enhance security for SMB customers, boost partner profitability, and reduce costs through integrated solutions.” Stated Rob Lefferts, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Defender and Microsoft Sentinel Engineering.

MSP-focused security team: add to your existing team

MSPs have access to the more than 200 certified security experts of the ConnectWise SOC when they use ConnectWise MDR with Microsoft Defender for Business. The ConnectWise staff manages all security alerts and responds in real-time, around-the-clock, serving as an extension of the MSP business. By leveraging the SOC’s capabilities, MSPs supercharge detection and response offerings to secure their clients’ systems while streamlining operations, maximising profitability, and freeing up the business to scale and grow.

The ConnectWise Research Unit (CRU), a group of seasoned security experts with experience in incident investigation and response, engineering, IT administration, and security operations, collaborates closely with the ConnectWise SOC. CRU analysts are entirely focused on MSPs; they constantly search for unusual activity, researching emerging threats and collating new information. The proactive approach ensures MSPs and their clients remain shielded in the evolving threat landscape.

Harnessing Existing Software – reducing your costs

As SMBs often work with tighter budgets, leveraging existing technology where possible is critical. With ConnectWise MDR with Microsoft Defender for Business, MSPs can utilise the cybersecurity software that their clients likely already own. Microsoft Defender for Business (MDB) is also available as a standalone solution, so it can easily be installed if the client is not a Microsoft 365 Business Premium user. Microsoft 365 Business Premium, one of the most popular software suites on the market, ships with MDB, so there is no need to buy extraneous solutions.

“To offer all we do now [with ConnectWise] along with the relationship, is phenomenal,” stated the CEO of an Australian MSP for SMBs and a ConnectWise MDR with Microsoft Defender for Business user. It puts us on the same playing field as larger MSPs. We can do it as well as them.”

With bad actors no longer exclusively targeting large corporations, smaller Australian businesses simply cannot afford to wait to bolster their security posture. Now is the time to expand your MSP services to these customers by taking advantage of cost-effective, impactful solutions. To learn more about the unique offerings for MSPs that ConnectWise offers, click through to connect with a representative near you.