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WATCH: Cybercrime Requires A New Type Of MSP, Says Continuum CEO Michael George

‘If MSPs are not going on the offense, being proactive in their communication, having that hard message with their client, small to medium-size businesses are going to fire their existing MSP and go hire another one,’ says Continuum CEO Michael George in an interview with CRNtv.

The changing cybersecurity landscape is requiring MSPs to engage with customers in new ways—or else they could be out of a job, said Continuum CEO Michael George.

“If MSPs are not going on the offense, being proactive in their communication, having that hard message with their client, small to medium-size businesses are going to fire their existing MSP and go hire another one,” said George in an interview with CRNtv.

Continuum is a managed services platform developer with headquarters in Boston. The company has been making significant investments in its security business recently, in June acquiring Carvir, an MSP-focused developer of monitored and managed security. It all comes as cybercrime rakes in over a trillion dollars around the world every year and leaves small and midsize businesses most at risk.

[Related: Big MSP Security Play: Continuum Acquires Carvir To Accelerate SIEM, SOC Capabilities]

“Most MSPs understand their customers are wide open and completely vulnerable to a number of different attack vectors, largely with social engineering and spearphishing,” said George, adding that it’s up to the MSP to inform and educate customers.

“The MSP now has to have a hard conversation with their customer and say, ‘Hey, everything we’ve been doing with you over the last several years has been right and we’ve been protecting you under the challenges we used to face, but those challenges have changed exponentially.”

One of the biggest challenges MSPs face is that most security technologies are geared toward large enterprises, according to George.

“It’s a multilayered technology that’s principally designed for large enterprises. They’re not engineered to be in the hands of an MSP for instance, and No. 2 is that the MSP understands that cybercrime is not a 9-to-5 job. Cybercriminals are attacking these systems 24 hours a day 7 days a week and, MSPs don’t really have the economic wherewithal, the capacity or the skills on hand to operate a security operation center, or what’s known as a SOC,” he said.

Continuum seeks to close that gap with its security operation center, which operates in three different locations around the world and uses monitoring tools that can detect risks at their earliest stages.

“Once we’ve identified something as some anomalous activity in the system, we have the ability to have our security operation center go and engage in that environment and determine if it’s suspicious and if it’s proved to be malicious. If it’s proved to be malicious, we instantly take that device, that endpoint, that server, that desktop out of the network immediately, so it doesn’t infect anything else in the system. And then we work to remediate the problem that might exist in that environment,” said George.

For more of George’s interview, watch the video included in this article.

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