The MSP playbook on deciphering tech promises and shaping security culture

The MSP playbook on deciphering tech promises and shaping security culture

The in-person cybersecurity conference has returned.

More than two years after Covid-19 pushed nearly every in-person event online, cybersecurity has returned to the exhibition hall. In San Francisco earlier this year, thousands of cybersecurity professionals walked the halls of Moscone Center at RSA 2022. In Las Vegas just last month, even more hackers, security experts, and tech enthusiasts flooded the Mandalay Bay hotel, attending the conferences Black Hat and DEFCON. 

And at nearly all of these conferences—and many more to come—cybersecurity vendors are setting up shop to show off their latest, greatest, you-won’t-believe-we’ve-made-this product. 

The dizzying array of product names, features, and promises can overwhelm even the most veteran security professional, but for one specific group of attendee, sorting the value from the verve is all part of the job description. 

We’re talking today about managed service providers, or MSPs. 

MSPs are the tech support and cybersecurity backbone for so many small businesses. Dentists, mom-and-pop restaurants, bakeries, small markets, local newspapers, clothing stores, bed and breakfasts off the side of the road—all of these businesses need tech support because nearly everything they do, from processing credit card fees to storing patient information to managing room reservations, all of that, has a technical component to it today.

These businesses, unlike major corporations, rarely have the budget to hire a full-time staff member to provide tech support, so, instead, they rely on a managed service provider to be that support when needed. And so much of tech support today isn’t just setting up new employee devices or solving a website issue. Instead, it’s increasingly about providing cybersecurity. 

What that means, then, is that wading through the an onslaught of marketing speak at the latest cybersecurity conference is actually the responsibility of some MSPs. They have to decipher what tech tools will work not just for their own employees, but for the dozens if not hundreds of clients they support. 

Today, on the Lock and Code podcast with host David Ruiz, we speak with two experts at Malwarebytes about how MSPs can go about staying up to date on the latest technology while also vetting the vendors behind it. As our guests Eddie Phillips, strategic account manager, and Nadia Karatsoreos, senior MSP growth strategist, explain, the work of an MSP isn’t just to select the right tools, but to review whether the makers behind those tools are the right partners both for the MSP and its clients. 

As Karatsoreos said:

“You need to do your research… Do they have the right background to match what you’re offering? Do they have training for you? Do they have integrations? … Do they have a partner program? Because, as we know with MSPs, they don’t just want a product that just gets installed… They need that support of the partner program. Do they allow you to have a trial or a demo to make sure that it works in your environments? Are they constantly updating? And what does their security system look like? Are they protected?”

She continued:

“These are all things behind the technology that an MSP really needs to consider when considering those vendors.”

Tune in today to listen to Karatsoreos and Phillips discuss the many responsibilities of being an MSP today. 

You can also find us on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Google Podcasts, plus whatever preferred podcast platform you use.

Show notes and credits:

Intro Music: “Spellbound” by Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
Outro Music: “Good God” by Wowa (