COVID-19 is highlighting the dearth of technical skills within managed security services, claims DACH MSP Kudelski

Josh Budd
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COVID-19 is highlighting the dearth of technical skills within managed security services, claims DACH MSP Kudelski

The EMEA boss of DACH MSP Kudelski Security says that some MSPs who were looking to bolster their skillset before the pandemic are being hit particularly hard now

COVID-19 is helping to separate the veterans and the novices in the MSP space, according to one Swiss MSP Kudelski Security.

Kudelski Security is a Switzerland-headquartered cybersecurity MSP, which primarily targets enterprise accounts.

Its EMEA SVP Philippe Borloz said the past few weeks has seen a rise in demand from customers looking for specific technical intervention such as incident response.

"From a business perspective, I think what we want to avoid is seeing this crisis for our customers as a business opportunity. We want to support them in terms of cybersecurity, but what we have seen is an increase in requests for incident response. So there's definitely been an uptake there," he said.

"For other companies, it could be that one of the challenges in the cyber area is the staffing issue.

"I do think it will be quite challenging for some because these skills are more in demand because of the work from home situation. Protecting the endpoint and migration to the cloud, and then also the incident response aspect as well. I would say these are the three things that managed services need to get right now."

Borloz said some MSPs are struggling to meet technical demands, which has caused a spike in demand for more established players that have a higher level of expertise.

"One of our question marks when the situation began was: will customers continue with their initiatives put in place or will they postpone them?

"And we definitely see that these initiatives remain key for clients and they are continuing. They may be putting other infrastructure initiatives aside instead, but not cyber security initiatives."

Borloz identified two other elements of his firm's strategy that has helped it have resilience during the pandemic.

He cited the MSPs multi-vertical approach, focusing on enterprise accounts across the finance sector, critical infrastructure government utility, oil, gas and healthcare as making it less vulnerable to business slumps in particular sectors.

Secondly, remaining close to one key vendor - CrowdStrike.

"Our message to the client has always been simple. We sell you a whole solution. And this technology stack is part of the whole solution. We don't take the approach where we integrate a lot of different vendors.

"This has given us a lot of advantages because our managed security services analysts know the technology very well; they know the dashboards, they know how to deploy it. So on the technology perspective, we are very restrictive. We are able to work more closely with our vendor. And our customers can trust us on that."

Borloz said that this means Kudelski is currently not experiencing cash-flow strains among its customers.

He added that in Switzerland, he's actually been pleasantly surprised by how productive the MSP and its customers have been able to remain.

"It's a new way of working for all of us in Switzerland. We are all confined, working from home and productivity is higher than expected. Everybody is wondering why there is so much work - it's back to back.

"Demand remains high and it's astonishing how the productivity is so good if you have the right tools, and the right structure in place."

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