With the increasing importance of the internet in every aspect of modern lives, it has never been more imperative for MSPs to have a written security policy to be used for all clients. But simply having a policy isn’t enough; it needs to be effective for your client’s MSP security plan.

This policy helps you decide what your security offering is. Something that your clients will use within their businesses. One of the most important things to aim for is consistency. You want everyone you work with to be on the same page to streamline your workflow. A standardized security policy means your team won’t have to figure out different firewall rules and how to apply the patching in each incident. It makes far more sense for your engineers to learn one written security policy than several ones for each client. 

The good news is that most of your clients won’t have their MSP security plan policy in place. Most will be happy to accept any security plan that you provide. Of course, it is essential to have your MSP’s service offerings and the security commitments in the written security policy, so be sure that you draft it with your offerings in mind.


The NIST framework for MSP security plan


There is so much in a good security plan that it’s difficult to know where to begin. Thankfully, the NIST cybersecurity framework can serve as an excellent model for a well-rounded MSP security plan. Developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, it provides a uniform set of rules, standards, and guidelines that organizations in all industries can use. 

Here’s a look at its five pillars, or core functions.



The “Identify” pillar shows the threats attacking an organization and all the assets that are at risk. It should form the basis of the initial section of your cybersecurity plan since there is no way to determine the tools and procedures needed without first identifying what needs to be protected. 

Take inventory of all critical assets, scenarios, and use cases that need to be determined for these assets to understand the risks to the business and its assets and people. Some specific industries will have regulations you will need to follow as well.



This pillar involves analyzing the best ways to safeguard every identified asset. Your defined use cases and assets determine which tools, measures, and actions are required to protect assets and mitigate or prevent potential threats.



The MSP security plan “Detect” pillar defines how threats against the organization’s assets become discovered. For example, tools might track and predict user trends and behavior; when an intrusion detection tool picks up an unusual behavior, it will flag it.



This pillar outlines measures that will respond to detected threats. Plan a response to react to all threatening activity depending on the behavior detected and the asset’s importance. Tailor every response strategy to each specific use case and threat you have found.

For example, this may entail investigating the cause of a behavior. If you deem the behavior illegitimate, analysts can assess it further to understand the context of the threat and determine the best response accordingly.


Recover with MSP security plan

This pillar defines how infrastructure impacted by security breaches will recover and how you will improve your security. It encompasses the actions taken after an event to recover from it and ensure it does not occur again. It includes action items such as evaluating the source of the incident to look for security weaknesses, fixing the damage caused by the incident, and implementing any new policies or infrastructure that can keep these problems at bay, like improving threat detection capabilities can help develop your MSP security plan.

Using the NIST framework as the basis for your MSP’s security plan, because of this you and your customers can enjoy the benefits of procedural consistency and a holistic approach that provides superior cybersecurity and risk management.

If you have questions about cybersecurity, you need to attend our Academy. Not only will you learn about the latest security offerings, but you’ll also get the chance to talk to our hand-picked security vendors and partners in a “no pressure” friendly environment. That is why you should make sure to register today.

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As a valued member of the CharTec community, we’d like to offer you a free downloadable version of “The Top 5 Red Flags in the IT Industry”. As MSP owners, Being aware of how our clients perceive us is important. So this resource just might open your eyes!

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