The Surge in vCISO Services: Why MSPs and MSSPs Can’t Afford to Lag Behind

The Surge in vCISO Services: Why MSPs and MSSPs Can't Afford to Lag Behind

The cybersecurity market is experiencing growing demand for robust services and solutions, across all industries and organizations. This is due to the increasing volume and sophistication of cyberattacks, which is driving both enterprises and SMBs to ensure their systems and data are secure. One of the notable trends is SMB demand for comprehensive security services.

MSPs and MSSPs are positioned to take advantage of this change, and they are taking action. According to the State of the Virtual CISO 2023 Report commissioned by Cynomi, 86% of MSPs and MSSPs either currently offer or plan to offer vCISO services, by the end of 2024.

vCISO services, i.e professional strategic and hands-on security services to organizations, can provide small businesses with access to high-level cybersecurity expertise, but without incurring full-time expenses. This includes creating the security strategy, understanding the strategic vulnerabilities, implementing a remediation plan, overseeing compliance processes and more.

As of today, only 19% of MSPs and MSSPs offer vCISO services. However, our report has unveiled that this number is expected to grow fivefold by the end of 2024. And among the remaining 14% that aren’t planning to offer vCISO services by that time, 13% have plans to introduce them in the foreseeable future. In fact, only a miniscule 1% have no plans to do so. 

What is Driving the Rapid Increase in vCISO Service Offerings?

There are a number of notable trends behind this dramatic increase:

SMBs Demand Holistic Cybersecurity Solutions

SMBs are growing increasingly aware of the importance of cybersecurity. According to a 2022 report by ConnectWise, a staggering 94% of SMBs would consider using or switching to a new MSP if they offered the “right” cybersecurity solution.

SMBs are looking for a partner who can provide a holistic view of their tech infrastructure and be accountable for their cybersecurity and compliance. They need external help since they usually do not have the resources to hire an internal security executive. To be even considered by an SMB, MSPs/MSSPs need to be able to demonstrate they have a holistic offering, which includes strategy, execution and solutions. This is where a vCISO offering comes in.

Strategic Alignment with Business Goals

MSPs’ and MSSPs’ strategic goals are intrinsically tied to business growth and security. They need to grow their revenue, expand their offering with more services and products and also scale, while providing high-value and high-quality security services to customers.

Offering vCISO services aligns with these objectives. By providing SMBs with vCISO services, MSPs and MSSPs can increase their customer base, expand the scope of services offered to existing customers and increase their revenues, all while improving their customers’ security posture.

Therefore with vCISO services, MSPs/MSSPs gain a competitive advantage in the market, enhance their security offering and stand a better chance of being hired by SMBs for their security services. This makes it a win-win situation for both the MSPs/MSSPs and their clients.

Path to Growth

For MSPs and MSSPs, moving towards strategic security services like a vCISO is seen as a path to increasing growth. vCISO services add a strategic layer of long-term services that MSPs and MSSPs need to stay competitive. They allow MSPs and MSSPs to initiate business-level conversations with their clients’ top management, providing them with an opportunity to have significant impact on their clients and become their genuine partners. They also provide MSPs and MSSPs with the ability to provide a more comprehensive security offering, which can lead to more business and greater profits.

The Time to Act is Now

The dominant MSP and MSSP shift towards providing vCISO services is a clear sign of the strategic value in offering vCISO services to SMBs. With vCISO services, MSPs/MSSPs can proactively ensure they are addressing their customers’ and potential customers’ need for cyber resilience.

In addition, a vCISO offering provides a business opportunity for growing recurring revenue, through a lucrative offering and the ability to upsell existing services. By offering vCISO services sooner rather than later, MSPs/MSSPs will be able to differentiate themselves from the competition. According to ConnectWise, 39% of SMB respondents are willing to pay a new MSP an extra 39% each year if they can provide the “right” cybersecurity solution.

It’s not recommended to stall, though. In the upcoming 18 months, the ability to provide vCISO services will probably become a necessity, meaning any MSP/MSSP that does not offer them will be considered outdated and unattractive.

Finally, offering vCISO services is a strategic move, which enables continuous communication with customers’ top management. This is a useful way for MSPs/MSSPs to gain a substantial foolhold in their customers’ business. By becoming an indispensable asset, they not only solidify their current standing but also pave the way for a sustainable, long-term partnership.

If you’re an MSP or MSSP and haven’t yet considered offering vCISO services, the time to act is now. Being proactive about it ensures that you won’t be left behind in this rapidly evolving market.

For a deeper dive into this trend and more compelling statistics, download the full report.


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