Partner Spotlight: Kinetix on the Future of Cyber Security MSPs

Kinetix shares how customers are requiring more around cloud security, and why Kinetix uses automation tools to deliver

SkyKick has always aimed to build tools for MSPs based on our partners’ feedback. The world of Microsoft MSPs has undergone several evolutions in the last decades, including the release of M365 in 2010.

Today, the industry has been pivoting focus to cyber security, so we recently had a conversation with San Fransisco-based Kinetix, a cyber security MSP, about how they provide cyber security to their customers.

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Industry Leader in Cloud Security Management

Robert Herbaugh, Security Strategy Specialist at Kinetix, sat down with SkyKick for a 20-minute interview. Robert was brought on board with Kinetix when they made the change to focus on cloud security around 2020.

Prior to being at Kinetix, Robert served in the United States Air Force as a member of their cyber security and nuclear defense operations. Robert shared his take on the MSP industry evolving:

“When you look at the industry changing, MSPs really need to pivot from just break fix or just selling licenses to more of a security focus”

Kinetix is seeing a strong upward trend with their customers regarding cloud security. More customers want to invest in 3rd party security management, and more of those customers want to be more frequently involved in understanding where their security presently is, where it was, and where it can get to.

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Incident response is a part of that demand for cyber security. When a cyber-attack or data breach occurs, as Robert points out, “Emotions can be high.” and an MSP has to be organized, ready, and quick to action for their customer. And if there is a wide-spread incident across many customers, it’s crucial to be able to run a variety of solutions across multiple tenants at once.

But incident prevention is equally valuable to customers, but often under-appreciated. Customers are being held to increasing security standards by their respective industries’ regulatory compliance requirements, contracts, and best practices.

Regular cyber security assessments and a well-defined risk management process are becoming increasingly valuable to customers. Robert and his team are in frequent communication with their customers and able to run such assessments quickly using their 1-click tools to prepare for those conversations.

In this short clip, Robert shares how MSPs need to have the right MSP tools to provide comprehensive cyber security risk management.

“I know that they’re going to have the industry baselines and industry best practices applied because I’ve utilized SkyKick automation to make that happen.”

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How Kinetix Delivers Cyber Security

Running a profitable MSP focusing on cloud security is not always an easy task. The challenges of delivering a comprehensive cyber security offering are numerous.

First, there are many places to monitor security. Microsoft Secure Score, Intune, M365 (SharePoint, Exchange, OneDrive, and more), and EntraID, and more. Second, taking action requires logging into each of these separately for each customer, which is both time consuming and subject to human error and mundane repetitive tasks. Finally, expertise is needed to know where to look, and also to run PowerShell or use the tools provided in these separate areas. And these admin interfaces change regularly.

These are just a few of the challenges facing MSP’s like Kinetix, and it can be difficult to charge customers a competitive price for all this manual overhead while remaining profitable. Kinetix shares the opinion among many MSPs and industry leaders that the future of security management is in automation.

The most successful partners are those who can adapt to these challenges and their customers’ unique needs. For Kinetix, that means de-mystifying cloud security for their team.

Kinetix is standardizing on 1-click automation to eliminate repetitive mundane security tasks and human error. Automation also helps them prepare for and deliver regular conversations with their customers based on real data.

Kinetix is using SkyKick Security manager to do just that.

“These new products from SkyKick allow us to start architecting solutions for our clients, and provides 1-click automation and baselines we can apply against multiple tenants at the same time.”

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Showing Value to Customers

A secure tenant is a quiet tenant, so it can be a challenge to get customers to discuss security when there are no active security breaches.

Robert tells us that without those customer discussions happening, can be tough to find an opportunity to show them your work and the continual value you deliver to keep them protected.

Kinetix customers appreciate conversations about their current, past, and potential M365 security posture. Kinetix is able to use “2-second automation” to generate data-driven insights specific to each customer.

This automation empowers them to involve their customers in ongoing security awareness in a well-organized and easy-to-generate cybersecurity framework.

For example, many MSPs manage M365 licenses for their customers. Kinetix uses SkyKick’s reporting capabilities to give context to their customers about what M365 licenses they should have based on their security goals.

Once customers understand what security features they can get from different M365 licensing, they then understand the work that partners must then do to ensure they’re getting the most security implemented out of those licenses.

“Recently, I had a conversation with a with a client about upgrading their licenses. It was going to generate a couple of time-and-materials-based projects because now they want to do things like conditional access policies, multifactor authentication (MFA), and other various steps to make their environment overall more secure… Before SkyKick, 100% would have to be doing it all manually. With SkyKick, it gives us the opportunity to run one click reports and consolidate that information.”

We hope this interview provided useful information about cyber security tools. Kinetix takes pride in knowing they are among thousands of Microsoft Partners in the cyber security risk management industry, and we at SkyKick thank Kinetix for the interview and partnership in delivering cyber security to the world.

“You can partner with anybody, but the main value is partnering with someone who increases your ability to provide something your customers see value in, making their environments more secure and reducing human error.”

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The demand for managed security is higher than ever and growing. Make sure your team is ready with the right tools

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