Episode 47: 2 cyber security books every MSP should read

Episode 47: 2 cyber security books every MSP should read

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Episode 47: 2 cyber security books every MSP should read

 
 
00:00 / 00:26:20
 
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In this week’s episode

  • To sell more security services to your clients, you need to think like a hacker. The MSPs that get inside a hacker’s mind, can better educate their prospects and clients. They’re better protected; you sell more; everyone wins. This week Paul has some book recommendations to help you do this.
  • Also on this week’s show, Paul welcomes a special guest with some great suggestions on how to sell even more products to your current clients
  • Plus, are you feeling lucky? Well, are you? The answer hopefully is… no! Paul explains that to take advantage of growth opportunities, it’s better to believe in something better than luck

Show notes

Episode transcription

Voiceover:
Fresh every Tuesday for MSPs around the world. This is Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

Paul Green:
Here we go then for episode 47 of the podcast. Here’s what’s coming up on this week’s show.

JB Fowler:
Managed service providers can start to look at, are these other systems that are now connected to the network? They can monetise that.

Paul Green:
We’ve got a great book suggestion from Mark Copeman of Helpdesk Habits. That’s coming up at the end of the show. I’m going to tell you about a couple of books about hacking that I’ve read and loved, and you’re going to love them as well. And also on today’s show we’re launching a brand new competition for the whole of October. It’s a chance for you to win one of three top prizes, including a free marketing consult with me.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP marketing podcast.

Paul Green:
As lockdown’s eased a little bit here in the UK, it’s been lovely actually just chatting to other people again, and particularly when my daughter started school a few weeks ago, round about the middle of September, because I got to catch up, at an appropriate social distance, I’ve got to catch up with some of my business-owning mum and dad friends that I meet at the school. So my daughter is in the last year. She’s in year six of her primary school, and I’ve got to know a whole bunch of people there. So it’s lovely just standing in the playground and having a little chat two meters apart.

Paul Green:
And one of the parents I was talking to just the other day was actually talking about how their business has been affected during lockdown. They’ve really suffered a little bit. Can’t remember what business they’re in, it’s something dull and services-based, but they struggled. Really, really struggled. What it sounds like is actually they’ve really struggled to pivot, and I know it’s a cliche, but we all understand what I mean by that. They’ve struggled to adapt to the circumstances and they’re still doing the things that probably worked for them for the last 20 years, which just aren’t working for them any more. It’s a real… I don’t know. It makes you feel awkward when you’re having that conversation with a business owner, because we all know how that business is going to perform in the next 12 months, and the chances of their business being here in 12-24 months time is… I don’t know, it doesn’t seem very likely. Anyway, I’m going to have a chat with that person and see if I can help them in some way.

Paul Green:
But the point I was going to make was, they said to me, as you do when you’re trading business stories, “How’s your business been during the lockdown?” And I said, “Well, actually, we’ve had a pretty good lockdown.” So we took a bit of a revenue hit at the beginning because a certain percentage of our revenue was based on events, which we suddenly couldn’t do. But we’ve pivoted, we’ve adapted, we’ve launched some online training. We’ve doing Zoom, MSP Masterminds now. And in fact, our service, the MSP Marketing Edge, has more clients than it’s ever had before.

Paul Green:
And this business-owner friend of mine, he said, “God, you’re lucky, aren’t you?” And that made my blood boil. That really made my blood boil, because I don’t really believe in luck at all. I believe that we make our own luck and I had to calm myself and retort to him and say, “Luck has nothing to do with it. You make your own luck. In fact, luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”

Paul Green:
And really that’s all that happened to my business. We had a little bit of bad luck, as we all did when COVID first came in and lockdown first came in, but we were prepared. We were ready with a whole series of things that we could do that we were planning to do anyway. And all that lockdown did was created massive opportunity, a shift in the market, and an opportunity for us to go ahead and roll those things out and change what we were doing. And it’s worked very well, because we’ve worked very hard at making sure that it works very, very well. And I hope that your business has equally pivoted and changed and has adapted to the new market circumstances that we are surrounded by.

Paul Green:
So let me repeat that phrase again. I do not believe in luck. I believe that luck is where preparation meets opportunity. We create our own luck. And if you look at the businesses that aren’t doing well right now, regardless of what’s happened to them with all of this lockdown stuff and COVID and all of that, those that are doing well are well-prepared. They implement fast. They get things done fast. They change. They pivot. They do different things fast.

Paul Green:
I think business in 2020 is not about big beating small any more, because if you look back at business in the seventies, eighties, nineties, that’s what it was all about. It was about big businesses beating small businesses. In 2020, and going forward from this point, it’s about fast businesses beating small businesses. If you can be faster than your competitors in the way that you change, in the way that you implement, in the way that you market, in the way that you just run the business. If your whole attitude is one of speed and getting on with it and getting things done, and rahhh, then you have a much greater chance of winning, because you can change quicker than they can.

Paul Green:
Business doesn’t operate at the speed that it did all those decades before. Blimey, I would say that business doesn’t operate at the speed today that it was operating at this time last year. Things seem to be moving faster and faster and faster. And that’s not always a pleasant thing. The always-on culture that we all fall prey to is not great for our work-life balance. It’s not great for getting away and enjoying our lives and making sure that we actually live some life in the work-life balance. But it does create an opportunity for us, for me, for you and for everyone who runs their own business, and that is to be faster than your competitors.

Paul Green:
And what you need to do is set your business up so that you are prepared for change, because you can guarantee there will be more change. We’ve got probably the greatest world recession we’ve ever known, in our living memory anyway. That’s on the way. That’s going to come at some point. It’s not going to be devastating. We’re not going to be wandering around the streets with wheelbarrows of cash just to buy a loaf of bread. Well, we hope we’re not. But it is going to have an effect.

Paul Green:
You’re going to lose clients. I’m going to lose clients. Everyone’s going to lose clients. There’s going to be a lot of unemployment. There’s going to be a lot of difficult times for lots of people. And I feel very sorry for those people. But there’s also going to be a huge number of winners, and I want you to be one of those winners. I want your business to be fast enough, to be prepared enough, so that when opportunity comes knocking, you’re ready to jump on it and go for it. And that’s why I’m so excited that you’re listening to a podcast like this, because this is exactly the stuff that we focus on is how do you win? How do you beat your competitors? How do you take advantage of all the good things and the bad things that are happening out there? In every bad situation, there is opportunity.

Paul Green:
And maybe a lot of that is about mindset. As I’m saying this, I’m thinking no more. Maybe this is my attitude more than it is about anything else. So what do you do if you don’t have that attitude right now? Well, attitude is a choice. That’s what I believe. I believe we can’t choose what happens to us, but we can absolutely choose how we react to it. This is something I’m telling my ten-year-old all the time when she’s inevitably let down by the day’s disappointments. You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it.

Paul Green:
And maybe that should become a mantra for your business over the next couple of years. We’re going to roll with the punches. We’re going to take the bad things when they come, but do you know what? We’re going to hit back faster. We’re going to hit back harder. We’re going to make something of this, and this business is going to be exciting and bigger and more aggressive when we come out of whatever it is that we’re going into, because we’re going to move faster and implement more than anyone else. It’s an exciting journey, and I am genuinely delighted that I, through this podcast, and maybe even if we’re doing some work together, can be a part of your journey.

Voiceover:
Here’s this week’s clever idea.

Paul Green:
I’ve got a couple of book suggestions for you this week. And before I tell you what they are, it’s really important you remember that I am not a tech. I am only slightly above the technological ability of your average client. I love technology. I love gadgets and just how the internet has completely changed the way that we do business forever. But ultimately I’m not a technology person. I’m not the kind of person that looks at setting up a new Windows 10 machine, and I’m not rubbing my thighs with pleasure when I’ve got that kind of task to do. That’s actually a drag for me. It’s a bit of a pain. And yet the books I’m about to recommend to you are techie books. They’ve have been recommended to me by a couple of clients, one of them a certified ethical hacker, and they are brilliant books. Now you may have read or listened to them already, but the first of them is called Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick.

Paul Green:
Go back to the late 1990s, and Kevin Mitnick was the FBI’s most wanted hacker, and this is his story. It’s essentially his autobiography. And it is a fascinating story. So yeah, sure, it’s about hacking a bit. It’s actually more about social engineering than it is about hardcore hacking, but Kevin Mitnick was a great hacker as well. And in fact, if you’ve seen any of his videos on YouTube, he was, or maybe still is, the face of KnowBe4 the cybersecurity training company. You’ll know that he really knows his stuff. And this is a fascinating insight into what actually like to be a hacker, or maybe what it was like to be a hacker. I imagine these days, hackers are mostly organised gangs working for criminal enterprises. But back in the day, it was just Kevin. He had a bit of a job. He was moving around, trying to stay one step ahead of the FBI. And it is a brilliant book. I actually listened to that book on Audible and I found it an incredibly enjoyable way to pass long journeys.

Paul Green:
Now, the other book I’ve got to recommend for you, I’ve only just started. Again, I’ve done this on Audible, but it’s called Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin’s Most Dangerous Hackers. And this is like a true-life thriller. It’s the kind of book that you start to read and you think, “Wow, this will make a great novel,” but it’s not a novel. It’s about real life. Now, from what I’ve read of the reviews, it’s quite a biased book. It’s quite an anti-Russia book. But it does give you quite an insight into cyber crime and just how much stuff is happening out there. So people like you should absolutely be reading books like these, because that all goes into your mind and it allows you to help educate clients and end users just how important cyber-security really is. So I’m listening to that one on Audible while I’m out running. Again, I’m enjoying it so far, and it’s a highly-recommended read from me.

Voiceover:
Paul’s blatant plug.

Paul Green:
Not so much of a blatant plug this week as it is a chance for you to win some very cool stuff. You see, we are coming up to the one-year anniversary of this podcast. We launched on the 5th of November last year, 2019. No idea that it was going to be such a crazy year this year. And so to celebrate throughout the whole of October, we are running a competition with three cool prizes. The third prize is we’ll give you a hundred pounds, or the equivalent in your local currency, to spend on Amazon. And I’ll give you my book list as well, so some recommended business and marketing books that you could buy, or you could just go off and buy stuff for your family. It doesn’t really matter what you do with that. But a hundred pounds to spend on Amazon is the third prize.

Paul Green:
The second prize is I’m going to give you a copy of my best-selling video training course. It’s called the MSP Net Profit Masterclass. Now you can see details of this on my website. If you go to paulgreensmspmarketing.com/masterclass, you’ll see it’s a whole series of videos sent to you across 21 weeks. And over that time, we look at every single element of your business that you need to improve, frankly, to get more. To get more new clients, to sell more to those clients, to maximize your marketing and to really, really push your sales. Now, this is the best-selling video course that I’ve ever done. And we sell this on the website for £799, which is about a thousand dollars. The second prize for this competition is that video series. We’ll add you in to that, and you’ll get all of those videos and all the support that goes with it from me.

Paul Green:
Now, the first prize is priceless, because it’s a marketing consultation with me. You and I will jump on a Zoom and we will have a one-on-one marketing consultation based on your business, and I will give you a bespoke marketing strategy to help you grow your MSP.

Paul Green:
So we’ve got three really awesome prizes there, and to enter it’s very, very simple. All you have to do is tag yourself on a specific post on my LinkedIn. I’ll be honest with you, from a marketing point of view, I’m trying to kill two birds with one stone here. I’m trying to promote the podcast, and also if I can get a couple of hundred people tagging themselves on a specific post on LinkedIn, that’s going to get my LinkedIn content in front of more people. I do love a double win on marketing, don’t you?

Paul Green:
So if you want to find that LinkedIn post we’ve set up an easy redirect to it. All you got to do to enter the contest is go to paulgreensmspmarketing.com/win. Paulgreensmspmarketing.com/win. That’ll take you to LinkedIn. There’ll be that specific LinkedIn post telling you that you’ve just got a comment on the post and you’re in that competition. Good luck. We’re going to be running this through the whole of October, and we’ll be announcing the winner in a podcast in November.

Voiceover:
The big interview.

JB Fowler:
So my name’s JB Fowler. I’m with Domotz Incorporated. Domotz is a remote monitoring and management platform.

Paul Green:
So one of my favourite subjects to talk about is selling more to your existing clients, because most MSPs are quite focused on getting new clients. And yet I believe there’s more net profit to be made faster by selling more to your existing clients, which then of course leads onto the question of what do we sell them? Now, JB, you’ve got a whole series of additional revenue streams that you think that MSPs should be selling to their clients. Can you give us some examples of these additional revenue streams?

JB Fowler:
Well, the traditional managed service provider today is typically focused on monitoring and management, the managing the end points. And we think about end points as being the PCs, the laptops, the servers that are in these systems. But I think first and foremost, one of the important parts that managed service providers should be dealing with as well is the network infrastructure itself. The firewalls, the managed switches, the wireless access points, the gateways that these end points are sitting on, that is a critical component to the customer’s network. Furthermore, what I think that managed service providers can start to look at are these other systems that are now connected to their network. They can start to monetise these. Couple of examples: camera monitoring for security systems, even the access control systems that go to these businesses or these stores that are out there.

JB Fowler:
Another very important topic, very relevant to at least 2020, is unified communications, right? So these are systems like video conferencing. Zoom has become quite popular, Skype, and the systems that are associated with that. Those should actually be monitored by service providers as well. And then, you see this more and more today, remote employees. Making sure that within these companies or the systems, that they can effectively connect back to the business, is really important, and monitoring their connectivity to that can actually be another revenue stream for service providers.

JB Fowler:
And another important side of what service providers can start to monitor is actually digital signage. Digital signage comes in the form of many different things. It could be menus within retail settings or franchises. It can be audio-video distribution systems within stores or within gymnasiums. But also we’re starting to see, again, more and more auto-attendance. So rather than having a secretary or somebody at the front looking at who signs up, we’re starting to see this more digitized. All of these different types of systems are getting connected to these networks and the network infrastructure that service providers should be monitoring. And I think finding a way for these service providers to monetise or generate another recurring revenue stream off of these systems is very important.

Paul Green:
I’m going to ask you in a couple of seconds, JB, the practicalities of how you actually do that, because I suspect the answer is probably using your services. But in terms of turning them into actual revenue streams, if you ran an MSP and you could identify clients who would benefit from these kinds of services, how would you go about selling them?

JB Fowler:
Well, one of the things that I would say first of all is it’s extremely important for you as a service provider to show the importance of these extra systems to the client’s business. Let’s take an example of security cameras. Security cameras are important for a couple of different reasons. For any business that has security cameras, they’re likely there for things like insurance. It could be there for fraud protection. In the case of a retail shop, where you have a point-of-sale system or a cash register, cameras sometimes they’re looking at those cash registers for internal things like employee theft and making sure that that isn’t happening.

JB Fowler:
Another thing, slip and fall detection, right? Or when a camera’s looking at a front door, a lot of times, everybody’s heard this story where somebody will fall because the front entrance is wet from rain or snow that was happening that day. A lot of times people will, again, try to commit fraud by doing a fake fall. But if that camera there is to catch it, it’s now proof of whether that was accidental or whether it was incidental. That can be useful.

JB Fowler:
Another thing that we’ll talk about with cameras is actually in regulated industries. So you’re starting to see industries like the cannabis industry come out. In order to make sure that there’s proper regulations in place, security cameras have to be monitoring facilities 24/7 and recording data.

JB Fowler:
What’s interesting about security cameras is that while customers often think that they have a security system and it’s being monitored, that’s really only being monitored for alerts. A service provider is in a place to be able to say, “Okay, if I can tell you, Mr. Customer, that this camera is actually online and functioning properly, that is value that’s there.” The worst thing that can happen for whether it’s insurance fraud or for a regulated industry where cameras have to be on, if somebody goes back or there’s an incident that occurs, and somebody goes back to look at that camera and it’s not functioning, it wasn’t recording data, that’s the worst thing that can happen at that point. And you never want to find out about that after the fact. You always want to be proactive with your customers.

JB Fowler:
So this is one really good example where the managed service provider has a tool that can help them determine that a system is working properly or not. The same thing happens with video conferencing systems. Everybody has gone into a meeting where they tried to get the video conferencing system working, but it was offline. It was broken. Something was wrong. Again, with proactive monitoring or tools that allow you to look at, is this system working right and is it available now when I need it, that is a very powerful feature and people will pay for that.

JB Fowler:
Going through these experiences or having the service provider talk to their clients about the things that could happen, or giving experiences or finding out if they’ve had experiences where these things have happened and they’ve had a problem, it puts the service provider in a good position to be able to upsell these services.

Paul Green:
Yeah, I bet it does. And from the MSP’s point of view then, because it sounds the way you describe it there like it’s just monitoring network traffic. It’s monitoring whether something’s up or down. It’s no different really, I guess, to monitoring devices and servers and bits and bobs like that. Remembering I’m not a tech, am I oversimplifying it, or is it really as simple as that? And is this something that you’re business does?

JB Fowler:
It really is as simple as that. Looking at whether that particular system or service is actually functioning properly, it’s as easy as looking at whether it’s online or offline. That’s the first and foremost. Now yes, and to answer your question, a service like Domotz absolutely provides these capabilities. The one thing I will say, in addition to be able to check online, offline status, we can interrogate the systems even further, looking for particular variables or status of systems or the devices that maybe systems are connected to, and making sure they’re online. We can look at temperature. We can look at CPU utilization, memory, performance, consumption, however that’s behaving. There’s a lot of in-depth analysis that we can go to and alert the service provider on. But I will say first and foremost, to an end customer or the service provider’s client, just knowing that the system is online and functioning is what they really want to get out of it. And that right there has inherent value that it can generate revenue from.

Paul Green:
This is great, because it’s stuff that MSPs are already doing. They’re used to taking on this responsibility, and I can see from the client’s point of view how with just a quick discussion, they will instantly understand and put the two things together. Many of the MSPs that I’ve talked to are approached by their clients to do their website, and we don’t necessarily see that link, but of course the clients do, because a website is a computer thing. That’s how they see it. So I can see here now how devices, things that are connected, absolutely become part of IT and part of the IT job. I guess it’s just down to the MSP, then, to put this in place and to talk to the clients. And this is where strategic reviews or quarterly business reviews come in again, because you can go in and say, “Hey, I see you’ve got cameras here,” or, “Tell me about those critical cameras you’ve got,” or all the other things. This is just brilliant stuff.

JB Fowler:
A service like Domotz gives you the ability to… And it’s constantly monitoring the system. So it gives you as a service provider the ability to do exactly what you said, which is, “Hey, I noticed over the last three months, you guys have put more and more cameras on site,” or, “I see more and more digital signage coming up. More and more displays are coming up. Are you aware that we can monitor those for you and make sure that they’re always running?” You can imagine in a retail environment, whether it’s digital signage is showing a menu and pricing for a small mom and pop sandwich shop, or if it’s a large clothing retailer, those digital signs are there for a reason. It’s advertising. It may be doing more advanced things like showing information about clothing or dresses that’s appropriate for that particular person looking at it. All of that is revenue-generating sources for the retail establishment. If those things go down, that’s detrimental to their business. The service provider can say, “Hey, I’m going to make sure those things are running for you,” and they can monetise that.

Paul Green:
JB, give us your website address and tell us how we can get in touch with you.

JB Fowler:
So our website is www.domotz.com. We have, on our websites, demos that you can get into. In fact, we do live demos once every two weeks, but we would definitely encourage anybody to reach out to sales and our support team. We’ve got chat as well. So if there’s any basic questions that people want to ask, happy to do that.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast. This week’s recommended book.

Mark Copeman:
Hiya Paul, it’s Mark Copeman here from Helpdesk Habits. I hope you’re well. I would like to recommend a book by Daniel Priestley. It’s one of three in a series that he produced. And my recommendation is Key Person of Influence. I first read this about two, three years ago, and it really did change the way I think about how to get yourself out there and how to get yourself known. And he has within the book a number of processes to help you become more known in your niche and attract referrals, recommendations, and so on. I have to put it down to Daniel that it’s the reason I have now written two books. It was very inspiring to me to read his story, his process, and I’ve also seen him on his Team Dent live conferences, which I have to also recommend, and I’m not on commission here, Paul. I hope that was useful, and I hope people enjoy it.

Voiceover:
How to contribute to the show.

Paul Green:
As an aside, I actually met Daniel Priestley once. I got to introduce him on stage at a business event that I was speaking at. Lovely guy. I’ve still got the signed copy of Key Person of Influence on my bookshelf. It really is a good read. Now, if you want to do what Mark and a growing number of MSP experts have done and contribute a book to the show, it’s very, very easy. In fact, you don’t even need to record anything on your phone. You can just do everything on my website.

Paul Green:
If you go to paulgreensmspmarketing.com/podcastbooks, all the instructions are on there. You can record it directly on the page without needing to download any difficult software, and there’s even a convenient list of books that have already been suggested. Now you could be an MSP. I’d still love to get your book suggestion. You could be a vendor. I’d love to get your book suggestion as well. This is open for everyone. Please leave me a book suggestion there, and we will feature it in a future episode of the podcast. That’s paulgreensmspmarketing.com/podcastbooks.

Voiceover:
Coming up next week.

Lindsey Wilmot:
Actually, I don’t want to start recommending you to people, or are you going to call me and ask me for a bunch of my contacts?

Paul Green:
That’s Lindsay Willmott from Customer Thermometer. She’s going to be here on next week’s show telling us how she started that business and how MSPs are using it to improve their retention and spotlight the tiny, tiny little levels of dissatisfaction amongst clients long before they turn into a major problem for you. We’re also going to be talking next week about three marketing blogs that you really should follow, and one of them in particular is absolutely genius. I’ll also tell you next week why I don’t listen to strangers. I only listen to a tiny number of people whose opinion I respect, and those people have huge amounts of influence over me. I’ll tell you why I do this, and how you can do a very similar thing, next week. Plus we got a book suggestion from Nigel Moore from The Tech Tribe. In fact, it’s two book suggestions. Nigel always delivers double the value. All of this is coming up in next week’s podcast. See you then.

Voiceover:
Made in the UK for MSPs around the world, Paul Green’s MSP marketing podcast.

 

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