Enterprise-Grade Risk Management: A Conversation with TruOps, with MSP Expo 2024 Starting Tomorrow

Enterprise-Grade Risk Management: A Conversation with TruOps, with MSP Expo 2024 Starting Tomorrow

By Alex Passett

Readers, MSP Expo is just one day away!

Part of the ITEXPO #TECHSUPERSHOW experience from February 13-15, MSP Expo attendees will be able to sit in on a variety of engaging networking events, panel discussions, and other must-see sessions. (Not to mention the robust exhibit hall with plenty of innovations to see and interact with, as well as the awesome teams behind them.)

Speaking of, TruOps will be in the hall at booth #166! TruOps is transforming cyber risk management for MSPs, and we had the opportunity to speak ahead of the expo festivities with TruOps’ Director of Customer Success, Mohit Lal.

Here’s what Lal laid out for us about TruOps mission:

What recent innovations in your products or services are particularly relevant for MSPs today?

TruOps has the following to share:

  • A Multi-Tenant feature where an MSP using self-service can create a new instance of TruOps for their customers.

  • A new roll-up reporting feature using our generative AI assistant, Clark. Clark is a conversational assistant that extends far beyond traditional chatbots or the usual compliance operations to deliver real-time, meaningful insight to data analytic questions posed in plain, natural language. Clark spans across your entire integrated technology stack to extract and interpret data, and provide you with clear answers to your most pressing security, risk, and compliance questions.

  • Stronger collaboration capabilities — Two or more assessors/responders can now participate in an assessment.

  • The ability to conduct offline assessments — Compliance, Vendor, and Risk Assessments.

  • The ability to configure Multiple IDPs (full form) on different tenants for authentication (both by MSPs as well as by their customers).

Describe your company's role in the MSP ecosystem and how your company supports MSPs?

TruOps is a flexible, purpose-built GRC solution for MSPs that’s designed by risk practitioners to deliver:

  • The tools and technology for an MSP to provide each of their clients with a single pane of glass view into their client’s risk, security, and compliance posture, creating a sticky relationship between the two.
  • A separate tenant for each MSP client to facilitate collaboration, mutual task management, audit prep, and reporting for improved communication.
  • Real-time compliance scoring and a single source of truth for evidence collection and reporting to simplify audits.
  • An easy-to-understand dashboard for clear visibility into top threats, ensuring swift risk mitigation for improved security.

What trends are you seeing in the MSP space, and why are they important to MSPs?

  1. Cybersecurity and Continual Assessments: MSPs are increasingly prioritizing cybersecurity and continual assessments due to the evolving threat landscape and the critical role of technology in modern businesses. With cyberattacks becoming more sophisticated and frequent, MSPs recognize the importance of safeguarding their clients' systems and data. Continual assessments allow MSPs to stay ahead of emerging threats by regularly evaluating and updating security measures to address vulnerabilities promptly. By focusing on cybersecurity and continual assessments, MSPs not only enhance their clients' defenses — they also strengthen trust and reliability, positioning themselves as proactive partners in mitigating cybersecurity risks.

  1. Cloud Governance and Risk Management: MSPs are placing ever-increasing emphasis on cloud governance and risk management to address the complexities associated with cloud adoption and usage. As organizations migrate more of their operations to the cloud, MSPs recognize the necessity of implementing robust governance frameworks to ensure compliance, data security, and operational efficiency. Cloud governance helps MSPs define policies, procedures and controls for cloud usage, facilitating better management of resources and reducing the likelihood of security breaches or compliance violations. Additionally, effective risk management strategies enable MSPs to identify, assess, and mitigate potential threats and vulnerabilities in the cloud environment, ultimately safeguarding their clients' sensitive data and maintaining business continuity. By focusing on cloud governance and risk management, MSPs demonstrate their commitment to delivering secure, reliable, and compliant cloud solutions to their clients.

  1. Automation and Advanced Technologies: MSPs are transitioning away from manual processes to streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and improve service delivery. Manual processes are often time-consuming, error-prone and not scalable, limiting the MSPs' ability to meet the evolving needs of their clients. By embracing automation and leveraging advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), MSPs can automate routine tasks, such as system monitoring, patch management, and incident response. This automation reduces human error, increases productivity, and allows MSPs to focus their efforts on higher-value activities, such as strategic planning and proactive cybersecurity measures. Moreover, automation enables MSPs to scale their services more effectively, accommodating the growing demands of their client base without sacrificing quality or reliability.

How are these trends impacting your business?

    Mohit Lal, TruOps

The above-mentioned trends are profoundly impacting our business. The rising levels of real emphasis on cybersecurity measures and the necessity for MSPs and their clients to adhere to various regulatory frameworks have positioned TruOps’ offerings as pivotal solutions.

Furthermore, TruOps leverages the Unified Controls Framework (UCF), an industry-vetted compliance database designed to alleviate the regulatory burden MSPs often face. By offering harmonized and mapped controls spanning across 1,000+ industry standards and regulations (including prominent frameworks like NIST 800-53rev5, CIS Controls version 8, NERC, ISO, ISF, COBIT, FFIEC, HIPAA, GLBA, PCI, SOX, and CSF), TruOps enables organizations to efficiently manage and navigate complex compliance requirements while enhancing their cybersecurity posture.

How do your services/products integrate into the MSP landscape, creating symbiotic relationships rather than a mere vendor-client dynamic?

TruOps plays a vital role in the MSP landscape by fostering a symbiotic relationship between the MSP and their clients through:

  • Compliance Assurance: TruOps helps MSPs ensure that their clients adhere to relevant regulations and industry standards.

  • Risk Management: TruOps enables MSPs to identify, assess, and mitigate risks within their clients' IT environments. (i.e. by centralizing risk data, automating risk assessments, and providing real-time risk insights)

  • Efficiency and Collaboration: TruOps' centralized dashboards, workflows and reporting capabilities facilitate enhanced collaboration between MSPs and clients in governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) activities, thereby boosting efficiency and fostering closer collaboration between the MSP and their clients.

  • Innovation: TruOps innovation and integration of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) for MSPs revolutionizes how MSPs conduct business with their clients, empowering them to proactively identify risks, automate compliance tasks, and deliver more personalized and efficient services tailored to each client's specific needs and risk profile.

What emerging technologies (e.g., IoT, 5G, AI, generative AI, etc.) should MSPs be considering and incorporating into their service offerings to help their clients stay ahead in their respective industries?

By incorporating GenAI technology such as TruOps' new AI module (Clark, mentioned above), MSPs can demonstrate their commitment to innovation and adaptability and position themselves as forward-thinking partners capable of navigating and thriving in rapidly evolving industries.

Moreover, Clark can provide MSPs with insight into risk and compliance, full details on their security posture, and recommendations based on real-time data analytics. This emerging technology offers MSPs unprecedented opportunities to demonstrate innovation and differentiation in the MSP space. It also enables MSPs to deliver highly tailored and cutting-edge solutions to their clients, which will drive their business growth and their clients' successes.

The technology landscape and business needs are constantly evolving. How does your company's strategy actively encourage MSPs to embrace change and turn it into a strategic advantage?

Regarding encouraging MSPs to embrace change by utilizing GenAI, TruOps provides ongoing support and guidance from our in-house AI experts to help MSPs overcome all challenges and optimize the use of Clark within their service offerings. This strategy not only equips MSPs with the knowledge and capabilities to successfully incorporate generative AI into their business, but also positions them as leaders in the adoption of innovative technologies, attracting clients seeking forward-thinking partners for their IT and security needs.

What key challenges do MSPs commonly face and how are you helping solve them?

MSPs face several key challenges in managing GRC for their clients, and TruOps can help solve these challenges in the following ways:

  • Complexity of Regulatory Compliance: MSPs often struggle to keep up with the ever-changing regulatory landscape across different industries and regions. TruOps Cyber Risk Management is supported by UCF, which reduces the regulatory burden by providing “harmonized” and mapped controls spanning across 1,000+ industry standard and regulations (as stated, including NIST 800-53rev5, CIS Controls version 8, NERC, ISO, ISF, COBIT, NIST, FFIEC, HIPAA, GLBA, PCI, SOX, and CSF).

  • Risk Management Across Diverse Client Environments: MSPs work with clients across various industries, each with their own unique risk profile and compliance requirements. TruOps has an integrated Risk Register that provides flexible and dynamic management of risk. Risks identified from all the assessments (e.g. risk, vulnerability, vendors, etc.) are logged and documented in a risk register where they follow a predetermined risk management workflow. The workflow may include risk categorization, risk documentation including scenario description, risk assessment, risk management plans, accountability and responsibility assignments, timelines, and selection of risk action plans (e.g. mitigate, compensate, transfer, avoid, accept).

  • Vendor Management and Third-Party Risk: MSPs rely on third-party vendors and service providers to deliver IT services to their clients, introducing additional layers of risk and complexity. Our TruOps Vendor Risk Management solution empowers organizations to adopt a standardized approach when managing and mitigating their vendor risks, thus creating a sustainable and scalable risk management process. Solution streamlines vendor risk identification, vendor risk assessments, and risk treatment and monitoring process (as it is fully configurable and automated alerts-based solution). It also provides intuitive risk dashboards and reports which helps management in providing clear visibility into the top vendor risks and improving decision-making.

What sets your solution apart from competitors in the market?

In addition to what we previously described about our easy-to-understand dashboard tools, technologies, and single panes of glass and sources of truth in the MSP ecosystem, TruOps delivers:

  • Automated Mapped controls across multiple frameworks for efficiency and scalability.
  • One-Click Flexibility to customize reports.
  • The option to white label your brand to lend credibility and trust with clients.
  • Automated Security and Compliance Gap Recommendations mapped to controls from a knowledge library.
  • Streamlined processes to ace the next certification with confidence.

Please share a success story or two about how your strategies helped MSPs navigate the growth minefield, turning challenges into opportunities.

TruOps’ unique MSP functionalities have successfully been used by multiple MSPs to differentiate themselves from their competitors. TruOps successfully allowed MSPs to increase workload bandwidth without increasing overhead and offer additional services such as GRCaaS to each client. With TruOps, MSPs were able to manage more clients with less effort, which provided them additional time to engage with new business prospects. This increased their cybersecurity revenue.

How do you see the MSP industry evolving in the next several years and how is your company preparing for these changes?

Changes in the MSP industry will be driven by technological advancements, changing client demands, and evolving cybersecurity threats. In anticipation of these changes, TruOps is proactively preparing to support MSPs in meeting the evolving needs of their clients, including enhancing our offerings to include advanced features like our GenAI module (Clark) for AI-driven risk analytics, automated compliance management, and real-time threat intelligence integration.

Plus, in the upcoming year, we expect significant technological advancements in continuous controls monitoring (CCM), particularly its expansion from solely cloud-native to hybrid environments. This shift reflects the complex realities of businesses operating with mixed infrastructures. For MSPs, this evolution means adapting their services to integrate and support integrations across varied IT landscapes. The move is strategic, aiming to improve real-time risk management and compliance oversight.

What are you most looking forward to at MSP Expo 2024?

Personally, I’m most looking forward to connecting with different MSPs, MSSPs, and vCISO firms and introducing TruOps’ latest via Clark. I am looking forward to showcasing how Clark makes requesting, interpreting, reporting, and viewing compliance gaps, third-party risk, and a clients’ security posture effortless. I am eager to discuss with attendees how Clark can revolutionize their approach to service delivery, enabling them to leverage the power of artificial intelligence to enhance efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, client satisfaction. Additionally, I look forward to exchanging insights and best practices with industry peers, exploring potential collaboration opportunities, and gaining valuable feedback to further enhance our offerings and support the evolving needs of the MSP community.

Why are you participating at MSP Expo 2024 and what are you highlighting at your booth?

Will we be highlighting how MSPs can reduce their compliance and risk workloads and still increase their cybersecurity revenue. We’ll also be introducing our new generative AI module, Clark, that provides real-time insight into your security, risk, and compliance questions.

Edited by Alex Passett
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