SMB IT Security Budgets Are Decreasing—Here's What MSPs Can Do

OCTOBER 10TH, 2019
According to a report by Untangle, a network security provider, 48 percent of all surveyed SMBs said they have less than $5K budgeted to spend on IT security, down from 54 percent last year. More than half (52 percent) said they don’t have an in-house IT security professional on staff, leading them to spread security tasks across multiple workers. Interestingly enough, 80 percent of these same businesses say that IT security is a priority. Why don’t their budgets match up? Since many of your prospects will soon be planning 2020 budgets (and since it's National Cybersecurity Awareness Month), now is a great time to approach them. Most will benefit from having a discussion about whether their IT security budget is adequate. Some might be putting themselves at risk. Others could actually save money on IT and cybersecurity by outsourcing with a partner like you. Whatever the case, you’ll want to come prepared with a few discussion points to help them understand why investing in IT security is paramount.

The Cybersecurity Risk

While it’s easy to think large businesses are at the greatest risk, there’s no business too small to fall victim to phishing attacks, ransomware, or data breach. Here are some facts to share with your clients:You’ll have to convince some businesses that cybersecurity is worth an increased budget. When it comes down to it, investing in data breach and cybercrime prevention is like insurance. No business would do without insurance, but why don’t they treat data the way they treat physical property? Investing a little more in IT security now can prevent huge issues later.

The Importance of Uptime

Gartner reports that downtime can cost businesses as much as $5,600 per minute. The average small business won’t take such large losses, but downtime is still expensive. Between lost productivity, damaged reputations, lost opportunities, and various indirect costs, it all adds up. Any good cybersecurity plan should keep data safe but also ensure that systems stay up so the data remains useful. While firewalls, antivirus, spam filters, and DDoS protection can keep bad folks from causing trouble, there are other risks to account for. Mother Nature, power outages, and human error are also threats to your customers. As you discuss plans with prospects, don’t forget to explore all the ways you can add value by preventing downtime.

Discuss Spend Reallocation

The conversation about IT budgets doesn’t always have to be about increasing spend; it can be about moving dollars around. A chat about a prospect’s current solutions may reveal that they’re spending too much on a particular system or area of IT. Often, working with an MSP like you can help them bring costs down. When clients can standardize on solutions, spend fewer staff resources on IT, and pay very little upfront cost, they can get a lot more bang for their buck. They may not need to increase their budgets. Instead, they can reformulate their approach to IT with you guiding the way.


Budgets for IT security are decreasing, but the need for cybersecurity solutions is increasing. MSPs are on the frontlines of cyber defense. That’s why MSPs must promote best practices, wise IT investment, and practical measures that help clients and prospects keep their data safe and useful. When they’re aware of the risks and the value you can bring to their organizations, investing in your solutions becomes an obvious choice.