Archives For cybersecurity

Blk HeadshotNot All Relatives Are Qualified IT People – But Can You Win The Business?

Calling on small business? Your prospect’s IT is being managed by their nephew, brother-in-law, or some other relative.  Can you win this business? What should you do?

I get this question all the time. They’re related, but you know the IT guy isn’t qualified to handle today’s IT demands. You have people, certs, vendor relations, and a strong track record in MSP services. But winning this deal seems impossible. What should you do?

First, Don’t Compete Head to Head…You Can’t Win That Way

Trying to get the nephew fired never works. So don’t.

Instead, change the rules…

This is where security really shines. Their nephew (or cousin, brother, mother’s sisters’s son’s brother-in-law…I could go on) isn’t going to say, “you’re better”, and they probably don’t want to destroy family  relationships (even if they see your value).

However, getting them to admit they could use a third-party security review (where you include, not stomp on, the relative) isn’t hard…

Next, Introduce The Stuff They Can’t Provide, But Need

From there, your best bet is to work alongside to remediate, but introduce MSSP technology – not available to that relative. (Use my assessment template below and you’re sure to uncover some urgent stuff!)

An endpoint security solution, backed by a SOC (Security Operations Center) can’t be easily matched, but does complement that IT person’s role. If the company’s big enough, a SIEM solution can be added. While label someone else’s solution unless you’ve made a big investment to build one of these…

Years ago, while running a technology services company, our small firm managed to break into Michelin, Visa, First Union, and other whale-size accounts, by keeping our eye only on those security niche offerings others weren’t providing.

Over time we crept into product and services sales, showing the client savings by working with one provider capable of doing the entire IT thing.  (Some patience pays off here).

Will they always let you expand your business? No…

However, the money is in the high-valued services, not patching Windows machines. And if their server ever does crash, you just might see them becoming one of the 55% – those who can’t actually recover from a backup.

© David Stelzl, CISSP – 2019

P.S. This all starts with the security assessment – check out my simple high-conversion template here. It’s free just for reading this far!

Need help selling high-margin security? Read The House & The Cloud

I Just Interviewed Eric Kohl, VP of Advanced Services for Ingram Micro

Leading the Charge for Ingram’s 2019 Security Ramp-Up Initiatives…

Listen in as Eric Explains the importance of MSP providers getting on board with security – why it’s important, and what happens when they don’t.

© 2019, All Rights Reserved.

Pictures From the WatchGuard 2019 SKO Meeting in Seattle!


Small Business Owners in Dallas

Hosted by Howard Financial Consulting and IT Services…

This morning I’ll be speaking to small business owners at Morton’s Steakhouse in Dallas – an event sponsored by Howard Financial & IT Consulting Services.

Our goal: educating small business owners on what’s happening in the data world, and why security is more important than ever as we move forward in the Digital Megatrend.

In my research to complete Digital Money – the next book on the “To be published” list, I am more convinced than ever that small companies can no longer afford to treat security as a “Nice to have”.  It’s essential.

Not Just Any Security…

But not just any security – ransomware, corporate account takeover schemes (CATO), and the rampant theft of intellectual property are at an all time high, and growing fast. Having your Microsoft server patched, or running a clean backup are not the answer. You need both, but without a detection/response strategy in place, these companies are wide open to data loss and future business failure.

I can’t stress this enough…there has to be intelligent detection, and a solid – timed response plan. And having in internal IT person doing it, is no longer an option. This requires special skills and technology only available to enterprise fortune 500 companies – or through a special managed services offering provided by well equipped IT services companies.

Can They Afford This?

Will the small business owner spend the extra money, and make the extra effort to do these things? They will…these educational events continue to receive a strong response, because they put risk into business language.  When a business person hears the truth, in their own language, it does lead to action.

My fall is booked solid with events just like this, simply because business owners are recognizing the need to know…in the coming weeks I’ll be in San Jose, Helena Montana, Buffalo NY, Las Vegas, Richmond, Santa Ana, Denver,…it’s time to get this message out!

If we don’t carry the message forward, we can expect more expensive compliance laws, and more business failure.

If you are an IT Services Provider, it’s time to get on board… Start here with my book, The House & The Cloud <<< Click for more information.


This week I am up in Chicago working with a company to build differentiation and competitive advantage – it’s one of the four things buyers buy (something I wrote extensively about in my book, From Vendor to Adviser).  Where is the growth opportunity?

From the Wall Street Journal this morning:

“Cybersecurity and Big Data are the dynamic duo of tech jobs. The demand for cybersecurity experts is growing at 12 times the overall job market, making it one of the most highly sought-after fields in the country, according to a report by Burning Glass International Inc., a Boston-based company that uses artificial intelligence to match jobs and job seekers. “Few job categories can match the explosive growth in demand for cyber security talent,” Burning Glass CEO Matthew Sigelman told CIO Journal in an email. “One of those may be Big Data, with demand for certain big data skills up 122% in the past year alone.” The growth in demand for cyber security expertise is closely related to the growth in demand for Big Data skills. “After all, as companies are focusing more and more on Big Data and the value that’s accrued within their customer databases, not surprisingly they have also come to focus more attention on managing the risks and the vulnerabilities,” he said.”

The security market is growing…but just saying security isn’t enough.  Technology trends that revolve are big data, mobility and BYOD, and virtualization / cloud technologies are important applications of security.  I hear people saying things like, “I don’t recommend cloud – it’s not secure.”  Our opinion on this doesn’t really matter.  What does matter is, companies are heading this direction and need someone to help them be as secure as possible.

There are thousands of sales people out there selling general technology products.  If you want to be relevant in the coming decade, specialization is needed.  This goes for both companies and their sales teams.

P.S. Really enjoying the snow storm in Chicago this week!

© 2013, David Stelzl

You should know what this is.  Tomorrow is the day of the Conficker Worm, and it’s likely that some of your clients will have it.  USA Today gives a simple test to see if you’re infected.  The worm blocks over 100 websites, so simply ask clients if they can reach,,, or Symantec’s site, and if they can they’re good (according to USA Today).   

What does this worm do?  There seems to be some confusion and ambiguity here. I don’t have it so I don’t really know.  But USA Today mentions everything from “nothing major”, to “Cyberwarfare”.   In either case, you may have people asking, so a quick read of the USA today article might be prudent.