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White Paper (Draft)

[Project Description] Improving Cybersecurity of Managed Service Providers (Supporting Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses)

Date Published: October 2019
Comments Due: November 8, 2019 (public comment period is CLOSED)
Email Questions to: smb_nccoe@nist.gov


Karen Waltermire (NIST), Harry Perper (MITRE)


The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) at NIST is announcing the release of a draft project description on Improving Cybersecurity of Managed Service Providers. 

Many small and medium sized businesses use managed service providers (MSPs) to manage their organization's information technology (IT) infrastructure, cybersecurity, and related business operations. As a result, MSPs have become an attractive target for cyber criminals. When an MSP is vulnerable to a cyber attack, it also increases the vulnerability to the businesses that it supports. 

The goal of this project is to provide guidance that will help managed service providers improve their cybersecurity posture, and therefore reduce the cybersecurity vulnerability of small and medium sized businesses. The solution will use security controls that adhere to the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and industry standards and best practices. The project will result in a freely available NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guide, documenting an example solution that demonstrates how to integrate the following functions into your organization:

  • asset management;
  • risk assessments;
  • identity management, authentication, and access control;
  • data security; and
  • security continuous monitoring.



cybersecurity; managed service provider; MSP; risk management; SMB; small business
Control Families

None selected


Project Description

Supplemental Material:
Submit Comments (other)
Project homepage (other)

Document History:
10/08/19: White Paper (Draft)


Security and Privacy
risk management

cybersecurity framework; small & medium business