by Marc Winter
Cyber security has become a big deal for small business – and it’s becoming an important initiative. The managed customers signed to MSP contracts today and in the last 12 months will uncover data breaches that they assumed you were protecting them from. If there has ever been a time in the IT business to be proactive about a service, that time is now.
Multiple reports from Ponemon, Gartner and other organizations indicate that the numbers are staggering.
• 85 percent of smaller companies have been hacked.
• 70 percent of attacks go undetected
• Hackers spend an average of 229 days on a breached network before being discovered
• SMBs spent $2.6 billion in 2014 on antivirus, anti malware and end point protection products designed to stop malicious attacks
These point solutions alone did very little to diminish attack success.
It’s Not Like the Movies
The overall impression of a data hacker is a brilliant 20-something sitting in a high-tech room targeting specific businesses. The reality is that data thieves use powerful automation and clever marketing tactics to flood the internet looking for weaknesses anywhere. A majority of breaches occur where there is a path of least resistance – uneducated end users clicking on a link, end points or networks not properly updated, basic antimalware or antivirus products, etc. Social media is anything but social for cyber attackers as these platforms provide attackers with another vector to leverage in data gathering, sabotage and defamation. In other words it’s not personal, just business.
What Does It All Mean For Your MSP Business?
As businesses become more aware of security, it’s logical that the real growth in SMB security will be assessment, detection and remediation services. There are more and more third party cyber security consultants with fresh certifications offering assessment services outside of your MSP bundle. What will these consultants uncover from your clients? The odds indicate a very real chance that your clients will find out the services you provide including security protection did more than leave them vulnerable, but actually led to a breach.
There are ways for you to get ahead of security issues and become a resource for your customers. First, ensure that the services you are providing are all absolutely up to date. Run scans, vulnerability reports and remediate any issues. This demonstrates to customers that you’re on top of any issues. Next, look for third party resources that can provide multi level protection or even Unified Threat Management for your customers. Businesses are building more security into their budgets, they just need to know how to effectively use that budget. Finally, be prepared for a breach. Data thieves will always be ahead of the defenses. The most you can do is minimize the risk of breach and have the capability to mitigate the damage when there is a breach.
Marc Winter is partner and chief marketing officer of the IT Solution Alliance, an innovative technology company built to transform imaging dealers into successful, next-level IT providers. Winter brings more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience working with clients in the office imaging dealer and OEM space as well as next-generation technology companies. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org