From sophisticated ransomware and phishing schemes to increased compliance and GDPR challenges, partners share their thoughts.
SMB security took center stage this year as the threat landscape continued to deliver new surprises for businesses. IT service providers were challenged to find ways to respond quickly and cost-effectively to a wide range of security needs for a diverse mix of customers and limited budgets.
Heading into 2018, we don’t see this changing. Business customers will continue to turn to channel partners for security support and those that can respond very effectively to their needs, will be best positioned for success. We believe that to continue to be relevant in this changing market, security must be a core element in today’s service portfolio.
We’re not alone here. Channele2e recently asked Ingram CEO Alain Monié about 2018 and partner investment, and where he would invest his attention. Security was top on his list.
We asked a few of our channel partners to share their top security predictions for 2018.
What is your top channel or security prediction for 2018?
John Quatto, Zobrio
- We will see increased spending on security as well as increased regulation and compliance as cybercrime and data breaches present bigger liabilities for businesses and organizations. For example, our Zobrio local government clients are frequently asking us to meet directly with their insurance and risk management providers to ensure they have the best security protection in place.
- Managed services will continue to grow. Clients will rely on IT and security experts to fully manage their IT or supplement their teams.
- Solution consolidation will continue as channel partners like us look to reduce the number of solutions and vendors we work with to drive greater efficiencies. The channel will look for quality vendor partners that have multiple and effective solutions under one umbrella.
Charles Adney, RSM US LLP
- Signature-based antivirus/anti-malware software will continue to be less and less useful in protecting against the latest zero-day exploits and crypto-malware.
- Malicious actors will continue to target the SMB space for ransom.
Eric Gorman, Integrated Enterprise Solutions, Inc.
- I think we are on the cusp of MSSP for small businesses. We have to be given today’s cybersecurity threat. I would predict that there will be an increase in affordable MSSP solutions for SMBs.
Bob Ascherl, Advanced Technology Services
- I think we will see an increase in the innovation of ransomware threats with a focus on softer targets like youth and education sectors.
Erik Hanson, TecNet Canada
- Crypto will continue to get worse with the spike in the value of Bitcoins.
Phil Long, TechSolvers Ltd
- GDPR is going to have a big impact on UK businesses. We’re already getting requests from our TechSolvers clients for specific services such as email encryption to prepare for this. For IT companies, this will also present another big challenge to manage. We are all waiting to see what will be ratified and signed, what this will look like, and what the requirements will be.
- Security patching will continue to be the way forward and we see this as half the battle for the IT guy.
Timothy J. Ollewagen, Silver Software Distribution
- Threats in 2018 will change in terms of their scale, taking the same amount of effort to hack a hundred people as it would for one hundred million. The bad guys aren’t necessarily innovating, they’re scaling. The scary reality is this goes beyond invasion of privacy or monetary loss as we could face the very real risk of loss of life if national transport networks, traffic lights, medical equipment in hospitals – all generally controlled by computers – are attacked.
- Insurance companies will become a positive catalyst for companies adopting better network security practices. We will expect to see more companies taking up cyber insurance due to their lack of expertise and increasingly severe financial implications of cyberattacks, especially ransomware attacks which are rising exponentially. Insurance companies will also provide financial incentives for security improvements.
Luke Walling, Network Security Group
- No organization is too small to be the target of a ransomware attack; expect the unexpected and take a multi-layered security approach that includes best-of-breed endpoint solutions and more.
- Phishing schemes will get increasingly more advanced going beyond the W-2 CEO spoofing tricks of 2016 and 2017.
- With the ever-rocketing price of electronic currencies like Bitcoin, expect more malware to be delivered that turns your business network devices into coin-mining machines silently without your knowledge.
Chris Bogan, Mark III Systems
- Security solutions will be even more user-friendly and this will also drive efficiencies for the channel in proactively securing businesses.
As we have seen through the great work of our partner community this year, the channel is in a great position to extend their expertise to help their SMB clients navigate tomorrow’s security landscape.
Take the time to set your business up for security success and be the trusted advisors your clients need in 2018. You’ll drive value, strengthen client relationships, and build solid partnerships.
For more information about how to start prioritizing security in your services portfolio, download our white paper here. Or download a free trial of our Avast Business Managed Workplace or CloudCare solution today.