6 Security Trends for MSPs to Watch in 2018
As MSPs look for revenue-generating opportunities in the new year, one obvious area to focus on is cybersecurity. Cyber threats continue to proliferate, becoming more sophisticated by the day, and most businesses lack the expertise and tools to keep up with the escalating risk.
Businesses need help – desperately. It’s no wonder so many are looking for service providers to help protect them from cyberattacks. A recent poll by SolarWinds MSP found that 82% of companies were planning to outsource security in the next 12 months, mostly because they feel keeping security in-house won’t work as well.
Meanwhile, Gartner predicts cloud-based security services will grow to a $9 billion business in 2020, up from $5.9 billion in 2017. This is evidence that the need for managed security services is accelerating – and the beneficiaries are the service providers that position themselves to deliver cybersecurity services.
Learning and Preparation
Managed security services are a lucrative opportunity for MSPs, but you don’t transform yourself into a security expert overnight. While most MSPs offer some security protections as part of their overall services, it takes some preparation and learning to be able to deliver a full complement of security services.
Preparation includes researching available technologies and vendors to determine which provide the best performance and value. But you also need to understand current risks and how to address them. Here are six cybersecurity trends MSPs should pay close attention to in 2018:
1. IoT Security: As the Internet of Things moves from concept to reality, millions of new devices will be connected to the internet, creating new attack surfaces for cybercriminals. This trend will accelerate in 2018, and MSPs should be discussing IoT security with clients.
2. Ransomware: Ransomware will remain a major thorn on the side of computer users, from individuals to SMBs to large companies. That’s because it has proven to be so profitable for cybercriminals. MSPs should address the ransomware threat for clients with tools and practices such as patch management, anti-phishing, content filters, threat intelligence and data backup and recovery.
3. Mobile Threats: As users rely more and more on mobile devices, hackers target those devices to get the biggest bang for their buck. It’s the same reason they have historically targeted Windows and widely used applications such as Adobe Flash. You cannot fully protect clients without addressing mobile threats, so get acquainted with the technology and methods to deliver mobile security.
4. Rapid Incident Response: Fast-spreading ransomware infections such as WannaCry highlighted the need for immediate response to cyberattacks. MSPs need cloud-based tools with online dashboards that let you respond anytime/anywhere to incidents at client sites. If you can’t react immediately to an attack, your value to clients is diminished.
5. Software Exploits: Besides phishing, software exploits are the most common method delivering malware, including some ransomware variants. This trend will persist and worsen because attack surfaces are increasing as a result of mobile and IoT apps. MSPs can help prevent attacks on clients by managing patch management for them. Automating the process is the best approach.
6. Regulation Compliance: Data privacy regulations abound, and vary between industries, states, countries and regions. It’s hard for any company to keep up with them all, so they need help from MSPs to help them figure out which regulations apply to them and how to reach compliance. This is an area where client needs will increase as new laws such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation go into effect. GDPR takes effect on May 25.
As 2018 kicks into gear, service providers who stay on top of these security trends, and have the ability to address their clients’ security needs, will have a leg up on the competition.