Delivering Better Protection: Challenges (and Solutions) for 2022 and Beyond
It’s a time of great change for service providers. Many have navigated the shift to supporting remote-first work models at scale, but challenges continue to mount as cybercriminals step up their activity and develop more complex threats. Effectively protecting data and systems has becoming more difficult, and the stakes for failure are higher than ever — for your clients, and for your own business as well.
Fortunately, we can look to the leaders of today for a better understanding of the delivery challenges MSPs are facing, and some actionable advice. During the Miami leg of the Acronis #CyberFit Summit World Tour 2021 — the world’s premier cyber protection event — thousands of IT channel professionals came together to connect and learn from one another.
In the Acronis Leadership Roundtable session, our business president Ezequiel Steiner offered the following five-year predictions:
Cloud Solutions Will Dominate
There was a time when companies would invest huge amounts of resources in their local IT environment — installing software, training technicians, and storing and managing all sensitive data on premise.
Most organizations now realize that this approach is inefficient and fails to provide effective security against modern cyberthreats, not to mention making multi-user remote access a challenge. It’s also entirely out of reach for most SMBs, who lack the resources and internal IT expertise of their enterprise counterparts — yet are also increasingly reliant on the availability and integrity of their data to conduct daily operations.
Decentralized cloud storage and service delivery are becoming increasingly popular solutions to such challenges, creating new opportunities for MSPs who are prepared to expand their service offering into this space. Expect this trend to continue accelerating in the near future.
Cyberthreat Risks Will Rise Ever Higher
Threat actors continue to draw on new technologies. Their efforts are increasingly automated, bombarding businesses with a constant stream of attacks and expanding their reach to include even organizations that were previously considered “too small to target.” Complexity is increasing as well, and even email phishing attacks — responsible for nearly all initial malware delivery — are being made ever-more convincing with data mined from corporate websites and individuals’ social media profiles.
Meanwhile, the stakes have never been higher. The aforementioned need for data availability and integrity means that any data breach or systems impairment is an automatic disaster, possibly one large enough to threaten the victim business’ very existence.
“Ransomware is on the rise, taking on new forms and methods to capture your data,” said Craig Weir, Director of Global Cybersecurity at Ingram Micro, in his session at the Summit. “Victims continue to pay to get their data back, but most don’t fully recover.”
Most SMBs already lack the resources and internal expertise to secure their data and systems against today’s cyberthreats, and this scenario is only becoming more prevalent. Service providers must recognize their evolving role — not simply as an organization that enable small businesses to do more, but as one that secures their very livelihood. With that in mind, delivering comprehensive and cutting-edge cybersecurity across your clients’ entire IT environments should be seen as a primary objective — and communicated as such to those clients.
The IT Talent Shortage Will Worsen
There’s no end yet in sight for the tech talent war. Service providers and enterprises alike have long been feeling the squeeze as they try to fill IT positions, and the widespread rise of remote-first work models only exacerbated the issue.
A lack of skilled security professionals has become a barrier to adopting new technologies, and also limits many MSPs’ ability to expand their business and protect new clients. With security technologies becoming more sophisticated and more varied, this trend shows little sign of changing in the near future.
In response, MSPs are recognizing the ever-greater need for integrated solutions and task automation. These approaches enable providers to do more with less, delivering comprehensive protection through a single interface and minimizing the burdens posed by training and management needs.
2022 Will be a Year for Growth
If these headlines sound like a lot of doom and gloom, fear not — there’s good news as well. MSPs who recognize and seize on the above challenges are better positioned than ever to grow their business with enhanced services and new revenue streams.
By adopting integrated solutions like Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, MSPs can deliver award-winning cybersecurity, data protection, and disaster recovery services with a streamlined approach to management — all through a single pane of glass. You may even consider evolving your focus and becoming a dedicated managed security service provider (MSSP).
“Third parties like ChannelE2E show that 2020 MSP growth is 8–9% annually — however, MSSP growth is 12–15%,” said Weir. “At Ingram, we’re seeing even stronger growth, hitting almost 40% year-over-year. Specifically, these are partners that have a defined cloud practice.”
Make 2022 a transformative year for your organization. Acronis’ partners have access to provider-centric security training through the Acronis #CyberFit Academy, which can help you to increase your team’s expertise — and empower your transition towards becoming an MSSP, if desired.
For more insights, predictions, and actionable advice from today’s industry leaders, check out on-demand sessions from Miami or register for our upcoming events in Schaffhausen, Dubai (also available virtually), and Singapore.