If there is one thing we can be certain about when it comes to cybersecurity, it’s that the landscape will remain dynamic and turbulent over the coming years. Today, news headlines are dominated by cyberattacks and breaches that span across all industries – causing security to be top of mind for almost all businesses. However, these headlines don’t seem to be slowing down, which means that businesses are still struggling to keep up with the rapidly evolving threat landscape.
So, what are the biggest obstacles businesses face in achieving a stronger cybersecurity posture, and how are MSPs best-suited to help clients and prospects overcome these obstacles?
Cybersecurity Insiders’ 2017 Cybersecurity Trends Report recently uncovered that lack of skilled employees, lack of budget and lack of security awareness among employees are the three biggest cybersecurity challenges for businesses. Let’s break these down one by one.
1. Lack of Skill
Finding qualified talent remains an ongoing challenge in the business world – specifically when it comes to IT security. In the report, 45 percent of respondents list lack of skilled employees as the first major obstacle to achieving stronger cybersecurity. It’s clear that cybersecurity is a rising concern today, but why is it still so difficult for businesses to find and retain security talent? For some, this can be attributed to the lack of training, certification, or even hands-on experience, while others believe that conventional education and policies simply can’t meet demand. Nevertheless, lack of skill has become a major obstacle in preventing businesses from achieving stronger cybersecurity.
In fact, this will remain a major obstacle for businesses because it’s estimated that by 2019, 1 to 2 million cybersecurity jobs will remain unfilled. The struggle to find employees with the right security skill set is plaguing businesses, including the small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that you serve. More often than not, these businesses don’t have the necessary resources or bandwidth to support their cybersecurity needs. Unfortunately, this leaves them very vulnerable to attack.
To address this skills gap, SMBs can leverage a managed services provider who has the appropriate technology, level of skill, experience and understanding of IT systems. Your clients won’t have to worry about learning curves or lacking the right IT skills because they’ll have access to your team of highly-trained technicians. With 24x7x365 monitoring and support, any issues that arise will be promptly remediated and taken care of. Additionally, the preventative solutions you provide, such as remote monitoring and management (RMM) and antivirus, will help bolster your clients’ cybersecurity defenses and reduce their vulnerability to threats. By leveraging your IT services, your SMB clients will have peace of mind knowing that you’ll always be working in the background to monitor and manage their IT systems, scan for any malicious activity and ensure that their network and endpoints remain secure.
2. Lack of Budget
No matter the issue, lack of financial resources always seems to be a major roadblock for businesses. Although we’re seeing a slow increase in the investment of cybersecurity, 45 percent of respondents still list lack of budget as the next major obstacle to achieving stronger cybersecurity. The problem is that cybersecurity spending is still not at a level that matches the changing threat landscape.
Often, security budgets are hard won because you can’t see the results right away – it’s more about protecting against future issues. And for SMBs especially, financial resources are already limited, which means that not having the budget to invest in stronger cybersecurity can make them much easier targets.
Fortunately, one of the biggest values of managed services is greater cost savings. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on security hardware and software, your clients can leverage your technology, services and expertise – all at a fixed monthly cost. Also, when SMBs outsource their IT security needs to an MSP, they won’t have to deal with the added costs of onboarding new employees, training processes or paying for their benefits. By handing-off some of these needs to a trusted technology partner, SMBs can free up time for their in-house staff to think more strategically – which, in turn, increases profitability. Overall, an MSP can provide businesses with scalable IT services that can be customized to their needs, fit within their budget and keep them protected against current and future threats.
3. Lack of Security Awareness
In a perfect world, employees would act as a company’s most effective security defense. However, this is not a perfect world. Sometimes the greatest vulnerabilities are created by employees who did not receive proper security awareness training. We all know that human error has been responsible for some of the worst data breaches, and this happens mostly when security training is an afterthought. In fact, 40 percent of respondents say that lack of security awareness among employees is the third highest obstacle to strengthening cybersecurity. Organizations could risk their reputation, customer trust, and potentially their bottom lines when employees aren’t properly trained and end up mishandling data or falling for a phishing attack.
Working with an MSP is one of the best ways to overcome this obstacle. It’s in an MSPs nature to stay up-to-date on today’s threats so that they can provide the security awareness education employees need to guard against malicious schemes. In working with an MSP, clients will have continuous support for not only their IT systems, but also their security-related planning, procedures and protocol. MSPs work with standards such as PCI compliance day in, day out, and should be able to steer clients within the specific parameters and regulations they need to adhere to. All in all, leveraging the knowledge and expertise of an MSP can allow businesses to close the security awareness gap and ensure that they’re well-equipped to face the cybersecurity landscape – with both internal and external defenses.
By Gretchen Hoffman
By Paula Griffin