Article by WatchGuard A/NZ regional director Mark Sinclair
The threat landscape is changing more rapidly than ever. As new attack techniques emerge and old ones come back into fashion, the security industry works tirelessly to stay one step ahead in the endless game of cyber cat-and-mouse.
This dynamic puts significant pressure on value-added resellers (VARs) and managed service providers (MSPs) to offer security products and services that keep pace with the latest threats. To keep our thumb on the pulse of the security channel, WatchGuard checked in with MSP and VAR partners to gauge what they believe are the most important security threats, trends and considerations in the months ahead.
Here are five key security insights from MSPs and VARs
1. Ransomware is the most urgent threat for channel customers by a large margin.
Over 62% of WatchGuard channel partners believe ransomware is the most important concern for their customers in 2018. Phishing and spear phishing attacks were in second place, at 22%. Although WatchGuard has recently seen crypto-miners take over some market share from ransomware, it’s clear that the channel remains heavily focused on ransomware threats.
2. Educating customers is a never-ending mission for VARs and MSPs.
Nearly half (46%) of VARs and MSPs said that their greatest challenge is keeping customers up-to-date and knowledgeable about new security threats and best practices for defence. As new threats and attack techniques continue to emerge with greater frequency, training and education become increasingly central to better security.
3. Monitoring and reporting capabilities are almost as important as automation.
More than two-thirds (36%) of our partners reported that monitoring and reporting tools have the greatest impact on their bottom line. At the same time, 39% said that automated threat detection and response tools have the greatest impact. This shows us that solution providers see just about as much business benefit from these management capabilities as they do from major security capabilities that protect their customers in the first place!
4. Managed Wi-Fi services and MDR solutions are growing focus areas.
Currently, just over half of these channel partners offer both managed detection and response (MDR) solutions and managed secure Wi-Fi to their customers. Nearly 35% plan to add MDR to their portfolio of services within the next year and 31% plan to add managed Wi-Fi services in the next year. As cybercriminals continue to wreak havoc through insecure Wi-Fi networks and leverage sophisticated obfuscation techniques to evade detection by traditional network defences, the channel’s adoption of these types of security solutions will expand.
5. MSPs and VARs are excited about the many benefits of cloud Management.
When asked to pick the greatest benefit of centralised cloud management for their business among ‘scalability for multiple site customers,’ ‘savings on deployment and onboarding costs,’ and ‘eliminating infrastructure costs,’ 58% answered, ‘All of the above.’ It’s also worth noting that the ability to easily scale to rapidly serve customers across multiple sites was especially attractive, receiving the second most votes at 23.9%.
Simply put, channel partners are enjoying the many benefits of a cloud-enabled management interface as a key driver behind the growth of their businesses and that of the overall managed security services market.