Avant Report on IT Security Cites Ransomware, DDoS, Intrusions and Phishing as Top Concerns

Last year we broke the news on Avant Analytics in our exclusive interview with Jen Gallego, EVP of Channel Sales at Avant Communications:

Newly launched AVANT Analytics is a market research initiative to help channel professionals serve as true Trusted Advisors as they empower enterprise customers to make informed IT decisions.   

The combination of market intelligence and Trusted Advisors’ expertise is designed to enable enterprises to make buying decisions that will improve business processes and enhance their competitive edge in the marketplace.

“AVANT Analytics is a new dimension to AVANT’s IT decision-making platform,” said Ian Kieninger, CEO and co-founder of AVANT Communications said at the time.

Ken Presti, Vice President of Avant Analytics, part of Avant Communications

In an exclusive interview with Ken Presti, Vice President of Avant Analytics he told us their “6-12 Report” on IT security, leverages data collected by AVANT’s Trusted Advisors through the course of their engagements in solving business customer technology needs, customer surveys, external data, and extensive interviews with subject matter experts to provide an Enterprise Decision-Maker’s Guide to Maximizing IT Security.

He went on to explain that there are two-million open cybersecurity positions that can’t be filled and this number is expected to go to three-million in the next few years.

He says we are starting to see companies leverage security as a competitive advantage – it is weaving itself into the fabric of tech.

“If I buy a UCaaS or SD-WAN install, I will know how well it works ina day or two. In security, what worked today or yesterday may not work tomorrow because threat vectors can change the way they attack. I may need an upgrade or different type of tech, based on what we are trying to protect,” he said.

Security is the one thing that evolves so rapidly, it needs constant attention by people who do this as the key focus of their career.

“I can see someone reading this report and saying, I have this and this covered but I didn’t realize this and this. If that is the outcome of this report, then it is a success,” he exclaimed.

Key report takeaways include:

  • Ransomware, DDoS attacks, intrusion, and email phishing attacks are the threats about which customers are most concerned. (69%)
  • Customers’ primary issues with their current security posture focus primarily on their fears regarding emerging threats (45%) combined with staffing (38%) and resource limitations (36%).
  • Preparedness for attacks varies somewhat by vertical market with the highest levels of risk perceived by respondents in the Business Services (80%) and Medical (68%) sectors.
  • We have shifted from a world in which the IT security budget is to be minimized, in favor of an environment in which the very survival of the business depends upon embedding security into every facet of the infrastructure.
Ian Kieninger, CEO and co-founder of AVANT Communications

“Almost every day we read press reports about companies that have been breached or otherwise used as unwitting pawns by cybercriminals,” said Kieninger, “Companies of all types recognize and fear the vulnerabilities they face. We designed this AVANT 6-12 Report to facilitate an understanding of what’s adequately defended and where the gaps might lie. Readers of this document will be able to sustain a higher-level dialogue around how to protect the very existence of their companies.”

The report is solid – there are lots of really good nuggets of information such as the following:

Some experts make a valid case that Zero Trust and Defense-in-depth are often best used in conjunction with one another. This is especially true in hybrid environments where the cloud is used in conjunction with on-site IT infrastructure. In either case, both have their pros and cons, according to Brian Stoner VP Channels & Alliances at ALTR, a Trusted Advisor that specializes in data security as a service. “With defense-in-depth, the additional layers [of complementary security products] give you greater opportunity to trip up the attacker,” he said. “The problem is that you’ve now got all these logs from various products and devices, and all that data can overload your SIEM [security information and event management] platform. On the other hand, Zero Trust makes a lot of assumptions that can be difficult to implement. The other challenge is how to handle third parties and BYOD without assuming undue risk? It gets more difficult as devices proliferate. “The solution is a mix of both,” Stoner concluded. “We have to defend the perimeter, the application, and the data.”

Cybersecurity is becoming a bigger challenge by the day and we agree with Ken that you need to have people 100% dedicated to the topic if you want to stay protected. This IT security research report is a good read for MSPs, MSSPs as well as anyone withing an organization concerned about keeping their data secure and staying in business.

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