Consider the following scenario. An IT manager has a close relationship with a coworker but the IT manager has a suspected substance abuse problem and the job has grown beyond their ability to handle it as the company has disparate systems consisting of cloud, mainframe, and servers. This manager is also not well-versed in cybersecurity.
The company works in a compliance industry and is often asked for their documentation and practices related to cybersecurity. They have numerous documents acquired from the internet they repurpose to assure their larger customers that they are in compliance and all is well.
Management doesn’t want to let the IT manager go or bring in someone above the person because it could cause a morale issue across the company.
Part of the challenge is budget-related of course. You often get what you pay for and bringing in a new IT team that is versed in cybersecurity is never cheap.
This may seem uncommon but we have seen parts of play out across various companies. Many organizations think It is a lot easier to keep the familiar people than rip and replace with people with the needed skills.
The story above often ends the way you think. With so many systems to manage, even the most qualified person would have trouble managing it all.
Hackers get in, data gets leaked, large customers defect, the company goes bankrupt and all the employees are out of jobs.
It seems though we have reached a tipping point as the number of stories about hacked systems are so prevalent that corporate leaders realize they are sitting ducks if they don’t fix things.
Cloud-based data protection company Infrascale has a recent survey showing a lot of companies are choosing top MSPs to help them.
Finance leaders chose reduced costs (57%) as their top reason, noting that an MSP is less expensive than hiring talent internally.
This is a nuanced point. it is 100% accurate or at least it could be. But there are so many companies running their IT shops so lean that when an MSP comes in and prices at one tech per hundred devices, they get sticker shock. We have seen a single tech in a company responsible for supporting over 1,000 devices. One imagines the productivity loss at such a company as workers go days at a time or longer without functioning equipment.
Getting back to the survey… 44% of education executives as well as 51% of those in healthcare and 53% in manufacturing cited a need for increased security as their top reason for selecting an MSP.
65% of those surveyed have seen an increase in information security breaches in their industry since the pandemic began, it’s not surprising that even more, 74% of all respondents, have chosen caution and implemented new infosec technology.
“It’s never been more critical to have an encrypted backup and disaster recovery solution to ensure your business is always up and running. The increased threats to companies and MSPs have never been this severe, and it’s going to continue to get worse,” said Infrascale CEO Russell P. Reeder. “In this ever more challenging landscape, data protection and data recovery are top priorities for MSPs serving clients, especially as attack surfaces expand and attack vectors get more sophisticated,” he continued.
Executives across all these industries also named backup and recovery solutions (43%), cloud services (45%), and data analytics (48%) as key MSP services they use.
COVID-19 has had a huge impact across all companies. 81% of financial industry executives have implemented new information security technology due to COVID-19, with education second at 70%, and healthcare third at 67%. It’s noteworthy that 75% of financial industry respondents also have seen an increase in infosec breaches in their industry during COVID-19, the most among all industries surveyed.
Executives have named different kinds of infosec technologies they’ve leveraged during COVID-19, as well. According to survey respondents from the respective industries:
- Cloud backup wins top technology for the financial (53%) and education (54%) industries
- Encryption solutions earns the top spot for the healthcare industry (52%)
- Antivirus/malware was the top technology implemented by the manufacturing industry (64%)
The survey showed executives are ready to embrace MSPs that are up to speed in the cloud — with 91% either extremely (61%) or very likely (30%) to work with an MSP that provides cloud-based solutions. By industry, the combined “extremely” or “very likely” enthusiasm for MSPs with cloud-based solutions was equally compelling:
- Finance (94%)
- Education (89%)
- Manufacturing (87%)
- Healthcare (83%)
Now is a great time for companies to start exploring working with an MSP to increase their protection from outside attacks. While working with one is not a panacea, a relaxed “internal only” cybersecurity culture can be contagious. We don’t want to point fingers at any companies in particular but one of the most consequential hacks of the last six months happened in part because the password of an update server was the company name followed by “123.”
This didn’t take place in a company of a few people but many thousands. This likely meant many people – perhaps many dozens knew this password and no one decided to get it changed. That is a cultural problem – nothing else would allow such a scenario to happen.
Having outside accountability means internal workers at least have a second set of eyes on them. A solid CSO could do a similar job – but there have to be different reporting lines so the CSO doesn’t become as “lax” as others about cybersecurity.
This is great information from Infrascale and every company can learn from it – especially MSPs who want to ensure they are keeping up with the latest market needs. This is important as they will likely be getting more calls from companies with the above employment scenario who realize they need to upgrade their systems and defenses.
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Rich Tehrani is CEO of RT Advisors and a Registered Representative with and offering securities through Four Points Capital Partners LLC (Four Points) (Member FINRA/SIPC). RT Advisors is not owned by Four Points.
The above information was strictly a technical/business news article/review regarding the company(ies) mentioned. The information contained should not be considered and is not a recommendation to invest in or sell short the securities of the underlying company(ies).