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5 Cybersecurity Predictions for 2020

Increasing security threats and a shortage of technical expertise will present opportunities and challenges for MSPs in the coming year.

4 Min Read
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As 2019 comes to a close, MSPs should already be ramping up their plans to grow their customer and product base in 2020. Cybersecurity will continue to present massive challenges for everyone’s client base, and even those MSPs that aren’t currently in the security market will find themselves inexorably drawn into working with security solutions. The continued focus on security as a top concern as we head into the New Year is not surprising, but certain dynamics will certainly influence shifts in the cybersecurity landscape.

To help MSPs better target their resources and position themselves for success, here are a few predictions about what the security landscape is going to look like in the near future.

  1. Consolidation will drive security innovation.

Security has been an essential catalyst for the MSP marketplace: The dynamic threat environment has challenged MSPs to evolve their offerings and skillsets, and to move beyond basic toolsets (i.e., antivirus) by providing their customers with more comprehensive, security-centric solutions. At the same time, MSPs are driving vendors to expand their security offerings beyond antivirus.

Most of this expansion has come in the form of mergers and acquisitions, rather than organized R&D, and we expect that will continue in 2020.

  1. The cybersecurity talent shortage will continue.

Not all MSPs have the capacity to meet the security needs and requirements of their customers. Using an outsourced security operation center (SOC) is one way an MSP can combat the talent shortage.

MSPs will also need to embrace cloud security (beyond email) and ensure that they’re protecting their customers’ desktop and application infrastructures. A SOC can help automate the monitoring and management of workloads in the cloud from a tactical standpoint, while the MSP’s staff focuses on more strategic initiatives. If you’re an MSP who doesn’t currently have a security partner, 2020 is the year to get one.

Furthermore, integrating your RMM tool and your security portfolio will enable you to stretch your resources further, through automation.

  1. Automation and cybersecurity awareness training will be critical.

Traditional email security products have difficulty protecting against attacks such as targeted spear phishing that are becoming more prevalent and are also much harder to detect.

Consider these statistics from a recent email security report from Barracuda:

  • 74 percent of respondents said that email attacks are having a significant impact on their businesses.

  • 78 percent of organizations said that the cost of email breaches is increasing.

  • 66 percent claimed that attacks had a direct monetary cost on their organization in the past year.

  • Nearly a quarter of respondents advised that attacks have cost their organization $100,000 or more.

  • 79 percent of IT professionals said they’re worried about attacks and breaches stemming from inside the organization.

  • 92 percent of Office 365 users have security concerns.

In 2020, there will be a continued emphasis placed on the need for automated email security and cybersecurity awareness training by businesses, regardless of size or vertical focus.

Solutions that combine machine learning and big data can make it easier to spot attempts to compromise email and stop them before they cause damage. By learning communication patterns, identifying high-risk users and providing domain fraud visibility, these technologies can help protect customers from threats that are hard for the naked eye to detect.

  1. MSPs with security skills will grow.

We predict that in 2020 MSPs will continue to come under attack as hackers try to gain access to their customers’ infrastructures. If an MSP cannot protect its own infrastructure, it certainly cannot protect its customers’.

MSPs will need to become security professionals to position themselves for growth and success so they can remain relevant to their customers. Instead of worrying about how to sell or market their MSP business, MSPs need to focus on getting better at security by embracing extended skillsets–for example, increasing their internal training, developing their security offerings and taking a security-first approach.

MSPs should also be in the business of providing solutions that protect their customers for life, and are revisited regularly to ensure are providing comprehensive protection. Conducting regular security assessments is a great way to demonstrate to customers just how quickly the threat landscape is evolving and why new and innovative security solutions can better protect their businesses from cyberthreats.

  1. MSPs will need to better leverage security to grow and acquire new customers.

Not every MSP can offer managed security and data protection services, but all businesses need them. One of the common misconceptions among SMBs is that if they have an MSP partner, then they’re covered from a security standpoint. MSPs must get smarter about how they leverage security within their business.

And, a vital reminder for MSPs, MSSPs and VARs: Practice what you preach and use the tools you sell. You must protect yourself, too.

Brian Babineau is Senior Vice President and General Manager for Barracuda MSP. In this role, he is responsible for the company’s managed services business, a dedicated team focused on enabling partners to easily deliver affordable IT solutions to customers.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

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