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MSSP Survey Reveals Some Unexpected Ransomware, Cybersecurity Sales Numbers

Channel Futures' MSSP Insider study reveals security pros' strategies and characteristics.

T.C. Doyle

June 28, 2019

7 Slides

Ransomware attacks can strike at any time. Just ask Oli Thordarson, founder and CEO of Alvaka Networks of Irvine, California. One quiet Christmas holiday night, Alvaka’s website received a chat inquiry from an unknown but obviously distraught CEO.

“Can you help me?” the CEO pleaded.

The CEO’s problem: His company’s digital files were locked up by a cybercriminal who had breached the company’s defenses. What made the situation worse was that the CEO’s organization had just been acquired by a much larger company.

“Suffice to say, it was a serious problem,” Thordarson recalls.

Though it was the holidays, Alvaka sprang into action. Having dealt with threats to their aerospace and defense customers, Alvaka’s cybersecurity professionals knew what to do. Though it took time and effort, they unlocked the executive’s files and got the company back on its feet.

Unfortunately, stories like this are becoming more common in the ICT channel, where MSPs, VARs and consultants make diving catches every day. Many saves involve existing customers, but some involve companies that are complete strangers to managed security professionals. In addition to Alvaka, Networking Results, a Dallas-Fort Worth ICT services and solutions provider, has been contacted by strangers desperate for immediate security support.

While cybersecurity has turned into a lucrative field for many channel practitioners, it’s also evolving into a mixed blessing. While there’s money to be made, the sheer level of risk and work can be daunting. Just ask MSSP professionals how many hours they sleep at night.

For insights on how cybersecurity is reshaping the technology channel – and managed service providers (MSPs) and managed security service providers (MSSPs), especially – Channel Futures and Channel Partners joined forces on the “2019 MSSP Insider Cybersecurity Study.”

Among the results, we found that 85% of Channel Futures readers offer security services as part of their managed services offerings, while 75% of Channel Partners readers do. Of those that don’t offer security services as part of their managed services today, 7% of Channel Futures readers plan to do so in the future. Same with 8% of Channel Partners readers. This means that 92% of Channel Futures readers and 83% of Channel Partners readers will offer some security services to customers.

These are remarkable findings when you consider that these figures are higher than the percentage of channel companies that still resell hardware and software or who offer web development, according to various studies. No matter how you describe it, security is becoming a mainstay of the channel. But not all channel companies approach security in the same way.

While 80 percent of the channel offers some security services, only four in 10 channel companies consider themselves to be full-fledged MSSPs. (But that too is changing.)

In the slideshow above, we present our findings. Before we get to them, here’s a word about the study’s methodology: For the study, Channel Futures and Channel Partners polled more than 250 partners. The overwhelming majority (70%) offer managed services. Most offer IT solutions that combine hardware, software and services (63%), plus network and cloud integration capabilities (60%). As you might expect, more than half offer telecom-related services (59%), software and SaaS (55%), and IT support and/or help desk support (51%).

Survey respondents reported that they work in companies ranging in size from small businesses with between two and nine employees ,all the way to global enterprises with more than 1,000 employees. (More than half of survey respondents said they work for companies with between two and 49 employees.)

While more than 70% of respondents work at companies that are 10 years old or more, 12% work for organizations that are less than four years old.

Now for the findings of our 2019 MSSP Insider study. The first slide (see slideshow above) starts with services offered.

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About the Author(s)

T.C. Doyle

Senior Director of Content, Informa

T.C. Doyle, is the Senior Content Director of Channel brands at Channel Futures, and is responsible for the editorial direction of channelfutures.com. A veteran technology writer, editor and video storyteller who has covered the IT industry for more than two decades, he was previously the Executive Editor at Channel Partners, and the Editor@Large with Cisco, where he traveled the world in search of stories that captured the social and technological transformations occurring in the economies of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. A frequent speaker at IT industry events and trade shows, he resides in Park City, Utah.

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