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June 3, 2022
Today’s businesses are under constant risk from an ever-expanding list of cyberthreats. Breaches, ransomware and state-sponsored attacks are on the rise, placing strain on organizations already stretched too thin. Unfortunately, security is reactive rather than proactive for many businesses due to absent security policies, a lack of the proper security tools, employees who disregard security best practices and—perhaps most importantly—a lack of cybersecurity expertise.
According to Shawn Mininger, channel CISO (chief information security officer) for Ingram Micro, the IT industry needs people trained and educated on cybersecurity. “The biggest threat to our industry isn’t so much the latest malware or attack vector, it’s a lack of expertise,” he says. “We’ve spoken to many customers who are hesitant to purchase the latest and greatest security solution because they recognize that it doesn’t make sense to purchase a tool if they don’t have someone on staff capable of using it. Tools can’t fix anything without people. We need more good guys.”
According to Cyberseek US data, there are nearly 600,000 cybersecurity job openings in the United States. However, filling those openings will require a concerted effort and take time most companies don’t have. Therefore, Mininger and Ingram Micro have been crafting a strategy built around working smarter.
“We’re focused on augmenting security knowledge gaps by offering smarter next-generation security solutions,” he says. “Tools that make use of automation, AI and machine learning can impact an organization’s security posture while requiring little to no expertise to operate.”
Managed security services is another area where Mininger says the industry needs to be working smarter. “There’s obviously a lot of interest and love of managed services in the industry,” he says. Unfortunately, due to the level of expertise needed, most MSPs don’t offer security services. If they do, many use subcontractors, handing over most of the recurring revenue and putting their customer relationships at risk. Mininger adds that the large MSPs who offer security services mainly focus on more extensive opportunities found with Fortune 500 companies. As a result, SMBs are an often-neglected segment.
Overall, Mininger says, the IT channel is struggling to respond to the demand due to a shortage of cybersecurity and cloud expertise, the challenges of moving to an as-a-service model, the complexity of integrating multiple vendor solutions and increasing risk of cloud consumption models that bypass the channel completely.
Ingram Micro offers various programs and education to assist solution providers in providing managed security to their SMB customers. Whether you’re an existing MSP who doesn’t yet offer security services, or a security-focused business that just needs help, solutions are available.
Turning Mininger’s advice into action isn’t difficult—at least, not for Ingram Micro partners. Interested solution providers should speak with their Ingram Micro representatives about intelligent solutions that use automation and AI to do more with fewer people involved. Additionally, Ingram Micro offers accredited security training to raise your team’s security IQ. Finally, Ingram Micro offers professional services that alleviate most, if not all, of the burden of providing security solutions to your customers.
Getting back to the issue of a lack of people, Ingram Micro has identified community colleges as a great recruiting resource. “The answer to a staffing shortage isn’t offering more money,” says Mininger. “We need more people, and our local community colleges have many potential candidates coming through every semester. MSPs would be wise to look at local talent still in the education pipeline.”
The cybersecurity talent shortage is genuine, but with an emphasis on working smarter, there’s no reason your customers need to remain vulnerable to attacks.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.
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