February 15, 2022
New Untangle research shows a declining number of partners think moving data/network traffic to the cloud offers better security.
Untangle’s annual Voice of the Channel and Predictions Report surveyed the company’s global network of more than 1,500 channel partners.
The Untangle research sought to learn about challenges faced over the last year, customer threats, current service portfolios and the trends that will shape strategic business decisions for their organizations moving forward.
Over the last four years, the trend of partners moving their IT stack to the cloud continues. One in four (25%) said they have 75% or more of their stack deployed in the cloud.
However, the number of partners who believe moving data/network traffic to the cloud offers better security was down 11% last year compared to 2020, according to the Untangle research.
Cyberattacks Erode Confidence in Cloud Security
Heather Paunet is senior vice president at Untangle.
Untangle’s Heather Paunet
“This seems a little counterintuitive to everything else we hear regarding the cloud,” she said. “However, it could imply that trust in the cloud has diminished with the extensive amount of cyberattacks on cloud-based infrastructure, such as the SolarWinds attack.”
Supply chain attacks dominated the news headlines in 2021. Therefore, 70% of partners said they saw an increase in customer inquiries following major cyberattacks. The most commonly requested security features were endpoint security followed by VPN connectivity.
However, as the industry looks toward 2022, partners most considered growing their zero trust (33%) and web application firewall (31%) product offerings as a priority. Zero trust didn’t even make the list of features to consider in 2020.
“One big difference from previous reports shows the impact the pandemic has had on remote and hybrid work trends,” Paunet said. “Businesses are going back to the office, but remote work is still an ongoing trend. In 2021, only 3% of MSPs said all of their clients were working remotely, compared to 8% in 2020. Furthermore, 58% of MSPs said that 50% or more of their clients were working remotely compared to 78% in 2020.”
Looking to 2022
Moving into 2022, nearly half (49%) of respondents said one-half (50%) or more of their clients would continue to work remotely, compared to 57% in 2020, Paunet said. Businesses are going back to the office, but this indicates clearly that remote working trends are here to stay.
“While businesses have returned to the office, the numbers indicate that not everyone has returned to the office every day,” she said. “Remote work offers some challenges, yet both clients and channel partners have adapted their offering to accommodate evolving workstyles. This is shown by the most requested security features by clients, as well as the solutions partners are looking to provide.”
After a year of high-profile cyberattacks, there are no signs this will slow down and will continue to challenge channel partners, Paunet said.
“It’s a daunting task to keep up with all of the emerging threats,” she said. “And MSPs noted they only have limited time to research and understand new threats. However, they did name phishing, employees not following the rules, and ransomware as the biggest threats to watch out for in 2022.”
Other barriers and challenges included MSPs running up against clients that don’t want to change what’s working, especially in regard to moving solutions to the cloud, Paunet said.
In addition, partners are facing customer acquisition barriers such as:
Access to the business decision maker.
Users’ limited solutions knowledge.
Channel inefficiencies/logistical issues.
Lack of industry certifications/education.
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