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December 6, 2023
The security channel is a crowded marketplace. There's no dearth of solutions already and due to the rapid pace of technological evolution, new services and products are launched routinely. Whilst this provides channel players with great new business opportunities, they must deliver value, too, taking a "solutions" not "product" mindset to help solve customers' problems. And especially when it comes to security, the challenges are many — budget restrictions, skills and manpower limitations, ever-changing attack landscape and more.
Delivering a value-added service isn't about offering the latest and greatest product, it's about providing practical and realistic approaches that help to alleviate the business problem alongside reducing the ever-growing burden on the IT and security teams.
Offering the following solutions, here are areas worth considering for the channel in 2024:
Automated email remediation — peace of mind for administrators. Email is the default communication and collaboration tool in business, which is perhaps why it's so successfully deployed by threat actors for all manner of phishing attacks. Business email compromise (BEC) is rising exponentially, and artificial intelligence (AI) is making it easier than ever for scammers to send convincing emails that are extremely hard to detect. Here's a staggering statistic — according to the FBI Internet Crime Report (PDF), BEC losses ($2.7 billion) are 78 times higher than those resulting from ransomware ($34.3 million).
Enabling customers' security administrators to undertake automated email remediation to remove malicious emails from their employees' inboxes even after they've been delivered can go a long way in helping reduce business risk whilst also serving as a great time saver for the department. Such solutions are quick and easy to install, and value is immediately realised on installation.
Accidental data loss and email archiving — help to curtail compliance risk. 2023 has been a record-breaking year for the EU's general data protection regulation (GDPR) fines. However, not all infringements necessarily lead to monetary fines. There can be other repercussions, too, such as reprimands, suspension of data transfers, erasure of data orders or bans on the organisation for data processing, all of which can have a significant impact on business. There are other regulations, too — the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and numerous country-specific regulations.
Organisations adopt precautions in earnest to protect confidential data, but what about accidental data loss as a result of an email containing sensitive information inadvertently sent in haste by a time-constrained employee to the wrong individual? It's a common occurrence and potentially we have all done it! A highly affordable Microsoft 365 add-on tool that alerts employees to double-check the email address of the recipient and any attachments when sending communication externally could greatly support the IT and security department with their compliance posture. A single click of the mouse is all it takes to fall out of compliance.
In the same compliance vein, many IT departments find email archiving challenging. Data retention and timely disposal have a direct bearing on security risk and compliance. With email archiving being fairly time and resource intensive, reliable solutions to help teams to manage this function will be viewed as a value-add by security teams. Furthermore, email archiving is critical for business continuity.
Security awareness and behaviour training — not all security teams are equipped to deliver. Due to the intensity and pace with which bad actors are attacking end users, strong security awareness is needed among employees so that they can learn to spot the threats. Many security departments attempt to deliver security training themselves, but perhaps with varying levels of success. This means that security training then becomes a tick-box exercise — for security teams and the end users. However, there are two aspects to training — the awareness piece and, equally importantly, the "behavioural change" piece. For training to be effective, it needs to be aligned with people's job roles, engaging and relevant to the real world, and indeed bite-sized. A one-off, annual exercise is futile when scammers are changing their tactics practically daily.
Offering customised and tailored security training can greatly ease the burden for security teams. Effective security training also means that employees play an active role in supporting the organisation's business objectives and in keeping the business safe and compliant. Good security training bridges the gap between people and technology and is a value-add that channel partners can deliver.
Simple and obvious as these solution areas sound, in 2024 they'll earn channel players brownie points. Through these solution areas, channel partners can help IT and security teams strengthen the fundamentals of security — and in doing so alleviate their workload, enabling them to focus on the more strategic aspects of their function.
Providing customers with such capability is sure to be valued in 2024. With the explosion of generative AI, the need for automation combined with a bolstered "human" barrier has never been greater.
MSP Manager, Vipre Security Group
Rachel White, MSP manager at Vipre Security Group, is responsible for strategically driving the company's MSP partner program in the U.K. Blending technical proficiency and commercial acumen, Rachel helps the company's partners to better understand the complexities of modern cybersecurity challenges so that they can effectively meet the needs of their customers.
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