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Security Focus Week Series: Three Trends in Cloud Cybersecurity that Every MSP Needs to Know

Posted by Laura Vanassche on Apr 4, 2016 11:47:47 AM
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It’s Security Week at Tech Data. Throughout the week please look for a post related to security trends, concerns and programs to help you ensure your customers are secure.

Gone are the days when shredding your junk mail was the only security concern. With high-profile data breaches reported at Target, Home Depot and Anthem, it’s no wonder we should be concerned about our private information ending up in the wrong hands. There are several security risks and buzzwords out there—ransomware, phishing, identity theft, credit card fraud and more. While some of these risks are easy to spot, like the Prince of Nigeria asking for your bank account information, here are three trends to watch as they relate to security in cloud computing: adoption of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, Security-as-a-service and mobility.

The first trend to consider is the use of cloud applications in the workplace. For the IT department, this can be hard to control—particularly with shadow IT. Other departments are looking for a line of business applications that can help them be more efficient when completing their jobs. This is a security concern because these cloud-based applications can be accessed from a web browser and don’t necessarily need to be installed at the endpoint. This means that company data can be stored in each SaaS application. How is this data protected? What would happen if a username or password was stolen from this application? Could someone with malicious intent access the company’s network or company information?

The next trend, particularly in the managed service business, is security-as-a-service. This is where managed service providers (MSPs) bundle security as part of their managed service contract for clients. There are several security vendors that have programs that align with an MSP’s monthly billing/consumption business like the Symantec eXSP program and Trend Micro’s MSP security program. Customers are not only looking to their IT service providers to fix printers and reset passwords, they’re looking for holistic services that are truly worry free.

The last trend to watch is mobility. With the explosion of connected devices and mobile workforce management of each device, its no surprise security is becoming an important focus. It’s no longer enough to keep track of all devices on which employees are using the company’s apps, but now these devices all need to be secure as well. Travelling employees pose additional risks, as they often log on to free Wi-Fi networks. Therefore, in addition to mobile device management and mobile application management (keeping enterprise apps in containers, maintaining what information can be copied and pasted into personal apps, etc.), it will also be required to include mobile security as a focus. As mobile phones and devices continue to become more prevalent, so will malicious hacking and attacks to these devices. An MSP looking to provide complete security to clients will not only manage devices and applications, but also secure them.

These three security trends in a cloud-first world present both risk and opportunity. For MSPs, if you currently don’t offer security as part of your contracts, consider adding it! This could be one aspect your competitor does include, and without Security-as-a-service, a lost customer could result. Mobile device management could be another offering included in contracts, but not just device management and application/data management. It can also include the security of the actual devices as an additional add-on that makes your business the one-stop shop for all IT needs. Finally, be sure to do a comprehensive audit of all applications your clients are using, not just the list the IT guy provided. And stay tuned for the next Security Week blog installment!

About the Author

Laura Vanassche is currently a Marketing Strategist for Tech Data, where she helps cloud and software partners in the IT channel access vendor and distribution resources. For more information about Tech Data, visit www.TechData.com Connect with Laura here: @lvanassc | www.linkedin.com/in/lvanassche

 

Tags: MSP Tips, Cloud Security, Cyber Security

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