The coronavirus has turned the world upside down, its impact affecting health, wealth, and work. Where and how we work has changed, perhaps permanently, in some industries. Homeworking has become the norm. One area that has been particularly affected by this sudden change in working environment is information security.
Centrify research explores the cybersecurity upheaval in a recent survey. The report found that since the pandemic took hold, 40% of UK firms have sacked staff because of Covid-19 related data breaches. Because of this, 65% of firms are adjusting their security policies to take account of home working
Covid-19 has left the world reeling and is presenting both challenges and opportunities to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) the world over.
Three Covid-19 related cybersecurity challenges that open opportunities for an MSP
As our employees adjusted to home working in response to Covid-19, it wasn’t a simple case of opening a laptop in the home office and logging in. With remote and home working changes in the attack surface of an organization appear. The most obvious being the sudden expansion of endpoints and the flow of data across both personal and corporate apps and email. This complicated network of connected and disparate devices has created three key cybersecurity challenges:
Covid-19 brought increased cyber-threats targeting remote workers. Data from Tormetrics shows that sites on the dark web increased from 75,000 in March to around 250,000 in mid-May.
Email is most-often the conduit used to target remote workers. SpamTitan email security has dealt with increased levels of Coronavirus-related phishing emails and malware during the pandemic in line with increased dark web sites.
1) Opportunity for an MSP: Remote working presents an urgent need for robust email filtering and phishing protection.
Out in the open
Homeworking has resulted in increased endpoints, including smartphones, tablets, printers, and even digital assistants. Endpoints are used to create, distribute, share, and collaborate on, sensitive corporate data. Various risks arise in a home environment that leaves data open to leaks/exposure/theft. The “Cisco 2020 CISO Benchmark Report” highlights that 52% of organizations believe mobile devices are “very challenging” to protect against cyber threats.
2) Opportunity for an MSP: Multiple layers of protection are needed to cover endpoint expansion.
Out of the shadows
The endpoint expansion is complicated by an overlap of personal and corporate apps. This is down to uncontrolled Shadow IT during Covid-19. The agile move between home and corporate systems can result in data leaks and lost data if not done well. Emails and audit are a great example of the impact of Shadow IT on an enterprise: Email data is used for due diligence during trials and emails often contain company sensitive data. During transition, these emails could be lost or leaked. This causes compliance nightmares for an organization.
3) Opportunity for an MSP: Compliance support from technologies like ArcTitan. Offer clients email protection, ensuring emails are archived and audited.
What this all means for MSPs
A recent report from Datto on the current Covid-19 situation points out the challenges that the pandemic has thrown into the path of an MSP.
Challenge: Before COVID-19, MSPs expected to grow by 17%. After the start of the pandemic, 40% of MSPs expected to reduce their growth projection by at least 10%.
However, every challenge presents an opportunity:
4) Opportunity for an MSP: The Datto report says cybersecurity continues to be an organization’s pain-point. Around 34% of MSPs cite cybersecurity as a “top concern” (30% in 2019).
To augment this opportunity, software spending on cybersecurity increased by 41% in April 2020 and continued to increase during May. MSPs can turn Covid-19 challenges into opportunities by offering a dedicated home working cybersecurity enhanced service.
MSPs should evolve to an MSSP to leverage cybersecurity concerns
Covid-19 has set a precedent and home working looks set to continue: A recent survey shows that 43 % of U.S. full-time workers want to continue to work remotely after Covid-19.
MSPs can grow revenue by leveraging the new awareness of cybersecurity, driven by Covid-19 related cybersecurity threats. Cybersecurity solutions that offer protection across extended endpoints and Shadow IT are a perfect fit in the new normal of WFH (working from home).
Opportunities are out there for an MSP that evolves to offer managed security services (MSSP). A report from McKinsey regarding Covid-19 adjusted budgets, says:
“crisis-inspired security measures will remain top budget priorities in the third and fourth quarters of 2020.” also expect “significant increase in 2021”:
Covid-19 may have thrown the world a curveball, but an MSP has an opportunity to ensure cybercrime doesn’t make a bad situation worse. An MSP, by offering their clients the best in home working cybersecurity services can stay competitive in a changing world.