Top Security Challenges for 2018: Feedback from Avast Channel Partners

Sean Sykes 11 Jan 2018

MSPs and Distributors prioritize business security in the New Year.

Last month, we shared security predictions for 2018 from a few of our Avast Business partners. We also asked about top challenges they will face in the coming year, securing IT environments and protecting their small and medium-sized business (SMB) clients from ever-increasing threats and cybercrime.  

2018 is now here. Let’s see what the channel had to say.

What is the biggest security challenge you will face in 2018?

David D’Agostino, Brite Computers

o   One of the biggest challenges we face in 2018 is being able to provide a clear understanding of vulnerabilities  to our clients while combating the increased number of global cybersecurity threats.  The threat landscape is a moving target so we need to continue to find ways to provide continual visibility into unknown events.

Luke Walling, Network Security Group

o   Our partners’ customers are increasingly being affected by ransomware and phishing scams that seek to extract valuable personal information. We’re working hard to ensure we’re ready to support this ever-growing category of threats with the right products and support services.

Phil Long, TechSolvers Ltd. 

o   Encrypted viruses, customer data loss and anything else that brings our clients’ systems down. This will continue to underscore the need for the core basics: proactive patch management; security assessments and audits; antivirus and remote control to access IT environments quickly and efficiently.

Timothy J. Ollewagen, Silver Software Distribution

o   Compromised IoT is one of the biggest security challenges we face heading into 2018. IoT is already ubiquitous; connected technology is fast becoming the fabric of the human world. Unfortunately, this convenience comes at a hefty price. It’s a two-way street, connecting to the world exposes our homes and personal lives to attack. DDoS attacks also increase proportionately with IoT growth. With millions of new devices coming online, we have started to see attacks against public infrastructure halfway around the planet. The problem is partly lack of regulation around smart-device security. The diverse manufacturers of these smart devices often have no expertise in cyber security nor understanding of the potential nefarious implications that their gateway products create.

o   Threats in 2018 will also change in terms of their scale, taking the same amount of effort to hack a hundred people as it would for one-hundred million. One example is through the use of rented botnets, which are readily available to all on the Deep Web or via Darknets. The bad guys aren’t necessarily innovating, they’re scaling.  The scary reality is this goes beyond invasion of privacy or monetary loss: we face the very real risk of loss of life. National transport networks, traffic lights on busy motorways, medical equipment in hospitals: these are all generally controlled by computers susceptible to attack.

Erik Hanson, TecNet Canada

o   Changes in Canadian legislation on breach reporting.

Bob Ascherl,  Advanced Technology Services

o   Educating clients and their end users.  The landscape is evolving and new threats are coming daily.  Regular communication regarding the current threats and reinforcing the basics of paying attention before opening the document or link are critical.

Eric Gorman, Integrated Enterprise Solutions, Inc.

o   Securing the user desktop in the ever-increasing world of cyber security.  Since humans are the biggest source of security breaches, any tool to help them understand security better and guide them is a huge plus.

Charles Adney, RSM US LLP

o   “Crypto”-type malware will continue to be of top concern.

o    End-user education in regards to phishing, spear-phishing, etc.

John Quatto, Zobrio

o   The ever-changing security landscape. We live in a micro-hack world where cybercriminals are able get in through the smallest point and affect—or potentially bring down—an entire environment. We need to continually monitor and manage our client sites and evolve our services and solutions so customers have the trust and confidence that we are protecting their businesses.

The wrap-up

All of the challenges shared here are on our radar as well. We also anticipate that the IT security skills shortage will become more severe and this will continue to generate opportunities for any service providers that have put security at the core of their practice. The channel will turn to partners like Avast Business that can provide security solutions that integrate various services on a single stack to provide efficiencies for the channel, not just in 2018 but beyond.

Heading into the new year, our team here at Avast Business will continue to focus on limiting barriers to securing SMBs and, when it comes to their clients' security, enabling channel partners to be trusted advisors. We are already demonstrating this through innovations and improvements to our product roadmap, including our new Avast Business portfolio released last September; improvements planned for early 2018; security assessment and patch management in Managed Workplace; better alerts, reporting, and policy management in CloudCare and much more. Our partner program provides access to the marketing and training resources to educate clients about security risks, deploy the best solutions to protect SMBs, and upsell services. And at the same time, we want partners to build long-term value for their business.

For a more detailed look at what we provide, download a free trial of the Avast Business Managed Workplace or CloudCare solution today. If you want to find out more about our Avast Business channel partner program, visit Avast Business.

Here's to a successful and secure 2018.

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