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Cybersecurity issues top list of customer concerns

Your customers likely face a range of IT challenges, but cybersecurity issues may be their leading pain point.

A study released today from Insight Enterprises Inc., which polled 400 IT professionals, identified security as the main hurdle for digital innovation, the top data management concern and the biggest IT problem, overall. The results underscore the pressure on channel companies to address IT security.

Forty-eight percent of the Insight survey respondents ranked data security and privacy as their most pressing digital innovation challenge, topping upfront cost and expertise in new technology.

Data security

Security is also top-of-mind when it comes to the exploding volume of data customers must manage. In the Insight survey, 43% of the respondents cited “ensuring the security of data in dispersed environments” as their top challenge over the next three to five years in handling data growth. Upgrading data protection and recovery ranked second, with 41% of the respondents identifying that concern.

And more than half of the respondents identified cybersecurity issues as their main IT challenge and the “top pain point keeping them up at night.”

Insight, an IT solutions provider based in Tempe, Ariz., polled IT professionals at organizations ranging from 1,000 to more than 5,000 employees.

Additional data on cybersecurity issues comes from RSM US, the Chicago-based U.S. member of RSM International, a network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms. RSM US, working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, commissioned the Harris Poll to survey 700 middle-market executives. Fifty-five percent of the survey takers said they believe a cyberattack on their data or systems is likely this year. That’s an uptick from the previous year’s survey in which 47% of those polled viewed cyberattacks as likely to occur in 2018.

“Larger middle market organizations continue to be most at risk for cybercrime, as many have high volumes of valuable data but don’t have the robust security resources of their large-cap peers, making them exceedingly attractive to cybercriminals,” RSM US noted.

Attack vectors

Regarding attack vectors, social engineering and ransomware lead the list of mid-market cybersecurity issues. According to the RSM US survey, published earlier this month, 42% of middle-market executives reported “social engineering attempts on their organizations from outside parties.”

In addition, 20% of the executives said they had experienced a ransomware attack, while 35% of those polled said they know of someone who had been subject to ransomware.

The recognition of cybersecurity as a general threat and a hindrance to strategic initiatives suggests channel companies should be making security a core part of their portfolio of offerings.  Companies lacking the resources to build a practice in this field should at least consider finding a partner that can provide cybersecurity services.

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