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SMB business security: MSPs could be doing more

A global study of the SMB business segment suggests MSPs should be investing in cybersecurity expertise and services.

Published last week by IT management software firm Kaseya, the study polled more than 1,200 IT professionals at companies with 5,000 employees or less. Among the study’s findings was that one in three SMBs suffered a data breach in the last five years, with about one in 10 experiencing a breach in the last 12 months. Fifty-four percent of respondents cited strengthening IT security as a top priority for 2018 – a 14% increase compared with Kaseya’s 2017 survey of SMB IT operations.

“One of the areas that we see a huge amount of opportunity [for MSPs] is that the market is underserved in terms of security, awareness and protection. Security is multilayered. It’s everything from endpoint security to user security to even network monitoring, because breaches are becoming more and more common in the SMB world,” said Frank Tisellano, vice president of product management and design at Kaseya.

Fifty-eight percent of SMB business respondents said enhancing security will be the No. 1 IT priority for 2019, overshadowing other SMB technology objectives, according to the study. Thirty-one percent of respondents cited reducing IT costs as a top priority, while 28% pointed to regulatory compliance.

The Kaseya study also showed that of the SMBs that had a data breach in the past 12 months, 45% experienced two to four outages of five minutes or more. SMBs, however, are tackling outages with backup and disaster recovery strategies, Kaseya said. Ninety percent of SMB IT professionals said they back up their servers. Sixty-nine percent back up servers both locally and onsite. Additionally, about 40% of respondents said they use automated disaster recovery and have a formalized business continuity and disaster recovery plan. Respondents on average use four backup and recovery products.

Disaster recovery and security go hand in hand, Tisellano said, because they both focus on managing risks. He added that the SMB business segment is looking to invest more in these areas, especially as IT becomes increasingly more central to their businesses. “The risks that you are looking to mitigate with [security] tools and with backup is getting higher, and so businesses are willing, and frankly starting to be required, to keep their businesses safe in new and comprehensive ways,” he said.

Tisellano noted that Kaseya has been busily investing in its security and disaster recovery software capabilities. Recent examples include the vendor’s merger with Unitrends, a disaster recovery company, in May. “We are going to continue to make huge investments” in security and disaster recovery, he said.

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