The Weaponization of Data

2017 is going to be a very different for the managed services profession. MSPs have now entered a new era where their services are no longer convenient, they are critical. The days where managed IT services were used predominantly for freeing up internal IT staff have been replaced with MSPs providing much needed additional security to protect IT assets.

Simply put, MSPs are now in the security business. Even MSPs who offer no security services, are still in the security business. We live in a world where IT has become a tool for accomplishing a variety of objectives, some of them good, many of them bad. The protection of IT is now a mission critical objective for organizations and the MSPs supporting them. And, the weaponization of data is at the heart of what MSPs need to protect.

The Weaponization of Data

It used to be that MSPs focused more on the functionality and availability of devices within the IT stack. Making sure email was working, websites are up and running, and servers are patched and secure.

Today, data has become the prize for both protection and theft attempts. Further, the variety of bad actors trying to steal data has increased greatly in recent years, adding to the complexity of protecting data.

Theft for resale, such as identity theft, ransomware for the purpose of generating profits, theft of data for intellectual property, are just a few of motivations behind data access and theft. Motives as varied as these, also increases the complexity of determining who will attack you and for what purpose.

This means that the “I don’t have anything important” excuse is really no longer applicable today. Everyone has something worth stealing, even if the purpose is to use your IT platform as a launchpad for an attack on another target, every IT asset can serve a purpose to a bad actor.

All MSPs Now in the Security Business

Even if you are not delivering security managed services, all MSPs should be aware of security threats and be able to advise their customers on such issues, even if the advice comes from a 3rd party. Not having an opinion or a resource for getting security help for your customers, will ultimately put your MSP practice at risk as your relevancy diminishes.

At MSPWorld this year, the “Weaponization of Data” will be our theme, examining the many ways in which MSPs must be aware of threats facing customers (and themselves) and the increasing approaches to augmenting existing managed services offerings to incorporate valuable security solutions.

It’s 2017...let’s get secure!

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