As 2016 comes to a close, we tapped a few key members of the Datto family to deliver their predictions for 2017. Matt Richards, VP of Product Marketing; Robert Gibbons, CTO; and Rob Rae, VP of Business Development, share their thoughts on technology, the channel and more.
Matt Richards on the Need for Cybersecurity Training
Ransomware and the sharing of leaked data are starting to become more mainstream, given shows like Mr. Robot and the threat of tampering in the recent election. Companies may need to shift their focus when it comes to cyber training. Cybersecurity training must become the norm.
People are always the biggest unknown risk factor and if you don’t know your team or your team’s processes, mistakes can happen. The lack of personal communications and touch can open up vulnerabilities, so companies should evaluate the processes SMBs can put into place to avoid this. Managed Service Providers can help by creating or extending the protocols necessary to help teams avoid these nightmare scenarios.
Often, companies have a plan for getting their teams out of the building safely or during the threat of natural disaster. In addition, even schoolchildren are doing safety drills that encompass a range of scenarios that are far more terrifying than your typical tornado drill or fire alarm. Companies might be able to better prepare their employees with a cybersecurity drill.
No one wants to be that person that clicked on the wrong email or opened up the wrong file, so a cybersecurity drill is a great example of how you can educate and build community within your company at the same time. Let your team know they are not alone and that leadership is there for them.
Robert Gibbons on Ransomware
Despite ransomware constantly making headlines, the point still hasn’t driven home to many business owners. According to Datto’s State of the Channel Ransomware report, only 34 percent of end users are “highly concerned” about the ransomware threat.
Ransomware is no longer hatched out of someone’s basement. Cyber criminals treat it as a business with a vast amount of resources and approaches coming with it. Plus, it’s not showing any signs of stopping and we’ll see more ransomware attacks in 2017. What’s worse is that the time limits on ransomware are speeding up and your data is less secure than ever. With a recent form of ransomware known as Popcorn Time, if the victim enters an incorrect encryption key too many times, their data will be deleted. In the past, businesses had time to investigate, identify and then lookup keys to unlock certain types of ransomware, the new variants we’re seeing (and will continue to see) will delete files quicker to give the hacker a greater chance to make more profit off the victims.
In addition to the constantly evolving ransomware threat, small and mid-sized businesses will also continue to face challenges from the employee or insider threats. Accidental or malicious data loss will have major repercussions, especially as more businesses rely on cloud-based products. Many cloud providers aren’t set up to help SMBs at the speed they need to avoid loss and the self-service options are underwhelming.
When it comes to employee cybersecurity education, the best-laid plans can be undone by one person who missed the memo. The best practice is to assume your warnings will fail, and instead focus on limiting the spread of a breach through stringent permission restrictions, ensuring minimal data loss and quarantining a threat as much as possible.
Rob Rae on the IoT and Business Continuity Education
The business opportunity for the Internet of Things (IoT) is still in its proving ground. The IoT applications show a lot of opportunity which will be an evolution, not a revolution. Primarily, the IoT connectivity is helping businesses better monitor and control various devices, which in turn assures uptime or sends alerts on downtime, improving efficiency.
As we see greater interconnectivity, businesses will need to evaluate the need for backing up and auditing that data. Where does the data from these connections reside? Does it need to be backed up for compliance or regulatory reasons?
Education is likely your best friend. The most successful channel players are the ones who pull ahead as thought leaders in their markets. The organizations that can lead with the latest technology will have new stories to tell prospects, including compelling advantages that can handle the threats ahead. Companies need to avoid taking things for granted as they increasingly rely on the cloud. Just because your data is in the cloud or on someone else’s server does not automatically mean you’re safe from loss.
Small businesses that want to stay ahead can ask themselves three questions: What are the new threats? What don’t I know? (Which is where service providers can step in and help) and What’s the value in outsourcing this activity?