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Cybersecurity Skills Gap Likely to Boost Managed Security Services

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Cybersecurity Skills Gap Likely to Boost Managed Security Services

Things have been tough on the cybersecurity talent front for some time. Organizations struggle to fill security positions. When they do, they typically find themselves in a bidding war for the best candidates. Salaries are escalating and the number of unfilled positions continues to soar. Unfortunately, the situation is likely to deteriorate further, according to a couple of new research reports.

The recent Fortinet Cybersecurity Skills Gap study found that 60% of organizations encounter great difficulty in recruiting cybersecurity resources. More than two thirds of those surveyed believe that the shortage of trained or experienced staff creates additional risk for their organizations. Those that manage to find personnel can’t rest on their laurels for long. A shocking 52% admitted to having trouble retaining qualified employees. Such findings make it clear that more and more organizations are going to look to managed security services to fill the void, whether engaging directly with security vendors to manage aspects of the cybersecurity landscape or to managed service providers (MSPs) specializing in security.

Widening Skills Gaps

The skills gap is rapidly trending towards becoming a skills chasm, according to another study by Skillsoft. The 2022 IT Skills and Salary Report takes an annual look at the most in-demand skills and certifications, average compensation, growth opportunities and career sentiment amongst IT professionals. This year’s survey found two thirds of IT decision-makers had gaping skills gaps in their teams. 53% of respondents stated that they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months.

Whether due to aggressive headhunting, the Great Resignation, quiet quitting, burnout due to the demands of digital transformation, or overwork due to operating with lowered headcounts, many IT and security personnel are not planning to stick around. No wonder McKinsey cites record rates of turnover across all industries.

Why They Leave

Whether it is recruitment or retention, all organizations face HR challenges that are only going to grow over the coming year. Skillsoft data shows the top reasons for leaving are a desire for better compensation, a lack of training and development, and a lack of work-life balance. Salary demands may place certain security resources beyond the means of some companies. But training is certainly an area where organizations can gain ground by educating their own resources via industry certifications, and incentivizing personnel to take cybersecurity degrees.

Yet the survey found the biggest reason behind a lack of IT and security training to be that management didn’t see a need for it. This finding stands in stark contrast to another data point from the survey: 97% of IT decision-makers agree that certified staff add value to the organization.

Further findings:

  • 80% say skills gaps pose high or medium risk to their team’s ability to meet objectives.
  • 63% have been unable to fill at least three positions in the last year.
  • The top factors driving skills gaps are difficulties with hiring skilled candidates (44%) and employee retention (33%). 26% say not enough is being invested into training.
  • The top three most challenging areas to find qualified talent are cloud computing, data analytics/big data/data science, and cybersecurity.
  • IT professionals cite the benefits of training to be improved quality of work (56%), increased engagement (41%), and faster job performance (36%).

Managed Service Boom

With such a dearth of a talent and the urgent need to secure the enterprise now, no wonder so many organizations are looking to managed services to fill the gap. Some engage with their existing security vendors and transition some tools from on-premises to being operated as a service by the vendor. Others are using MSPs to take care of security duties such as vulnerability management, endpoint detection and response (EDR), backup and recovery, and even Security Operations Center (SOC) services.

Syxsense operates in both arenas. It offers managed security services for patch management, vulnerability management, and remediation. These services provide real-time, 24-hour security coverage.  Syxsense also offers an MSP/MSSP program with a world-class platform that features an orchestration and automation engine to scale business without adding costs.

Schedule Your Syxsense Demo

Syxsense combines IT management, patch management, and security vulnerability scanning in one powerful solution. Get started today.

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Security Spending Surge Driven by Zero Trust, Cloud-Based Services, and Remote Work

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Security Spending Surge Driven by Zero Trust, Cloud-Based Services, and Remote Work

Spending on information security and risk management products and services has never been higher. According to Gartner, it is forecast to grow 11.3% in 2023 to reach more than $188.3 billion. Cloud security is the category forecast to have the strongest growth over the next two years.

Gartner’s Forecast Analysis: Information Security and Risk Management, Worldwide drilled into the various factors that lie behind the tremendous growth in security spending. The rise of remote and hybrid work, the transition from virtual private networks (VPNs) to zero trust network access (ZTNA), and the shift to cloud-based delivery models are the big drivers in rising security spending.

“The pandemic accelerated hybrid work and the shift to the cloud,” said Ruggero Contu, an analyst at Gartner. “Demand for technologies and services such as cloud security, application security, ZTNA, and threat intelligence has been rising to tackle new vulnerabilities and risks arising from this exposure.”

Surge in Security Services

Security services are particularly strong. Comprising consulting, hardware support, implementation, and a multitude of outsourced services from MSPs and security vendors, security services is now the largest category of spending. It is worth almost $72 billion this year and is expected to reach $76.5 billion in 2023. Thus, services amount to almost half of all security spending, a big change in recent times.

Part of the reason is the continued health of remote work. Now that the pandemic is largely behind us, most organizations are allowing employees to work from home. Hybrid models, too, are emerging. Technologies that enable a secure remote and hybrid work environment are in demand.

Zero trust network access, too, is driving revenue. As the fastest-growing segment in network security, ZTNA sales should jump by 36% in 2022 and 31% in 2023. This ties back to the need to protect home workers as well as a general transition away from depending upon VPNs for secure access. By 2025, at least 70% of new remote access deployments will be served by ZTNA, according to Gartner. This is a huge leap compared to only 10% of enterprises using ZTNA two years ago.

Perhaps the mega-driver, though, is an overall shift to cloud-based delivery models. Enterprises are wrestling with the complexity of multi-cloud environments that bring with them increased security risk. A great many organizations are looking for outside help to keep them stay safe in a multi-cloud world. MSPs and vendor-based SaaS options have stepped up to fill the need.

Syxsense Offers Zero Trust, Cloud-Based Services, and Remote Work Security

Gartner names zero trust, cloud-based services, and remote work as the major trends driving security spending. Syxsense provides products and services that encompass all of them. Syxsense Enterprise incorporates an integrated Zero Trust module as a further way to enhance its vulnerability detection management and remediation capabilities.

Those organizations considering a Zero Trust strategy can utilize Syxsense Enterprise as a fast and reliable way to implement it. It consolidates patching, vulnerability scanning, remediation, mobile device management (MDM), and zero trust technologies in a single, integrated solution.

The Syxsense Zero Trust module within Syxsense Enterprise enables endpoint compliance using Zero Trust Network Access policies. This approach is vitally needed as traditional authentication solutions are not designed to evaluate device health, enforce granular policy compliance, or automate risk remediation. The Syxsense Zero Trust module serves as a trust evaluation engine for endpoints. It offers unparalleled visibility and control over network access policies, while enabling security teams to build sophisticated access policies and remediation workflows to ensure complete ZTNA compliance across the enterprise.

In addition to accepting or denying access based on device Security Posture, it can automatically apply fixes and remediate issues in real time to enable proper access. Actions that lie outside the range of the Security Posture automatically trigger alerts and the need for full device and user verification. This might include a laptop accessing a NetSuite server after hours from un unfamiliar IP address and location. Such a circumstance would be blocked immediately. But where Syxsense really differentiates itself from the competition is through automated remediation of non-compliant endpoints. Remediation actions might include deploying an urgently needed security patch, updating the anti-virus signature database, and alerting IT about unauthorized access attempts.

Schedule Your Syxsense Demo

Syxsense combines IT management, patch management, and security vulnerability scanning in one powerful solution. Get started today.

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The Convergence of Endpoint Management & Endpoint Security: A Q&A with Ashley Leonard, CEO

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The Convergence of Endpoint Management & Endpoint Security

A Q&A with Ashley Leonard CEO, Syxsense Inc.

Leonard discussed unified endpoint management (UEM), key trends, and how Syxsense is bringing together the fields of UEM and unified endpoint security (UES) with its Syxsense Enterprise product.

What are the biggest trends in UEM?

The biggest trend in UEM currently is the addition of security tools to the traditional UEM toolset. Gartner is now calling out security functionality as a key product ingredient in its latest UEM Magic Quadrant. In an effort to narrow down the attack surface that comes from multiple agents and multiple consoles, customers are searching for solutions that provide both functions.

Another hot trend in UEM is the fact that more intelligence is filtering through the haystack of incoming security telemetry into a meaningful subset of what is critical in user environments. This includes key features such as better management of supersedence (i.e., new patches being issued that combine and replace multiple older patches from the same vendor), as well as better insight into the kind of threats that are triggered based on presence or lack of presence of vulnerable software in the environment.

We are also seeing solutions hitting the market that combine the necessary functionality to remediate threats that are blended: threats that require the application of a patch as well as configuration changes. This ties with threat prioritization whereby both patch and security threats are given different levels of risk based on the specifics of their environments. And finally, we are seeing software designed to bring about intelligent endpoints that can automatically maintain an endpoint in a desired state.

What are the key features of Syxsense Enterprise?

Our solution provides three critical functions.

  1. Scanning, detection, prioritization, and application of missing patches.
  2. Scanning, detection, prioritization, and remediation of security vulnerabilities most often caused by misconfigurations such as open ports, firewall settings, device sharing, etc.
  3. Remediation of all these threats using a SOAR-like product called Syxsense Cortex that allows for drag-and-drop remediation workflows with no coding or scripting required. And while the Cortex product is drop dead simple to use, most customers will never need to use it, as our security research team continually monitors the threat landscape for emerging threats and pre-build Cortex workflows and playbooks that provide quick-turn remediation.

 Some competitors partner with 3rd party companies to provide similar functionality. However, their tools operate in silos without the benefit of a coherent workflow tool that provide seamless integration. Syxsense Enterprise offers a single agent that not only automates the management of endpoints but secures reduces the attack surface and simplifies management.

Is there a coming together of UEM and UES?

Definitely. We see customers continuing to move toward combined solutions. We also see it in the analyst community as reputable analysts such as Forrester and Gartner begin requiring endpoint tools to have both security and IT management functions. In addition to its patch management and mobile device management (MDM) features, Syxsense Enterprise does deep scanning for known security flaws and provides a list of misconfigurations that require remediation. It provides Syxscore, a scoring methodology that reports on discovered threats and how prevalent they are in customers’ environments. High priority threats can be remediated immediately, allowing security teams to allocate their time and resources to remediating the most critical flows first, and then moving to lower tiers of threat as time allows.

In addition, our security research team provides pre-built workflows and playbooks that accomplish key IT management functions. This encompasses tasks such as setting up new laptops and rolling out new software as well remediating security flaws using Syxsense Cortex. The simple drag-and-drop interface enables customers to build their own workflows with little expertise and no coding. Once an environment is clean, our tool provides “proof of compliance” against industry standards (HIPAA, PCI, etc.) that is often required for security insurance or reporting.

In summary, our intelligent, zero-trust approach combines the user (location/time etc.) plus the state of the endpoint (patch, AV, security status) to control real-time access to corporate assets.

Schedule Your Syxsense Demo

Syxsense combines IT management, patch management, and security vulnerability scanning in one powerful solution. Get started today.

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app jungle

Welcome to the App Jungle

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Welcome to the App Jungle

The jungle is a hostile environment. Predators lurk at every turn. Most of the predators, in turn, are prey for those higher up the food chain. The chances of offspring reaching maturity are small. No wonder the corporate world has been likened to a jungle at times.

The same analogy can now be used in the wild world of applications. There are now apps for everything. The phone company, the fast food joint, the condo association – they all want you to download and use their apps. Anytime you go to a trade show, there is a trade show app to download. When you do business with a new client, there are typically several apps needed to take care of billing, project management, and collaboration. A tropical rain forest of apps of Amazonian proportions has emerged.

Apps Let the Bad Guys In

Data removal company Incogni analyzed 1,000 of the top apps in the Google Play Store. It included both paid and unpaid apps. The results were surprising.

  • 55 shared data with third parties.
  • The free apps were especially bad, sharing seven times more data points than paid apps.
  • Shopping apps came out badly, sharing an average of 5.72 data points.
  • Social media apps, too, were problematic. They collect 19.18 data points; they say they share only 3 of them, but it is likely to be more.

It gets worse from the standpoint of security:

  • Less than 50% state that their data is encrypted in transit. However, the number is probably more – only 5% of apps admit openly that they don’t encrypt data in transit. Expect that to be the case among far more of them.
  • Less than 1% go through an independent security review, meaning that 99% have no external check point to catch weak security or privacy practices.
  • Shockingly, 6 out of ten apps don’t provide any way for a user to request data removal, and 10% make it clear that any personal data collected cannot be deleted.

In other words, welcome to the jungle!

Dealing with the App Jungle

The state of the current app jungle should be a cause for deep concern among IT and security professionals. Think about the number of devices that each user has – PCs, desktops, tablets, and smartphones. On many of these, the user can download whatever they please. Even if corporate laptops are locked down via administrative privileges that prevent unsanctioned downloads, it is almost impossible to completely block the presence of the app jungle.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) practices are commonplace that allow employees to work from home. The device owners have the right to pick and choose the apps they wish. If the laptops are owned by the corporation, smartphones are overwhelmingly the personal devices of employees. Any attempt to enforce corporate policy on these is doomed to failure.

Some businesses send employees smartphones for business use. That doesn’t solve the problem. Few employees will put up with complete control of their phone by corporate IT. They will either find a workaround, convince someone to give them admin rights to that phone, or will have another for personal use. All it takes is that personal smart phone to get infected and the disease can spread from personal phone to corporate smartphone to laptop and hop into the corporate network. Data, after all, will be swapped from one device to another. There is no avoiding this. The jungle is never going to be far away no matter what policies and safeguards are in place.

That’s why enterprises need a way to plug and holes due to vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and unpatched systems. They need a way to manage mobile devices as well as all endpoints across the enterprise wherever they may be. Syxsense gives organizations comprehensive security coverage across all devices. It discovers any devices operating on the network. It picks up any new devices as they are added and automatically applies the appropriate policies. This enables cradle-to grave-lifecycle management, eliminating the need to manually apply tasks to new devices. Coupled with the proven patch management, vulnerability, and IT management features, Syxsense brings together the best defense against the predatory lurking in application jungle.

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SaaS market booming

The SaaS Market is Booming and MSPs are Cashing In

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The SaaS Market is Booming and MSPs are Cashing In

A recent analysis of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market found the top 10 SaaS apps to be Zoom, Slack, Lucidchart, Atlassian Cloud, Salesforce, Figma, LinkedIn, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, and Smartsheet. Taken from a survey of hundreds of customers and more than 50,000 SaaS instances, collaboration apps were clearly popular along with CRM and office productivity suites.

This data highlights a gradual shift towards SaaS in the enterprise. And MSPs are carving out a slice of the SaaS pie. Why? Organizations are running into management headaches in trying to stay on top of the needs and nuances of the growing legion of SaaS apps in user in the business. Some MSPs focus squarely on managing multiple SaaS apps for the enterprise. Its far easier to have the MSP deal with every aspect of licensing, productivity, latency, performance, and cost than to do so internally.

MSPs Fill the SaaS Need

An emerging trend is businesses being more willing to turn to MSPs for their SaaS apps than going directly to vendors. COVID-19 pushed the number of people working remotely to unheard of numbers. According to ALM Media Properties, 58% or American knowledge workers now operate remotely, up more than 30% from before the pandemic. These employees need IT assistance and businesses are increasingly looking to MSPs to provide it.

In cybersecurity and device management, in particular, there is growing demand for MSPs to help organizations manage cybersecurity. This is part of a larger trend of applications migrating steadily to the cloud. Organizations, these days, are demanding that they establish a much larger presence in the cloud. But as they move gradually from an on-prem to a cloud model, they inevitably begin to struggle with complexity. They end up with a great many apps running in multiple clouds with multiple vendors. They are looking to MSPs to bring about simplicity.

MSPs Partnering with Security Vendors

Over the last decade, the infrastructure and application spaces have seen drastic changes in the way they’re hosted, deployed, and maintained as public, private and hybrid cloud models have taken shape. In parallel, we are seeing cybersecurity vendors partnering more with MSPs. The smart vendors permit white labelling of their apps, and allow the MSP to deal completely with the customer interface. After all, that is the core competency of the MSP: managing the apps, integration, processes, and performance of their customers.

MSPs benefit from such partnerships by having a wider range of attractive offerings for their clientele, as well as by eliminating the need to deploy their own infrastructure for the app. The vendor provides the underlying infrastructure, app maintenance, software updates, and so on. All the MSP has to do is sell the subscription, deliver the service, ensure quality remains high, and keep the customers happy.

For MSPs wanting to transition into security, such relationships save them from a tough learning curve in cybersecurity and avoid them having to develop their own applications from scratch. After all, they have little chance of competing with security vendors that have been innovating in this space for decades. It is simpler, cheaper, and much faster to partner with the companies that are already providing the applications. MSPs avoid the need to erect expensive infrastructure for service delivery. Instead, they can piggyback off the infrastructure already in place at the security vendor. Updates and patches are pushed out by the vendor via the MSP to existing customers. The net result is that the MSP has more services available that can be delivered much faster to existing customers. The MSP can also respond quicker to changing market conditions by finding the right partner to be able to offer new security services.

The Syxsense Managed Service provider program is designed for MSPs and MSSPs looking to provide a higher level of management services to their customers. It consolidates multiple solutions together into a single offering that includes IT Management, Patch Management, Security Vulnerability Remediation, and a robust policy based Zero Trust product.

Syxsense is a leading provider of innovative, intuitive endpoint security and management technology that combines the power of artificial intelligence with industry expertise to help customers predict and remove security threats across all devices including mobile. Our unified security and endpoint management platform centralizes the three key elements of endpoint security management (vulnerabilities, patch and compliance) and layers on a powerful workflow automation tool called Syxsense Cortex,™ all through a single cloud-based platform, enabling greater efficiency and collaboration between teams. The always-on technology performs in real-time so businesses can operate free of disruption from security breaches that cripple productivity and expose them to financial risk and reputational harm.

Schedule Your Syxsense Demo

Syxsense combines IT management, patch management, and security vulnerability scanning in one powerful solution. Get started today.

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it skills rate

IT Skills Crisis Leads Many to Turn to MSPs

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IT Skills Crisis Leads Many to Turn to MSPs

IT and cybersecurity talent is in short supply. And the personnel crunch is likely to get much worse. More and more companies are fighting over fewer resources. Part of the problem is an interruption of the skills supply chain during the COVI-10 lockdowns. Further drivers include Work-From-Home (WFH). A sizeable portion of the workforce decided they preferred life outside of the office, didn’t want to commute, and were unwilling to return to their cubicles. Some moved to different regions, others to remote parts of the country. And more than a few decided they didn’t want to work at all anymore.

IT and security skills, then, are a lower level than they have been in many years. As a result, the price tag for such skills has rocketed. The 15 Top-Paying IT Certifications list for 2022 from Skillsoft listed the average salaries associated with them. Cybersecurity and cloud certifications continue to lead the way, as do the salaries demanded by those possessing specialist skills related to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Microsoft Azure, Nutanix, VMware, and project management. Here is the list.

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional, $168,080.36
  • CISM – Certified Information Security Manager, $162,347.07
  • GCP – Professional Cloud Architect, $161,371.46
  • CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional, $158,190.79
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, $155,019.97
  • AWS Certified Security – Specialty, $149,740.74
  • PMP: Project Management Professional, $148,290.32
  • NCP-MCI – Nutanix Certified Professional – Multicloud Infrastructure (formerly NCP), $147,169.68
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert, $142,975.98
  • GCP – Cloud Digital Leader, $142,707.86
  • CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor, $142,336.58
  • AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty, $138,403.51
  • VCP-DCV 2022 – VMware Certified Professional – DataCenter Virtualization 2022, $138,349.17
  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, $135,612.16
  • CCNP Enterprise, $133,568.33

Three of the top six most desirable certifications (CISM, CISSP, and AWS Certified Security – Specialty) are in the field of cybersecurity. Anyone holding such certs can demand an average of anywhere from $150,000 to $162,000. But that is just the average. In states where security professionals are most sought after such as California, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts, the pay rates are much higher.

Organizations are Turning to MSPs

No wonder so many organizations are turning to MSPs to ease the cybersecurity burden. Failing to find the resources they need to run or expand their own security operations – or being unwilling or unable to meet the salary demands – they are using MSPs in record numbers to take care of cybersecurity.

Popular areas include managed detection and response (MDR), backup, and ransomware protection and remediation. Some companies are even using MSPs to provide 24/7 security operations center (SOC) services on demand as well as virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) services – the organization gains access to an experienced CISO on a part time basis to set security strategy, policy, and planning, and monitor compliance and execution.

Another area of MSP delivery growth is in patch management, vulnerability management, and mobile device management (MDM). Known collectively as Unified Security and Endpoint Management (USEM), Syxsense Enterprise delivers real-time vulnerability monitoring and instant remediation for every single endpoint in your environment, as well as IT management across all endpoints. This represents the future of threat prevention as it brings everything needed for endpoint management and protection onto one console. Breaches can be detected and remediated within a single solution. The Syxsense platform can scan for all vulnerabilities on any device, block communication from an infected device to the internet, isolate endpoints, and kill malicious processes before they spread. It can automatically prioritize and deploy OS and third-party patches to all major operating systems, as well as Windows 10 feature updates. IT and security teams can use Syxsense Enterprise to collaborate on the detection and closing of attack vectors. It offers management, control, and security for any and all desktops, laptops, servers, virtual machines, and mobile devices. Syxsense Enterprise is available to MSPs via our attractive MSP Partner Program.

Schedule Your Syxsense Demo

Syxsense combines IT management, patch management, and security vulnerability scanning in one powerful solution. Get started today.

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The Sky-High Cost of a Cyber-Breach

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The Sky-High Cost of a Cyber-Breach

A new study by Kroll found that the financial toll suffered courtesy of a significant cyberattack has mushroomed. In most cases, the damage amounts to at least $5 million. About one third of companies said it cost them between $10 million and $25 million. 16% said it came to more than $25 million. This includes loss of market valuation. When a company is attacked, the PR fallout is widespread. Customers, partners, and investors become wary. Stock prices fall. Attribution rates increase. New contracts are more difficult to obtain. It takes time to ride the wave of negative publicity and return things to some kind of normalcy.

What were the top causes of incidents, according to the study? Business email compromise (BEC) via phishing scored high. 65% said it had become a problem in their organizations. 62% said the attack had come via the supply chain – an incident that originated with a third-party vendor. Publicly exposed databases were third with 53%, followed by insider threats at 41%, and ransomware at 33%. This survey, though, focused squarely on finance teams. This may have skewed results more toward BEC and away from other threats such as ransomware.

Overconfidence in High Places

Kroll also asked Chief Financial Officers about their confidence level in facing future attacks. The poll revealed what might be interpreted as a surprising level of overconfidence. While 87% expressed confidence in their organizations’ ability to thwart attacks, almost two third admitted that they had been subjected to at least three significant incidents in the previous 18 months. This stands in sharp contrast to how things are viewed from the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) perspective. 66% of CISOs considered their organization to be vulnerable to cyberattack.

Some CFOs, then, may have their heads in the sand with regard to cybersecurity. The Kroll survey dug deeper: 60% of finance teams do not receive regular briefings on security team. 37% admitted that they had never received a single update about cybersecurity during their time with the company. Maybe this disconnect between CFO and CISO perception is one of the reasons that cybersecurity investment lags behind the rate of successful data breach. Yes, cybersecurity spending is increasing overall. 45% of organizations intend to raise security spending by 10% or more. Another 33% intend to increase it by less than 10%. For the rest, spending will either remain flat or will decrease.

Why would some plan to decrease the security budget? Cybersecurity spending in verticals like financial services has gradually been absorbing more and more of the IT budget in recent years. Per the survey, 82% devote more than 10% of their IT budget to security. 21% spend more than 20% on cybersecurity – yet the number of successful ransomware attacks, breaches, and data loss incidents continues to increase.

Clearly, it isn’t the quantity of spending that safeguards the organization. Spending in general needs to be smarter and more targeted. That’s where Syxsense Enterprise comes in. It takes endpoint security to another level by centralizes multiple point tools into one Unified Security and Endpoint Management (USEM) suite. It delivers real-time vulnerability monitoring and instant remediation for every single endpoint in your environment. It can scan for all vulnerabilities on any device, block communication from an infected device to the internet, isolate endpoints, and kill malicious processes before they spread. It can automatically prioritize and deploy OS and third-party patches to all major operating systems, as well as Windows 10 feature updates. IT and security teams can use Syxsense Enterprise to collaborate on the detection and closing of attack vectors. It offers management, control, and security for any and all desktops, laptops, servers, virtual machines, and mobile devices.

Schedule Your Syxsense Demo

Syxsense combines IT management, patch management, and security vulnerability scanning in one powerful solution. Get started today.

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MSPs Beware: Cybercriminals Are After You

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MSPs Beware: Cybercriminals Are After You

Cybercriminals are realizing that the richest pickings come when they can piggyback on other companies and use their software and services to infiltrate multiple other sites. The SolarWinds and Kaseya hacks were examples of supply chain hacks whereby the bad guys infected software that was then passed on to a many other enterprises.

Think about it from the criminal perspective. Why go to great lengths to phish and scam the systems of consumers, home users, or regular organization employees when you can gain more ground with one targeted attack. Accordingly, they are going after areas of the highest potential return. That’s why MSPs are now in the spotlight.

Online Criminal Ads in Chat Rooms

A recent report from Huntress showcased how hackers are advertising in criminal online forums, primarily in Russian. One ad said:

“Looking for a Partner for MSP processing. I have access to the MSP panel of 50+ companies. Over 100 ESXi, 1000+ servers. All companies are American and approximately in the same time zone.”

What is emerging is a raft of initial access brokers (IABs) – criminal groups that attempt to sell access to MSP clients and corporate networks. This is all part of the evolving cybercriminal supply chain. Instead of the extortion, ransomware, and having to spend time gaining a foothold inside prized networks, IABs do the initial donkey work. By relying on IABs, other criminal hacking groups can use the access rights provided to launch more sophisticated attacks that lock down entire systems. They are happy to pay a finder’s fee to IABs. Unfortunately, there are plenty of potential buyers.

On the IAB side, they gain money without too much risk. The major gangs are the ones directly extorting millions. They are more likely to fall afoul of the FBI and other agencies. IABs are probably regarded as small fry – akin to small-time street hustlers selling a relatively small amount of illegal drugs. The authorities are more interested in their suppliers and the criminal kingpins behind them.

IABs just focus on one skill: the art of gaining entry into secure networks by whatever means necessary. They look for outdated software, misconfigurations, and unpatched systems that they can exploit. They seek to lure gullible users into clicking on malicious links or attachments. They know how to use brute force techniques to crack the passwords of desirable users. Thus, the passwords of MSP service providers have now graduated into the highly prized category.

Imagine the embarrassment and the fallout if an MSP found itself responsible for infecting all its users due to malware hidden in its software or due to one of its email accounts being hacked? That’s why MSPs need to up their security game – and fast.

Security Starts at Home

MSPs are laser-focused on delivering services to their clients. In security, for example, they are keen to sell vital services to customers to help them secure their networks.

However, in light of recent events and the rise of IABs, MSPs are urged to begin with a thorough assessment of their own systems. The last thing an MSP needs is to find malware lurking in its own network. This could be catastrophic to customers.

Before offering Syxsense Enterprise to customers, therefore, it is strongly recommended that it be implemented internally. It takes care of vulnerability scanning, patch management, mobile device management, IT management, and included automatic remediation features. This enables the MSP to achieve a clean bill of health.

From that strong foundation, the MSP can reach out to its clientele to offer them the best unified endpoint security and management (USEM) suite on the market.

Set a great example internally for your customer base. Encourage them to implement Syxsense Enterprise today.

Schedule Your Syxsense Demo

Syxsense combines IT management, patch management, and security vulnerability scanning in one powerful solution. Get started today.

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As the Data Explosion Ramps Up, Security Vulnerabilities Grow Exponentially

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As the Data Explosion Ramps Up, Security Vulnerabilities Grow Exponentially

Several new studies make it clear that the data explosion is far bigger than most people could ever have imagined. Some say that it has gone past the point where human ability alone can even comprehend it, never mind manage it.

Statista data indicates that the total amount of data created, captured, copied, and consumed globally will rise to more than 180 zettabytes (ZB) per year over the next five years. 74 ZB of new data was created in 2021 alone, up from 41 ZB in 2019.

In case your eyes glaze over when things go beyond a megabyte (MB): if you multiply a MB by roughly 1000 you get a gigabyte (GB). By another 1000 and you get a terabyte (TB), another 1000 to get a petabyte (ZB), and then yet another 1000 to arrive at a ZB.

To put it another way, the three massive buildings of the American Library of Congress in Washington DC that hold the more than 170 million books, manuscripts and other material – all of that amounts to only 15 TB.

Another study by Capital One states that we now create as much information every two days as we did from the beginning of time until 2003. And more than 90% of all data in the world was created in the previous two years, according to Ocient. That report highlights the fact that almost everyone

(97%) believes the volume of data they manage will grow rapidly over the next one to five years. As few are coping well with the current volume of data, this spells trouble ahead in both the data management and the security arenas.

The IoT is a Security Nightmare

And then there is the looming threat of the Internet of Things (IoT). According to Statista, there were 8.6 billion IoT connected devices in 2019. By the end of this year, the number will surpass 13 billion. By the end of the decade, we will arrive at around 30 billion.

That is a lot of devices. Add to it the billions of smart phones, laptops, PCs, tablets, servers, switches, routers, and other endpoints in the world and what do you have? A security nightmare of epic proportions.

Each one of those scores of billions of devices represents a potential channel of incursion into the enterprise. We have already heard stories of IoT-connected coffee makers, fridges, and cameras being used by hackers to infiltrate networks.

There is no certainty that the billions of new IoT devices and sensors heading our way will be secure. It is a hard pill to swallow, but security remains something that usually follows on the wake of innovation. Developers and product creators develop their tools, inventions, and game changers – and once the security vulnerabilities begin to become apparent, safeguards are developed and put in place. Thus, there is always a game of catch up.

That’s why Syxsense Enterprise is such a must have in every enterprise. It automates the entire process of managing, monitoring, patching, scanning and remediating endpoints anywhere. It provides the necessary level of automation to make it feasible for IT to manage a vast number of endpoints, and soon, an even larger number of IoT devices and sensors. A new study pointed out that 71% of CIOs in large organizations admit that the ongoing explosion of data is beyond human ability to manage. 59% demanded a more automated approach to IT operations to avoid their teams becoming overloaded. That’s where Syxsense comes in. It automates all aspects of endpoint management and security. It is the only way to stay on top of patches, vulnerabilities, and endpoint security.

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Four Big Trends In Mobile Device Management

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Four Big Trends In Mobile Device Management

Business Email Compromise (BEC) breaches are turning into the go-to strategy for cybercriminals. What actions should you take?

Mobility has progressed, in recent years, to the point where some enterprise users hardly ever need to use a laptop or desktop. Many CEOs, for example, only use their phone. Any desktop duties are typically referred to an executive assistant or secretary. Sales jobs, too, can often be accomplished to a greater degree via smartphone.

Certainly, there are many other jobs where this isn’t the case. But regardless of the title, mobile devices are taking up more and more of the enterprise workload. Mobile Device Management (MDM) technology has advanced to provide the processes and tools the mobile workforce needs to stay productive and secure. Further, MDM provides IT with the ability to more easily provision mobile devices, manage them, inventory them, and protect assets and data.

Here are four of the top trends in MDM:

BYOD

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) was an inevitable consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. With everyone ordering home almost overnight, IT had no alternative other than to allow employees to use the laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones they had at home or used for personal tasks. A few of the lucky organizations (or the ones with deeper pockets) had already provided all employees with a dedicated work laptop, tablet and/or smartphone. By doing that, IT could arrange role-based access to enterprise data and email, and provide services such as a secure VPN, GPS tracking, password-protected applications, and access to a host of enterprise security applications. Beyond that, mobile chaos became the norm. BYOD continues to predominate in many organizations.

This has made MDM a more important field than ever. IT policies may have been relaxed with regard to BYOD. But in tandem, IT has had to up its game in managing mobile devices. MDM has stepped into the breach. Organizations use MDM to remotely enroll personal devices into the enterprise systems. This allows them to monitor behavior, enforce security policies, and facilitate productivity, and detect threats and breaches.

MDM Innovation

The flood of money into MDM tools has encouraged the vendor community to innovate.
MDM solutions are becoming more sophisticated. Machine learning and AI are being incorporated to enable data and systems to be subjected to analysis. MDM systems are appearing that are able to assign or enroll devices with pre-programmed data profiles, VPN access, software, access privileges, and much more. IT now has the ability to track its dispersed workforce more easily, as well as monitor, troubleshoot, and decommission devices when the need arises. Some tools can even wipe device data in the event of theft, loss, or breach.

Virtual Reality

The marriage of MDM and various forms of virtual reality (VR) is opening new doors for field service, maintenance, and technically challenging occupations. For example, augmented reality (AR) tools are emerging that use special glasses, goggles, and headsets that allow field technicians and support personnel to compare physical equipment to digital specifications, job requests, and other information.
As the technician or field rep looks at the object, component, or system, a digital representation appears within their field of vision to verify it is the right valve to inspect, the correct place to weld, or the exact piece of equipment that needs to be removed. The best systems even allow a less experienced person to show a senior engineer (sitting far away) to see the job site so they can walk the other person through the task or answer questions.

MDM Meets Security

MDM has always had some interest in security. It was unavoidable. To manage mobile devices effectively means providing certain safeguards – if only alerting others in the enterprise to a potential situation. MDM is now heading one step further. It is merging more tightly with security applications. Syxsense, for example, provides MDM within a suite that includes integrated patch management, vulnerability scanning, security threat remediation, and IT management. This greatly enhances security while keeping mobile devices safe from malware and other cyber threats. IT can use the Syxsense Enterprise platform to spot anomalous behavior, detect strange activity at ports, at exfiltration attempts, and more.

Schedule Your Syxsense Demo

Syxsense combines IT management, patch management, and security vulnerability scanning in one powerful solution. Get started today.

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