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Editor’s Question: How can the channel help SMEs?

Editor’s Question: How can the channel help SMEs?

Thought LeadershipTop Stories

Amanda Adams, Senior Director, European Alliances at CrowdStrike explains how the channel can help SMEs.

Potentially even more than larger businesses, SMEs need strong support from the channel. We know that cybercriminals are targeting small and mid-sized businesses due to perceived lack of resources and expertise. Seventy percent of cyberattacks target small to mid-sized businesses (National Cybersecurity Alliance), the average cost of a breach for small to mid-sized businesses is US$383K (Ponemon Institute) and 80% will become unprofitable within a month of being breached (Better Business Bureau).

Cybersecurity is a specialised, complex and constantly evolving area. It requires research and training to keep pace with innovative and hungry threat actors. Threat intelligence aids all sizes of business to optimise their defence, and of course employees need to be trained, tested and encouraged to behave safely.

The channel must be the source of advice, support, tools and training for SMEs who cannot become experts in this area and who cannot defend themselves for long without expert support. Unfortunately, we live in a world where it’s a matter of when rather than ‘if’ – threats will come to every organisation using the Internet.

The fragmentation and specialisation of the technologies required to maintain high levels of protection means that partners can deliver enormous value for their SME customers by packaging up the skills delivered by best-of-breed vendors and alliances. With limited resources or ability to fail-over, SMEs need all angles covered. Indeed, by providing managed services that cover every element of cybersecurity and other aspects of IT support, partners offer a vital extra resource for SME businesses that can solve almost all their IT problems.

The trends set by enterprises eventually filter down to SMEs. Last year, as organisations moved workforces away from their offices, their threat exposure grew exponentially. Any SMEs not able to move to cloud-native solutions, weaning themselves off physical infrastructure, are lagging behind the times. Partners with customers falling into this category are well-advised to help them easily and remotely deploy, manage and protect their workloads at scale, irrespective of where their employees are located.

Partners should also revisit and support customers who have been targeted by cyber intrusions in the past. Our recent CrowdStrike Services Cyber Front Lines Report showed that in 68% of cases, if an organisation has experienced an intrusion, it is targeted again within 12 months. This makes the case for partners to offer continuous monitoring and response solutions to give SMEs peace of mind.

In fact, we believe we are in the early stages of cloud adoption and see a considerable opportunity for the channel. Currently around 20% of our customers’ servers are in the public cloud. Partners will be able to grow cloud and managed services with their customers who may be fed up with inflexible, older solutions and who may be trying to escape office leases or strip out costs from a new, digitally transformed, work from home culture.

The top trends for all sizes of business are those pain points customers were already telling us they needed solving pre-pandemic: Adapting to a Zero Trust model, securing the cloud and protecting their endpoints from all threats – stopping breaches and getting on with their day jobs.

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