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MSP summit highlights tip of iceberg in IoT edge risk

An analyst presentation at a US MSP summit hints that cybersecurity risks to organisations from Internet of Things (IoT) and edge deployments could be growing.

Omdia managing principal analyst Eric Parizo, in a report for Channel Futures’ MSP Summit 13-16 September in Florida, suggested the edge threat to network security could raise the stakes for channel partners.

“We’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg in regard to the IoT cybersecurity risks organisations will face as the decade moves on and billions of new devices come online,” Parizo was reported as saying.

Channel Futures and Omdia are sister companies under the aegis of B2B communications giant Informa. However, Parizo said its survey of 200 cybersecurity “decision makers” underlined the continued need for proactive security approaches in an increasingly digitised world.

“A large majority of respondents indicated that they were confident in their businesses’ plan for responding to a ransomware attack. But the reality is that most organisations aren’t ready, and are significantly disrupted when a ransomware attack does happen,” he said.

One result is that the channel should be thinking beyond tools, technologies and talent to consider their role as trusted advisors that can help customers make the right decisions, including by being well versed on industry trends, Parizo said.

If a cybersecurity solution isn’t flexible and conducive to supporting cybersecurity business processes in a given organisation, success is often elusive. Partners need to ensure they understand what works within their customers’ environments, and use that as the foundation on which to build, he added.

“Partners will increasingly see an opportunity in helping organisations understand the growing IoT risk, and learn the importance of assessing, classifying and securing IoT devices,” Parizo said.

According to Channel Futures writer Edward Gately, in the related blog post, partners have an opportunity to “elevate the role of cybersecurity” in their customer organisations, particularly around edge.

Vendors aiming to tackle the edge threat include Arista Networks, which focuses on data-driven, client to cloud networking. With recent acquisitions including Untangle, the maker of NG Firewall, and Pluribus Networks, Arista solutions include what it describes as cognitive unified edge (CUE) management.

“CUE enables commercial customers to accelerate new services and technology innovations by consolidating multiple security and networking functions into an ‘edge as a service’ cloud-managed solution,” according to Arista.

( Photo by Frederik Lipfert on Unsplash )

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