As 2022 gets underway, we’re looking ahead to the changes, developments, and trends the coming year will bring to the cybersecurity industry and the threat landscape. To help you prepare for 2022, we recently spoke to three Barracuda executives, each with their own perspective and predictions about what the next 12 months have in store and what businesses need to be aware of to stay secure.
In this second post in the three-part series, Aidan Kehoe, SVP & GM, XDR at Barracuda MSP shares his insights on the biggest opportunities for channel partners in the coming year, how the role of the MSP will change, and the ways MSPs can customers address the cybersecurity skills shortage.
Aidan Kehoe, SVP & General Manager, XDR
What are the biggest opportunities you see for channel partners (MSPs/VARs) in 2022?
As more SMBs become aware of growing cyber risks, MSPs will be able to continue acquiring new clients. With the increasing number of emerging threats that we’re seeing in our Security Operations Center, security-centric MSPs, or MSPs that are ready to help growing organizations with a potential cyber crisis are at the forefront of the current cybersecurity landscape.
However, there are many challenges for MSPs looking to be “cyber first.” There’s a massive talent gap, and difficult to manage multiple vendors when you assemble a cybersecurity offering.
We anticipate that MSPs that standardize their cybersecurity offerings will see lower operating costs, because they’ll have to respond to fewer incidents, and generate more MRR/margin.
Do you anticipate the role of the MSP/VAR will change at all in the coming year/next few years? Will they take on a bigger role in terms of helping companies navigate the cybersecurity landscape?
We believe that every MSP will have to be security-first to succeed. Right now, SMBs have no one to call if they have a cybersecurity problem. If there’s nobody or no infrastructure to rely on in the event of a breach, MSPs will be the only people that workers can call in an emergency.
We’ve seen increased awareness about security risks, and we predict that MSPs will only see more calls about breaches or security concerns, as time goes on. Ready or not, MSPs are the only organizations with the connections and the equipment to help SMBs address their cybersecurity challenges.
The cybersecurity skills shortage continues to be a challenge for organizations, do you expect that to change at all? How can the channel help in alleviating that shortage?
We see the cybersecurity skills shortage becoming even more challenging in the future. The demand for individuals with years of experience in cyber (like CISOs and Infosec Directors) is increasing at an exponential rate, but not enough people entered the industry ten or fifteen years ago to meet the demand today.
A lot of people don’t understand what this means. But in short, this talent gap means that businesses can’t get the help they need, even if they want to. If businesses are unable to find and hire cybersecurity talent, they will increasingly rely on MSPs and their cybersecurity partners (like Barracuda).