2023 Top 10 SMB Business Issues, IT Priorities, IT Challenges


    2023 Top 10 Channel Partner Business Challenges, Marketing Priorities


    2023 SMB & Midmarket Security Adoption Trends


    2023 SMB & Midmarket Cloud Adoption


    2023 Channel Partner Trends


    Networked, Engaged, Extended, Hybrid




    Influence map & care-abouts


    Connected Business


    SMB & Midmarket Managed Services Adoption


    SMB & Midmarket Analytics & Artificial Intelligence Adoption


    SMB Path to Digitalization


    SMB & Midmarket SaaS Adoption
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Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

Cisco’s Unified Cybersecurity Strategy: XDR, Duo, Umbrella, and Partner Ecosystem

As the market becomes flooded with specialized security solutions, an important question arises: Who can effectively integrate and manage all these different solutions? Cisco is making changes to position itself as a leading contender. As a comprehensive solution provider, Cisco can fill gaps in the cybersecurity landscape and ensure a cohesive approach to security, especially cloud security. It is building and integrating its portfolio of offerings, for example, XDR, Umbrella, Duo, Talos, many others, and now Armorblox.

As threats evolve, security efforts have shifted from solely preventing incidents to investigating them quickly and anticipating future risks. With IT environments now comprising interconnected networks, communication tools, mobile devices, cloud applications, and more, security is a top priority. Techaisle data shows that security is an IT priority for 74% of small businesses, 85% of SMBs, and 100% of midmarket firms. Endpoint security is already relatively widely adopted by SMBs. In addition, security suppliers have made headway in gaining customers for mobile hardware and access control security services. While Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) tools are helpful, their capabilities are limited to detecting and responding to threats on endpoints and servers. Prevention remains the best approach to security, but detection is essential.

Cisco’s new XDR technology presents exciting opportunities for business growth by leveraging its vast network infrastructure and customer data to tackle security challenges. To strengthen its position in the security industry, Cisco is streamlining its go-to-market strategy and investing in partnerships to unify its cybersecurity offerings. Its partner growth strategy includes upgrading firewalls and refreshing products for existing customers, offering competitive pricing and margins to win new business, and introducing new partner offers for Security Operations Centers, such as Managed Detection and Response using Cisco XDR.

Cyberattacks targeting small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have increased, particularly ransomware and DDoS attacks. Implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) safeguards employee identities and credentials. However, only 16% of SMBs and 25% of midmarket firms use MFA enterprise-wide. Similarly, only 13% of SMBs and 16% of midmarket firms have adopted single sign-on. However, the intent to adopt is significantly higher. Cisco offers MFA and single-sign-on (SSO) through its Duo offering, introducing innovations such as passwordless and risk-based authentication and Verified Duo Push. In addition, Duo has made security more accessible by integrating its Duo Trusted Endpoints capability into all service tiers, allowing users to restrict access only from corporate-managed devices or devices registered with Duo. This helps prevent unauthorized access attempts from unknown devices. In the advanced tiers, users can also assess the devices’ health before granting access and block risky or non-compliant devices, such as those running out-of-date software.

Securing endpoints and servers is essential for organizations, but cybercriminals are finding ways to bypass these measures through covert attacks. Instead of directly targeting high-value assets in data centers, they gain access through laptops and move laterally through the network. As a result, relying solely on an EDR solution or a firewall is not enough to detect and prevent cyberattacks. To fully protect IT infrastructure, it’s necessary to integrate prevention, detection, and response technologies into a single solution. This is where Extended Detection and Response (XDR) comes in, providing a comprehensive approach to security.

XDR builds upon the concept of EDR and expands its scope. It goes beyond the endpoint and server by integrating data from various security tools, including firewalls, email gateways, endpoint, network, identity, DNS, public cloud tools, and mobile threat management solutions. While it is possible to connect these components manually, a comprehensive XDR solution is designed to function as a unified system wherein components are interconnected and work together seamlessly to optimize threat detection and response workflows. Cisco's XDR solution in one such system.

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Mid-Market Firms Get a Boost in Cybersecurity with Dell’s Latest Portfolio Enhancements

Dell’s recent enhancements to its security portfolio address midmarket companies' specific security concerns and goals. Dell has significantly expanded its security portfolio with in-house capabilities and partnerships to enhance its threat protection, management, and incident response capabilities. The company’s new additions are crucial in addressing mid-market businesses' security challenges. According to Techaisle data, cybersecurity prevention investments are the highest technology priority for core and upper midmarket firms. With an average spending increase of 8.6%, 64% of midmarket firms are boosting their investments in cybersecurity solutions. The main reason for this spending increase is advanced threats and the rise of remote working, as reported by 61% of firms. In today's digital environment, cyberattacks are becoming increasingly prevalent and sophisticated, posing a threat to companies of all sizes. The traditional approach to security revolved around building higher cyber walls, hoping that no one would cross them. However, in the last ten years, attackers have found ways to breach these walls, making it necessary to have preventive strategies in place. Businesses must therefore prepare for the possibility of breaches and their potential impacts. Consequently, they must have a comprehensive security portfolio that offers end-to-end protection – from detecting and preventing threats to minimizing the damage in the event of a breach and helping users recover their data.

Mid-market enterprises are particularly susceptible to cyberattacks due to their limited resources compared to larger organizations. They face the same challenges as their larger counterparts but require more resources to defend themselves. To address these challenges, mid-market businesses need a security portfolio that can protect their operations from cyberattacks and minimize the risk of financial and reputational damage, especially as cyber threats become increasingly sophisticated. This article examines how recent updates to Dell’s security solutions portfolio can help mid-market businesses navigate the evolving threat landscape and enhance their protection capabilities.

dell midmarket cybersecurity

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OpenText - A Cybersecurity Powerhouse Built on Strategic Acquisitions

OpenText's transformation from a Canadian document management company to one of the world's leading software providers is nothing short of remarkable. The driving force behind its growth has been a focus on cloud-based solutions, which led the company to go on an acquisition spree, bringing several specialized companies/brands under its umbrella. Cybersecurity is one arena where OpenText has taken a deliberate approach over the last decade with multi-billion dollars of capital investment to bring together critical purpose-built solutions to provide holistic coverage to its customers.

The company’s acquisition of data protection provider Carbonite (ninth cloud-specific acquisition overall) and endpoint/threat intelligence software provider Webroot marked a significant milestone in its quest to create a single, unified, and robust security portfolio.

With the Carbonite and Webroot acquisitions, OpenText became a go-to option for managed service providers (MSPs) and small and medium businesses (SMBs) seeking a one-stop shop for security and data protection, filling a void in the market with its broad portfolio. Experts have opined on OpenText’s offerings: “It's one vendor, one brand, one program, one partner strategy, one go-to-market, so small customers and partners don't need to work with multiple vendors. OpenText Cybersecurity can provide all of it."

However, this was just the beginning. OpenText's subsequent acquisitions of email encryption software provider Zix, security software provider AppRiver, Network Detection and Response provider Bricata, and enterprise software provider Micro Focus further strengthened its position in cybersecurity. The approach to consolidate all security and data protection services in a single platform – serving as the foundation to deploy the right capabilities and manage and administer their environment has made things easier for customers of all sizes. In addition, OpenText's comprehensive portfolio provides a robust and reliable option for businesses seeking to enhance their cyber resiliency. In the following sections, we will explore OpenText's trajectory to becoming one of the leaders in the cybersecurity domain.

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Continuously improving IT security is both an SMB challenge and a USD68B opportunity for suppliers

Small and midsized businesses find it challenging to defend their users, applications, and data against external threats. Data from Techaisle’s SMB and Midmarket security research reveals 63% of US SMBs report that they experienced one or more cyberattacks in the last year, contributing to an average of 3.6% of revenue loss attributable to security incidents. For 46% of SMBs, preventing cyber-attacks is one the most pressing and critical IT issues. Yet, 59% of SMBs are very confident that their firms could recover from a cybersecurity incident. Nevertheless, security issues cast a long shadow over SMB IT priorities, especially as firms embrace the benefits of hybrid work, hybrid IT, only to find that their environments become more complex and more challenging to manage and protect. SMBs respond by expanding security budgets – but they lack the staff and expertise to construct effective shields around their organizations. The channel, working with leading-edge products like those from Fortinet, Cisco, Dell Technologies, Palo Alto Networks, has an essential role to play in defending their clients’ SMB businesses against security threats.

The origins of the saying “it’s about the journey, not the destination” may be unclear. Ralph Waldo Emerson, theologian Lynn H. Hough, Canadian rapper Drake, or others may have said the phrase, but its applicability in an IT security context is clear. There is no endpoint at which security is ‘done’; security requires constant updating to stay current with expanding threat vectors.

This requirement for continuously improved IT security is both a challenge and an opportunity for security suppliers.

What is the opportunity?

Techaisle has pegged global SMB security spending in 2023 at $68 billion. However, high IT security spending levels and growth rates mask an underlying sense of confusion concerning safeguarding emerging cloud and hybrid IT environments – and a lack of resources to address this problem. Compounding – or perhaps, causing – the lack of clarity into cloud security issues and the relatively tepid adoption rates for cloud security solutions is that SMB IT operations are under-resourced. Without specialized staff, SMBs cannot keep pace with the constantly changing threat vectors and security options.

The lack of insight by small businesses becomes clear: only 5% have IT security staff. 44% of midmarket firms have an average of three full-time internal security staff, but the demands of a business of this size would exceed a single individual’s bandwidth. The percentages more than double for upper-midmarket firms. Simply put, SMBs lack the bench depth needed to dedicate IT resources to security. Everywhere within the SMB segment, there is a mismatch between available resources and the depth of the skills required to keep pace with security needs.

The lack of understanding of a threat associated with a widely-used platform on the one hand, and the lack of IT staff resources available to address security concerns on the other, produces a clear conclusion: SMBs need suppliers to step up to the delivery of secure IT environments.

In many cases, these suppliers will be the mainstream channel partners who supply the SMB’s technology and act as the IT management presence within the SMB’s business. In other cases, including in many midmarket environments, the source of security products and services will be specialized managed security providers who focus tightly on operating SOCs and protecting client environments. In some scenarios, firms will ‘land’ by entering a client account from one of these positions and then ‘expand’ to serve a broader range of IT supply needs – crowding out competitors who can’t address the risk and compliance issues that are central to the CEO’s mandate.

What is the security supplier call to action?

As security suppliers move towards managing SMB security needs, they need to address the pace at which their clients absorb new offerings. Small businesses will not embrace eight new technologies, nor are midmarket firms going to integrate fourteen new solutions into their environments. Even if this were possible from a budget perspective, it would cause chaos in the business.

Instead, suppliers of security services need to co-create a security roadmap with their SMB, which starts with assessing the customers’ executive teams’ tolerance for risk. What absolutely must be secured, and in what order? The security supplier can then identify the solutions that best fit the customer’s immediate and longer-term needs and then deploy, integrate and manage the solutions over time. After all, data shows that 45% of SMBs feel it will be beneficial for them if an external services firm can help define and implementing security policies.

One key point of exposure in this process is the ability to ensure that different solutions work together. In the cloud world, and increasingly in the on-premise world as well, channel partners and MSPs focus on integrations: the breadth of a single vendor’s product line, plus – and importantly – the extent to which third parties develop and support links to a firm’s products.

There will be no slowdown in the digital transformation of SMBs; their business infrastructure will increasingly rely on technology. Likewise, there will be no slowdown in the threats to that infrastructure; as reliance on technology increases, so does the potential bounty for attackers. And as a result, there will be a continuous and growing need for IT security services – which will sustain firms adept at delivering and managing security solutions that combine expertise and industry-leading technology.


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