The cybersecurity skills shortage is disproportionately affecting SMBs. Learn how cloud-based solutions can ease SMB cybersecurity and IT staffing issues.
Did you happen to see the most recent Cybersecurity Workforce Study from (ISC)², the World’s leading non-profit cybersecurity professional organization? If not, you may be surprised to hear how little has changed since the 2018 cybersecurity research study.
Back in 2018, the gripping workforce study headline was: “Cybersecurity Skills Shortage Soars, Nearing 3 Million.” In the study, we learned that three major challenges plagued cybersecurity (and IT overall) at small and midsize businesses (SMBs). They were budget limits, lack of IT staff and time constraints. These ‘big 3’ challenges were a far larger problem for SMBs than for large enterprises that could afford to pay the skyrocketing wage demands of cybersecurity professionals.
Fast forward to today, what’s the situation? Well, three major elements remain the same:
- The World is still short 2.7 million cybersecurity professionals
- Budgets, time and IT staff shortages remain SMBs’ top security challenges
- Salaries for cybersecurity professionals remain out of reach for many SMBs
The Good News: Cloud-Based Solutions Have Rolled in to Save Budgets
Sure, cloud computing has been around for over two decades. Yet, only recently have a critical mass of technology OEMs and solution vendors delivered cloud-based solutions to answer the needs of SMBs. Recall how groundbreaking it was when NetSuite unveiled the first enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite in the cloud in 1998. That was amazing! Now it’s hard to think of a core system or productivity application that is not available as a cloud solution.
What a savior for SMBs and their IT staff. Companies can now avoid the risk of high up-front software costs and gain access to many more affordable solutions. In addition, they can easily predict their IT costs on a full-year basis. This isn’t to say that budgets restraints have disappeared. But it’s a lot easier for IT to ask for incrementally small budget additions when they can demonstrate the productivity value of new apps almost instantly.
As a leading provider of remote access and remote support solutions to SMBs, we have experienced firsthand just how easy it has been for IT leaders to obtain approval for our solutions during the pandemic. For any executive, giving employees the ability to work remotely suddenly became a ‘no-brainer’. The same goes for a wide range of productivity apps.
Cloud Solutions Ease IT & Cybersecurity Staffing
Many cloud-based solutions (Splashtop included) can and/or do run on robust cloud infrastructure like AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, etc. Customers love that they can run Splashtop on AWS, because they know their remote access/support solution is running on a secure cloud infrastructure with better security than 99% of SMBs can do on their own. When you consider the specialized cybersecurity skills and workforces that major cloud vendors bring to the table, it becomes clear that an SMB would never need to maintain staff and put in the effort to run its own cloud deployments of apps and services.
Add in the massive redundancy and backup features and it just makes sense to see SMBs moving to the cloud in droves.
Keep in mind that the solution OEMs can offer more security in cloud-based SMB solutions than they could with on-premise solutions. By standardizing a cloud product and delivering it to hundreds or thousands of customers, a software OEM can load up on security capabilities. As an example, Splashtop’s cloud-based solutions all incorporate a wealth of security features, including the following:
- Industry standard TLS 1.2 with AES 256-bit encryption
- Device authentication
- Multi-level password security
- Two-step verification/two-factor authentication
- Blank screen
- Screen auto-lock
- Session idle timeout
- Remote connection notification
- Copy/paste, and file transfer control
- Remote print control
- Lock streamer configuration
- Proxy Server authentication
- Digitally signed applications
- Session, file transfer, and history logs
The standard security features provided by Splashtop, and other leading cloud-based solutions, check the box for addressing IT staffing problems while maintaining strong cybersecurity.
More Good News: Outsourcing to MSPs Can Address Cybersecurity Staff Shortages
SMBs will never have the headcount space available to hire professionals for every major application and service which the business needs to support. This is where managed service providers (MSPs) have filled the skills gap for many SMBs. MSPs typically operate as an extension of a company’s internal IT team and ensure that even the smallest business can leverage the best of technologies at an affordable price.
According to Datto’s 2021 State of the MSP report, more than 99% of MSPs offer security services. To do so, they are required to employ security specialists. Even better, since MSPs are purchasing services for multiple clients, they have purchase price negotiating power than an individual business does not. The most popular MSP services (anything-as-a-service) include security solutions. In fact, many MSPs rely on Splashtop to deliver remote support solutions to SMBs. Some of these same MSPs integrate Splashtop with endpoint security and identity access management solutions to optimize security for their clients.
It’s nice to have options today
SMBs continue to face the triple challenge of tight budgets, limited cybersecurity staff and never having enough time to manage all things IT. Yet, SMB leaders who invest a little time to see what’s possible with cloud- and MSP-based solutions will find that productivity gains in 2022 can come with more security than was possible just a few short years ago.