Channel partners continue to face three significant barriers within the cybersecurity market: budget constraints, limited client solution knowledge, and limited time to research and understand new threats, according to Untangle's second annual  ”Voice of the Channel” report.

The report surveyed Channel Partners, both locally and internationally, to better understand the current cybersecurity trends impacting the channel, as well as their security predictions for 2020. The survey results look at current trends and barriers that Channel Partners face when protecting clients against emerging threats and how they will shape future strategic business decisions for Managed Security Providers (MSPs) and Value-Added Resellers (VARs).

Channel Partners, IT security professionals who assist SMBs and organizations with network security deployment, were integral in 2019’s battle against cyberattacks, says the report. The results from the second annual Voice of the Channel echo results found in 2018

“For many organizations, MSPs are the first and sometimes the only line of defense against a cyberattack. Channel Partners, by nature of their role in helping source solutions, inherit the barriers that SMB’s face in the cybersecurity market and need to work within the budgets allocated,” said Steve Young, channel marketing manager at Untangle. 

Key highlights of the report include:

  • 65 percent of Channel Partners purchase cybersecurity solutions directly from a vendor. 
  • 23 percent of Channel Partners surveyed believe that lack of customer knowledge is the number one barrier in the cybersecurity market, followed by budget constraints (22 percent), and limited time to research and understand new threats (13 percent).  
  • 27 percent of Channel Partners believe that moving customer and client data to the cloud offers better security than on-premises solutions.
  • In 2019, respondents stated that providing cybersecurity solutions was over 50 percent of their overall business, in comparison to 2018, where 77 percent of respondents stated cybersecurity was less than 30 percent of their overall business. 
  • Channel Partners identified their clients were specifically targeted by phishing (84 percent), malware (84 percent) and ransomware (63 percent) attacks.
  • 35 percent of Channel Partners are considering adding identity and access management along with risk and compliance management to their 2020 portfolio.
  • Price (36 percent), limited experience (26 percent) and lack of trust (20 percent) are the top barriers the channel experiences when their clients begin or consider adopting cloud security solutions. 

In addition, 99 percent of Channel Partners indicated that cybersecurity for SMBs, as an overall part of their business, will increase or stay the same in 2020, while 85 percent believe that their cybersecurity revenue will increase in 2020. Other key 2020 predictions include:

  • The largest threats the channel expects to encounter in 2020 are ransomware (46 percent) and phishing (25 percent).
  • Future product offerings will include Compliance-as-a-Service (CaaS) for clients who require additional reporting and regulations, such as schools, libraries, financial institutions and government offices.