Friday, September 07, 2012
While business owners and executives are more inclined to focus on the bottom line costs of new investments, typically due to cash flow and stockholder demands, most understand that price plays a lesser role when it comes to protecting their assets. That doesn’t mean companies are open to purchasing preposterously expensive security services, but most will spend a few dollars more each month to ensure their organization is compliant with governmental and industry regulations.
The inclination of businesses to invest in data and network security systems can be further nurtured when their solution providers provide a few more details relating to the true costs of failure. A data breach can take many forms, but just a single laptop loss can significantly damage an organization’s finances and reputation. Less than two years ago, Intel and the Ponemon Institute
released a study showing the average value of a lost device was $49,246, with the breach costs making up 80 percent of that amount. Just 2 percent went to replacing the actual computer. Authors of the Billion Dollar Lost-Laptop Study
also suggested that, with encryption software and proper methods followed, the average cost of a lost laptop would have declined by more than $20,000.
Advances in the security space have surely reduced those costs even more over the past two years, making an effective protection program even more of a value to the business community. For solution providers, that presents a great opportunity to tackle their clients’ multifaceted needs, particularly with the multitude of new mobility and cloud solutions available. With the growing complexity, even those companies with a dedicated IT department are looking to outsource partners with the expertise to properly protect all their business systems. As the saying goes, there’s margin in the mystery, and that can help solution providers build a great long-term business case for expanding their IT security proficiencies.Reinforce Your Security Practice
Gaining an edge over competitors isn’t easy these days, and the costs of attaining an advantage can be substantial, especially when industry-specific training and education is involved. That’s why many solution providers join associations like CompTIA, to gain access to a multitude of business improvement resources. Driven by a number of technology focused and vertical market member-led collaborative communities, the association has assembled a wide portfolio of training and IT business practice improvement programs to address the needs of proactive VARs and MSPs.
The CompTIA Security Community
is one of those groups aiming to provide essential channel resources. Its members focus on industry best practices and operational excellence, developing long-term (and short-term) initiatives intended to improve the IT security prospects for solution provider businesses. Their principal goal is to facilitate the ongoing discussion between the novices and experts, technologists and business managers, vendors and solution providers, and the broader IT community.
What does it take to be a member in the Security Community? Like any peer group, it requires an investment of time and ideas. Some members take an active role in driving initiatives and leading workgroups, while others can only spare an hour a month to join a conference call or join the live meetings once or twice a year. The key to membership is information and ideas sharing; offering input to the initiatives that create new industry resources. Some of the group’s current focuses include:
- Real World Stories Project: create a library of case studies on IT security risks, vulnerabilities, challenges, and successes. Members can use these articles to influence their SMB clients IT security investment by identifying root causes and the impact of breaches and other protection failures.
- Data Breach Notification Laws Project: provide information on individual state and federal regulations. This updated listing of all applicable laws will also include the appropriate guidance for specific industries and businesses. The community also will monitor proposed federal legislation and work with the CompTIA Public Advocacy Team to help shape future IT security-related regulations, including those that impact IT channel organizations.
- CompTIA Security Trustmark Promotion: the community, as founders of this beneficial business credential, will continue to encourage its adoption within and outside the community. Through advocacy and peer-to-peer discussions, the group intends to increase awareness and brand channel implementation of the two-tiered program.
- IT Security Advisory Group: explore the potential for creating a work group to provide IT security-related expertise, counsel and advice to other CompTIA communities.
So, if you’re looking to make an existing IT security practice even stronger, or establish a new one, it’s time to join the IT Security Community. If you’d like to learn how, or get additional details on the resources their group’s assembled, contact Corey Simpson at email@example.com
.Brian Sherman is founder of Tech Success Communications, specializing in editorial content and consulting for the IT channel. His previous roles include chief editor at Business Solutions magazine and senior director of industry alliances with Autotask. Contact Brian at Bsherman@techsuccesscommunications.com.