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OpenText Security: How to Prioritize Cybersecurity Protections as an SMB

We recently spoke with Guss Lababidi, Vice President, Cybersecurity, Partner Ecosystem, SMB Channel and Global Alliances, OpenText Security, to dive into the importance of a multi-layered security strategy, the importance of robust email security tools, multi-factor authentication, and cybersecurity training for employees to combat increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal methods. The discussion also delved into the rising popularity of subscription-based cybersecurity models, especially among SMBs.

OpenText Cybersecurity Vice President Guss Lababidi Highlights Key SMB Cybersecurity Trends and Solutions

What are the top cybersecurity spending priorities that businesses should focus on right now?

A: The cyber threat landscape is quickly evolving, making it imperative that organizations invest in a multi-layered security strategy that implements various types of defenses to ensure maximum protection.

When working with vendors, organizations need to determine who can provide such robust services. For example, at OpenText Cybersecurity, we have built a full portfolio of cybersecurity services that address different needs (from prevention, detection and response to recovery and compliance) to bolster protection and simplify security for our customers. We’ve accomplished this by making several acquisitions over the past few years to greatly diversify our service offerings and ensure that our products give customers an edge over their competition.

When it comes to the perspective of a potential OpenText Cybersecurity customer or a business that is looking to spend on cybersecurity, what should they prioritize to ensure they’re staying secure?

Email security tools such as spam filters and multi-factor authentication are effective first line of defense solutions that block cybercriminals from infiltrating a system, but cybercriminal methods are becoming more sophisticated and require robust defense solutions.

To combat these attacks, businesses need a combination of cybersecurity and human awareness. In addition to the many cyber tools that we have at our disposal, cybersecurity training for employees is preeminent. Employees must understand that they cannot trust every email they receive. They need to verify email addresses, attachments, and links, report suspicious emails and hacked accounts, and follow strong password policies to maximize security.

Are you seeing SMBs and smaller organizations move towards subscription-based models?

Absolutely. The transition to hybrid and remote work structures during the pandemic era led to significant investment in cybersecurity. OpenText Cybersecurity’s Global Managed Security Survey recently found that eighty-two percent of MSPs and MSSPs cite a key customer requirement is the need for comprehensive, on-demand security. For SMBs, it is incredibly valuable to pay a monthly fee for a full suite of cybersecurity services. And it doesn’t hurt that as a society, we are now very accustomed to subscription-based models since so many of the products and services we use every day operate on this model, too. As a result, MSP business is booming, and the market continues to grow.

For SMBs specifically, why do you think they’re moving towards subscription-based models? Is it due to staffing, budgets or accessibility?

Staffing, budgets and accessibility are all factors. For example, in North America, labor is expensive, and your average full-size security and IT teams often require many specialists. SMBs often cannot afford these staffing requirements, so outsourcing their cyber needs is a cost-effective solution. With a subscription-based model, SMBs get access to the most advanced cybersecurity solutions all in one box. It makes cybersecurity simple without it being an afterthought.

It sounds like there are a lot of advantages for SMBs to utilize this model. Are there any disadvantages? Any disadvantages for SMBs when it comes to securing their systems in their organizations compared to a mid-market or larger enterprise organization?

The biggest downside to the subscription-based model is that organizations have less flexibility to customize their cybersecurity solutions. It ultimately comes down to preference; a one-size-fits-all service will be perfectly fine for some SMBs, but others will need solutions more tailored to their individual needs.

OpenText Cybersecurity specializes in working with SMBs. Why is it important to offer specialized solutions, and what services do you offer them?

SMBs are a prime target of hackers because they have less resources than larger organizations, which is why they require a partner that understands the unique cybersecurity needs of SMBs. At OpenText Cybersecurity, we offer multi-layered, all-in-one solutions that support SMB customers in their cyber resilience mission by embedding security and data management software and best practices across the entire organization. This includes our BrightCloud threat intelligence platform with real-time threat intelligence and ML capabilities that are custom built in-house to meet every customer’s needs.

OpenText Cybersecurity provides smart, simplified security that enables trusted, cyber resilient environments for our channel partners, distributors, resellers and Managed Service Providers (MSPs). We help partners reduce risk, preserve trust and minimize disruption.

Many SMBs or smaller organizations are constantly asking, “We’re too small to be a target, why would a cybercriminal target us?” What are your thoughts on that?

No business, regardless of size, is immune to cyberattacks. Scammers are equal opportunity offenders. Individuals are relentlessly hit with malicious emails and phone calls, so businesses are most definitely also targets. As a vendor, we need to continue to educate our customers and our communities about the importance of a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity to avoid this dangerous mentality.

One of the findings from the MSP report is that 86% of MSP customers wanted to consolidate their security tools. What is driving this and how are MSPs working with clients and customers alike to achieve this?

The number one reason for tool consolidation across the industry is to simplify security for businesses. Business leaders and security teams need to visit several different solutions and platforms to manage cybersecurity for their organizations, and that is not manageable for smaller businesses. SMBs want ease of business, so consolidating tools into one platform with all functions is essential. Even more, SMBs also need strong, layered security defenses. With a slate of recent acquisitions bringing together award-winning security and data management solutions, OpenText Cybersecurity is consolidating a variety of tools to streamline our services and make security simpler – and smarter – for organizations of all sizes.

How are you finding the overall cybersecurity landscape currently compared to expectations from the beginning of the year?

Attackers are getting smarter and leveraging emerging technologies like AI to do more harm. Cybersecurity is now a business priority, finally thrusted into the spotlight where it deserves. ###

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