The CompTIA IT Security Community offers educational resources to managed service providers to educate customers about and help protect them from today’s growing threats. This year, we’re proud to announce that Neal Bradbury, the senior director of business development at Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda has been named vice chair of the executive council for CompTIA’s IT Security Community.
As the vice chair of the IT Security community, Neal Bradbury is responsible for supporting the chair lead and build consensus within the community to best meet its core objectives. As a CompTIA community, this group of leading IT vendors, distributors and solution providers facilitates networking, learning and industry change within the security segment of the IT industry. Neal Bradbury is also an active member of the CompTIA Communities Executive Board which is responsible for the oversight and coordination of all member community activities within CompTIA, the world's largest IT trade association. Neal is dedicated to bringing awareness to data protection, threat mitigation, and overall security education to managed service providers as they continue to build and run profitable businesses. In honor of CompTIA's Annual Member Meeting this week, we sat down and talked to Neal about this year’s goals for the IT security community.
Neal Bradbury on CompTIA, security, and MSPs
Q: How long have you been involved with the IT security community, and how has it evolved over time?
I’ve been on the IT security executive council for the past three years, and this is the first year that I’ll take on a vice chair role. CompTIA is vendor neutral and the security community has always been a group of vendors and solution providers coming together to educate and inform each other about emerging security topics.
In the beginning CompTIA was focused on bringing security regulations, such as HIPAA and PCI, to light for managed service providers, which showed MSPs the value of generating revenue through a compliance path. Since, the industry has significantly changed. Cybersecurity and security are so prevalent that if you’re an MSP and you aren’t doing something with security, you’re in trouble. The security landscape is constantly changing, so it’s important that solution providers are educated and up-to-date when it comes to security.
Q: What are some benefits users experience when they join the CompTIA IT Security Community?
The CompTIA IT Security Community is one of the largest non-profit IT associations. It’s a great way to network in the industry and meet VARs, MSPs, or other managed service providers. The great thing about the community is being able to learn and share knowledge on privacy laws in the industry.
Perhaps the most beneficial part of the security community is that any managed service provider can get educational resources. Whether it’s talking to another provider in the industry about starting out, best practices to follow, or even security assessments to use when you are walking through a security audit with a customer, it’s all available through the community. It’s a great way for managed service providers to grow their business and educate their staff.
Q: What are some initiatives you’re hoping to accomplish this year as vice chair?
Since becoming part of Barracuda, often internally we think MSPs know about cybersecurity and how to have the necessary conversations with their customers. One thing I have learned is there can never be enough education, and you can never get the word out there enough. The reality is, a lot of MSPs out there aren’t aware of the latest security trends, what they should be doing to protect their customers, or how to have those important security conversations.
This year, I’m looking to continue the mission of making sure MSPs understand the importance of security. Also, we want to focus on how anyone in managed services can upgrade their basic security offerings to become a managed security services provider. MSSPs are being formed or created out of MSPs that are seeing this trend in security as the next big thing. Bringing this concept to light is important as it is a trend I think will continue as security becomes more specialized.
Q: In the industry today, what do you believe are the toughest security challenges?
Certainly, one of the toughest challenges MSPs face with security is running into budget issues with their SMBs. Small businesses don’t have a large budget when it comes to IT, so it’s a challenge to get those customers on board when it comes to investing in managed services and security tools. Unfortunately, no amount of money makes you impenetrable when it comes to security. But, spending the budget they do have in the right places can get an organization from zero to over 90 percent protection. The conversation needs to focus on where they can spend their money to mitigate the most risks.
Q: If MSPs were to embrace one thing this year regarding security, what should it be?
If you haven’t reviewed your managed service offering for security components, 2017 is a great year to take a step back and look at your offering. Make sure the necessary security components are included, and educate your end users on security threats and how to spot them. For example, our phishing quiz is an excellent tool to share with your customers on how to spot a legitimate threat. Educating your end users is important, and there are vendors out there that can help!