As ChannelPro reported Tuesday, the number of ransomware families at loose on the Internet exploded 400 percent between January and September of this year, according to Trend Micro Inc. The Irving, Texas-based security vendor expects that pace to slow substantially in 2017, but ransomware attacks look sure to be a fixture of the IT landscape for a long while to come.
What’s less sure is whether the rise of ransomware is producing pain for the channel pros who must keep it away from their customers or gain in the form of increased sales of security services and data protection solutions. In theory, the answer should be both, according to Mike Semel, CEO of Semel Consulting LLC, a security and compliance advisory firm in Las Vegas, Nev.
“The challenge for the IT industry is to do everything that it possibly can to be diligent in securing client networks,” he says, adding that while it’s a difficult job it’s also a potentially lucrative one for IT providers with the discipline and know-how to perform it well. Their assistance, after all, will be in higher demand than ever.
“They should make a lot more money,” Semel says.
Or so contends an expert, anyway. Do VARs and MSPs also see ransomware as a source of opportunity rather than headaches? We decided the best way to find out was to ask our readers. Here’s what you told us:
Looks like Semel’s take on matters is pretty widespread. While nearly a third of you view ransomware as a problem rather than potential revenue source, the other two-thirds see it either exclusively or partially as an opening to sell new offerings to your clients.
But we’re still in the realm of theory at this point. What kind of tangible, real-world effect has ransomware had on channel pro bottom lines in the last year? Let’s take a look at security first:
Not too shabby! Though 38 percent of you aren’t getting anything financially from the ransomware scourge, fully 49.5 percent of you are. What’s more, the picture appears to be much the same for sales of BDR solutions:
So maybe there’s a silver lining to this particular security cloud after all. No one likes to see their customers suffer, but it’s comforting to know that someone other than cyberthieves is profiting from ransomware.