Why Next-Gen Security Isn't The Be-All, End-All

There's a lot of innovation around security delivery, but that doesn't mean the new ways are necessarily the best ways.

Stephen Cobb, senior security researcher for security software firm ESET, told an audience of MSPs at The Channel Company's Nexgen 2018 event on Tuesday that just because traditional endpoints might not cover all your bases, doesn't mean they don't work or are obsolete.

The so-called next-generation security solutions on the market today have a lot in common with traditional security solutions that have been on the market for years, especially, Cobb said, as it relates to using AI and machine learning.

"There's a misconception that next gen security products were the first to use AI and machine learning, but that's not really true," he said. "Products have been using machine learning algorithms for things like spam filtering for years."

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[Related: ADT Cyber Security Breaking Down Barriers To Detection And Response For MSPs]

Another myth is that AI and machine learning are silver bullets for security. People tend to think that more automation can mean more problem solving, but just like the security industry has learned to harness AI, so have hackers, and not for good, Cobb said.

NetSmart Plus, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based solution provider offering security to its small business customers believes that security is a moving target. The firm has used both traditional security vendor solutions, as well as offerings from some of the "next-gen" players, too.

NetSmart Plus’ best practices are constantly evolving to keep up with threats, said Brian Bakkila, NetSmart Plus manager.

"One of the biggest challenges we have is when we have to add another tool into the security cocktail we are offering our customers today is asking for more money, because their expectation is that they were already being protected," Bakkila said. "When your family grows, you need to move into a bigger house, and just like that, what was good enough yesterday is not longer good enough today."

Security calls for a layered approach, which ESET is employing today with its solutions. Combining features such as endpoint protection and monitoring, with capabilities like setting alerts for when users try to disable their security services, will help both vendors and solution providers have a well-rounded security strategy that customers can rely on, Cobb said.

"The next-gen MSP is not a myth," he said. "You are the future of security deployment and channel partners with a passion for security will be able to deliver high levels of protection to your customers."