By Miles Jobgen, Director of Trustmark Programs for CompTIA
…data security is only going to get tougher and solution providers will be asked to take on even more complex tasks in the future. You have to be ready, willing and able to meet those challenges in order to reap the rewards…why not arm yourself with the best tools in the industry?
Just 10 years ago, all an experienced IT professional needed to start her (or his) own services business was a hearty desire to succeed, a solid work ethic and a good accountant to keep track of the influx of cash. Skill was, and continues to be, an essential ingredient in the success of solution provider companies, but over time, organizational fundamentals have also grown in importance.
Successful IT solution providers have to work effectively on both sides of “the house” today, with a firm grasp on the technologies and support aspect of their business, as well as a strong handle on their back office operations. If either part of the organization fails to fulfill its responsibilities or falls below industry standards, the risks to profitability and future business opportunities are sure to rise. While most entrepreneurs focus more on the prospects than on the threats, the potential for failure motivates a number of providers.
An effective modern network protection scheme has ten times the complexity (perhaps more, according to some experts) as it did in 2005. With so much vital business and personal information contained on internet-connected computer systems today, the damage from a breach can be catastrophic. When regulatory compliance requirements, fines, and legal exposure are added to the mix, as well as the exponential growth of network attacks from unknown sources, the value of an experienced, successful IT security professional has never been greater.
So how can solution providers attain that elite and highly-profitable status? As with most IT practices, it requires a lot of foundational work—starting with development of a customer-specific strategy, followed by the step-by-step design of the company’s solution offerings. Since most business’ security needs vary, that plan should be flexible enough to address the requirements of each individual client. That may necessitate a rather comprehensive sales and solutions training program, as well as a wide variety of educational resources to help solution providers properly address all their customers’ breach and protection concerns.
The Value of Best Practices and Industry Credentials
Those who are familiar with CompTIA will understand the vast array of programs and materials its member communities have helped develop over the past few years. That resource repository includes a number of security practice-specific training sessions, educational webinars and customer assessment tools designed to help solutions providers succeed in this thriving tech segment. Developed specifically for IT channel professionals by IT channel professionals, these offerings are extremely useful to solution providers looking to grow their expertise and relevance.
If you really want to boost your data and network expertise, not to mention your company’s marketability, it’s time to seriously consider pursuing a CompTIA Security Trustmark+. Updated to reflect the most recent National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, this esteemed business credential provides a clear path to regulatory compliance and intelligent business practices as related to data security. By walking you through the 5 core tenets of security (Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, Recover), this program is designed to establish vital procedures and protections for solution providers and their clients. A third-party assessment of the company’s adherence to the framework enhances the value and credibility of the process.
Want to ensure your team has all the proper security procedures in place? Looking to expand into more regulated industries, such as targeting the healthcare or financial verticals? The CompTIA Security Trustmark+ is a cost-effective and thorough way to achieve those goals. With simple, straight-forward language and clearly defined expectations, establishing a sound security posture has never been easier.
After all, data security is only going to get tougher and solution providers will be asked to take on even more complex tasks in the future. You have to be ready, willing and able to meet those challenges in order to reap the rewards. So, whether building a completely new offering or enhancing an already formidable practice, why not arm yourself with the best tools in the industry?