Newsletter Jan 13 2020

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From The Microphone

Welcome to the MSP Radio newsletter, catching you up on some stories you might have missed!    Each week we'll pull a few stories from the podcasts, give you highlights and insights, and make it easy for you to catch up on the latest news and commentary.

Share the newsletter and podcast with your colleagues, and help change the conversation around delivering technology services.

You May Have Missed... 

The Cybersecurity landscape

From Monday, Jan 6th's Business of Tech Podcast:   The US Government is bracing for potential cyberattacks from Iran, with a Department of Homeland Security warning issued on Saturday, January 4, 2020, after the US launched a strike in Iraq killing a lead Iranian general.  
DHS warns not to underestimate Iran’s cyber experience.    From the statement, quote ““Iran maintains a robust cyber program and can execute cyberattacks against the United States. Iran is capable, at a minimum, of carrying out attacks with temporary disruptive effects against critical infrastructure in the United States.”
Iran has a history of cyberattacks, with at least 14 cyberattacks in 2019 against targets such as energy companies, Linkedin users, British banks, and Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.
Unrelated but notable for services providers thinking about Cybersecurity, a report from Precise Security indicates that nearly 75 percent of the most commonly exploited applications were related Microsoft office in Q3 2019.   
And, AppRiver has released their cyberthreat index for Business Survey, showing 79 percent of SMB execs and IT decision-makers named cyber threats as “top of mind concern”.
72 percent noted a successful cyberattack would likely be harmful to their business, 66 percent said they believe cyberattacks are prevalent on a business such as their own, and 45 percent said they believe their business is vulnerable to cyberattacks.     Good news – 62 percent of SMBs plan to increase their cybersecurity budgets in 2020.   
Why do we care?
At a macro level, the cyber threat from nation-states is real right now, and Iran is capable and certainly willing.    For those who are dismissive of this threat, election campaigns are small businesses and remember that an MSP was involved in the Clinton email server scandal.     This is a very real warning.
The data reports tell us a number of things that are very actionable.  Customers are aware of the problem, are concerned about the problem, and willing to spend money on the problem.    There’s also clear guidance, knowing that just the basics of hygiene will go a long way.   It’s boring to talk about patch management, but it’s not talked about enough based on its relative importance.
I can’t reconcile the landscape of hack after hack with the statements by vendors that their products work and solution providers that are delivering this as a solution with the data about breaches.   
Vendors, you talk a good game about security, but who is really doing a great job here, particularly when it comes to knowing the current situation and monitoring ongoing?   
Solution providers, this and data protection are the things that should keep you up at night, and I’d be demanding a lot more from your management technology here.  
And remember, the solution is not just technology, but training, regular reviews of defenses, and leveraging a technology provider.  
The opportunity is not just the tech, but in the consulting that goes with it.   This landscape is getting worse, not better, and customers have said they want the help.   Get out there and give it to them.
American Airlines uses Google Home for language translation

From Wednesday, Jan 8th's show: American Airlines announced this week at CES that they are testing using Google Assistant’s interpreter mode in airport lounges to help employees better communicate with those speaking a different language.
The airline says that its Premium Customer Service representatives will be able to use interpreter mode on Google Nest hubs but noted they will only use the mode when a multi-lingual employee isn’t available.
The airline has rolled out interpreter mode last week in its three Admirals Club locations at LAX.      If you want to try it yourself, the feature is available in both Google Home devices and began rolling out to iOS and Android Google Assistant apps in December.

Why do we care?

This is a great use of voice and technology.    Again, lots of bad news does need some of the good.    This is a practical application, and notably, taking what was an apparent consumer tech – the Google Home devices – and placing it in a business context. 
CES trends reviewed

Last week, I made predictions about trends and what to watch for from CES.  So what happened?  Which trends developed, and which didn't?
Live Stream for CES stories

This past week, MSP Radio went Live twice, with broadcasts to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.     The streams presented stories you might be interested in from CES that didn't make the podcast.  Follow on one of those platforms to get live-streamed coverage as it happens!.
Thursday's live stream of CES stories


The Business of Tech

Are you subscribing to the Business of Tech podcast?   Each day, the flood of technology news hits.  In an industry that always changes, finding focus on the important things is critical.   The Business of Tech podcast focuses on the news you need to know and why.   Subscribe now to get this 5 minute podcast in your favorite podcatcher.
Upcoming events!

Catch these upcoming educational events!
  • I'm presenting information for MSPs about what the financial backing of a vendor means for their strategy on January 16th at 12:00pm during CWDash's webinar.
  • I'm presenting what a MSP Profit and Loss statement looks like as education for vendors on ForzaDash's webinar on January 16th at 2:30pm.
  • Everyone is Angry At Tech!
    • Technology is changing all the time, but public perception of technology has changed even faster.  From the darling of society to recipient of public scorn, big tech has changed the conversation … and not for the better. What has happened to customers’ trust, and how does it change the way solution providers should position their services? What new services can be leveraged, and how can the apparent difficulties in the market be leveraged into real opportunity?

      This webinar will provide attendees with guidance for the new reality of customer perception by showcasing:

      • How the market has changed
      • What the pitfalls are
      • How to create new service opportunities to stand apart from the crowd
    • Webinar on Feb 5th, from 2pm to 3pm EST
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