It is interesting to note that in most economies a significant percentage of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is actually generated by small and mid-sized businesses. Why is this relevant to information security you might ask? SANS was recently asked if there are existing providers of IT security services to this market? If not, what would be the prerequisites to starting and running one? My response follows:
Yes, I am aware of some businesses that provide IT Security services to SOHO, small, and mid-sized organizations. They tend to be rather small themselves and servicing a local area. The skills and certifications they have varies widely from none to quite advanced. Some are extensions of an existing computer repair shop for example that is branching out. Others are
actual IT Security professionals that are attempting to tap into this market area.
I would expect that the skills required would tend to consist of Intrusion Detection, Incident Response, Firewalls,
Anti-Malware, as well as general network and systems security. Certifications might include GCIA, GCIH, GCFW, and other more generic or vendor specific ones.
In my experience most small businesses do not have competent or mature IT support, the probability of them having IT Security is slim to none. The businesses owners might not perceive the threats, or do not believe they can afford to do anything about it.
One of the bigger hurdles such a provider might face is scalability while remaining financially viable.
Which brings us to an important question. If these small businesses are critical to our national economies and ongoing growth, are they adequately protected against attack that may target them? What about collateral damage from bots and other malware? Do they have the people and technologies required to defend their computers, networks, and information assets?
A question to the SANS Internet Storm Center readers is, what can be done for small business?
Please let us know wht you think using the comments below, or the contact form http://isc.sans.edu/contact.html
Adrien de Beaupr
I will be teaching SANS Sec560 in Montreal this September, and Sec542 in Vancouver this December.
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