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Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

Techaisle survey shows The Rise of Generative-AI in SMBs and Midmarket Firms

According to recent survey data from Techaisle, the use of Generative-AI is rapidly increasing within SMBs and midmarket firms. The survey found that AI has become a priority for 53% of small businesses, up from 41% in April 2023. Among core-midmarket firms, 87% prioritize AI, up from 75% in April 2023. Similarly, 89% of upper-midmarket firms prioritize AI, compared to 87% in April 2023. Overall, 60% of SMBs and 84% of midmarket firms are either using or planning to use Generative-AI within the next six months.

The survey also found that between 40% and 45% of midmarket firms have developers and architects specializing in AI/ML, DevOps, hybrid cloud, and app modernization. Additionally, between 35% and 45% of these firms plan to increase their investments in Edge computing, Containers, Open-source technologies, app development, and analytics. Most notably, 72% of midmarket firms are increasing their in-house hiring for Generative-AI.

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The Cost of Cybersecurity Breaches for SMBs and Midmarket Firms is huge

A global research study of 6,240 SMBs and midmarket firms found that IT security is a top priority for these organizations. 85% of SMBs and 100% of midmarket firms ranked IT security as a top priority, and 61% of these firms are increasing their IT security spending by more than 8%, a higher percentage than overall IT spending. The study also revealed that 56% of SMBs and 88% of upper midmarket firms experienced at least one cyberattack in the past year. As a result, preventing cyberattacks is a priority for 64% of firms.

According to the Techaisle survey, cybersecurity breaches can be costly for SMBs (1-999 employees), with an average loss of US$1.2 million in data, productivity, compliance and regulatory expenses, and staffing costs. Upper-midmarket firms (1000-4999 employees) suffer even more significant losses, with an average cost of US$28.6 million per breach.

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Techaisle Study Finds Cybersecurity Breaches Cost SMBs and Midmarket Firms Millions

According to a survey of 2035 businesses conducted by Techaisle, cybersecurity breaches cost SMBs (1-999 employees) an average of US$1.2 million in data, productivity, compliance and regulatory expenses, and staffing costs. In contrast, upper-midmarket firms (1000-4999 employees) suffered an average loss of US$28.6 million. The research also revealed that 56% of SMBs and 88% of upper midmarket firms experienced at least one cyberattack in the past year.

SMBs and midmarket firms recognize that a security breach can have significant business implications. When asked about the potential impact of a breach, 54% of firms stated that it would damage their customers’ privacy, 49% believed it would erode customer trust in their business, and 44% saw it as damaging to their company’s reputation. Nearly one-quarter reported that a breach would have a substantial negative impact on their bottom line. Security is not just an issue but also a critical factor in defending against threats to trust, compliance, and financial viability.

Security is a critical concern for SMBs and midmarket firms. While technology is essential for productivity, growth, and profitability, it also exposes businesses to potentially devastating security breaches. Many SMB firms practice “security through obscurity,” hoping that attacks will target larger organizations while they keep a low profile. However, with enough hackers, scammers, and cybercriminals to go around, every conscientious SMB executive must address security threats and take action to safeguard their business against other threats, such as loss of customer trust, compliance with laws and regulations, and loss of financial solvency.

Techaisle survey indicates that SMBs have IT security on their agendas, with 85% of SMBs and 100% of upper midmarket firms considering it a critical concern. A closer look at the findings shows that other important issues for SMBs, such as cloud and hybrid work, cannot be implemented without an effective security approach.

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IBM’s Transformation of Watson into watsonx and Launch of QRadar Suite: Enhancing Security and AI Capabilities

I have been a regular attendee of IBM Think for many years. The recently held IBM Think 2023 was a defining moment in more ways than one. First, IBM presented a cohesive narrative around Open Hybrid Cloud, Security, AI, and Ecosystem that resonated with customers and partners. Second, IBM demonstrated its commitment to helping companies leverage AI by introducing watsonx. This platform includes foundation models, generative AI, and a governance toolkit. Finally, at its recent Think event, IBM emphasized the impact of ChatGPT and AI on businesses and demonstrated the capabilities of watsonx. The company also highlighted the importance of its partner ecosystem and announced plans to invest in and expand its network to double its revenues. In this article, I will discuss several strategic initiatives that are likely to make a significant impact. In particular, I will delve into the details of the new QRadar suite, the generative AI capabilities of watsonx, and IBM’s efforts to empower partner success.

The rise in remote work and global interconnectivity of devices has brought significant changes and challenges to cybersecurity. Organizations are dealing with complex IT systems that require better visibility, threat detection, and incident response capabilities. Adopting cloud technology, especially hybrid cloud environments, has further complicated the situation. Security teams need help to secure public-facing applications running in the cloud and ensure all applications are up to date.

There is a growing demand for gathering more security data to enhance visibility. However, data collection can be costly and complicated, particularly when transferring it between different cloud platforms. In addition, organizations deploy multiple security tools to protect their new cloud infrastructure, adding to the challenges faced by security professionals.

Organizations are setting up enhanced Security Operations Centers (SOCs) to address these challenges. However, SOC professionals often face overwhelming workloads and require user-friendly tools that can be integrated with different security products. In addition, manual investigation of threats slows down their response time. To address these challenges, IBM has introduced a range of security solutions, including the IBM QRadar Suite.

QRadar Suite: Overview

The QRadar Suite is a subscription-based (SaaS) offering that combines AI-enhanced versions of IBM's existing threat detection and response solutions into a comprehensive global product. It represents a significant advancement and expansion of the QRadar brand, encompassing all critical technologies related to threat detection, investigation, and response. The original QRadar technology was integrated into IBM's portfolio after the acquisition of Q1 Labs in 2011. The new QRadar Suite goes beyond traditional security information and event management (SIEM) capabilities, aiming to provide a unified experience for security management. Its goal is to assist organizations in managing extended detection and response (EDR/XDR) capabilities, SIEM functionalities, and Security Orchestration Automation and Response (SOAR) in cybersecurity.

In addition, IBM has enhanced the suite's capabilities via strategic acquisitions. For example, the inclusion of SOAR capabilities results from the purchase of Resilient in 2016, while the EDR capabilities are attributed to the addition of ReaQta in 2021. Additionally, the QRadar Suite includes a new product, QRadar Log Insights, a cloud-based tool for security log management and federated search and investigation.

Standout Elements: Unified Interface, Automated Investigation, and Flexible Purchase

The QRadar Suite stands out due to three key features: a unified interface, automated investigation capabilities, and flexible purchase options.

Firstly, the suite has been developed in collaboration with security analysts, resulting in a unified and modernized interface that centralizes capabilities and workflows across IBM QRadar and 3rd party solutions. The Unified Analyst Experience (UAX) centralizes insights across both IBM and 3rd Party security tools, not just IBM products. It does this through its “Federated Search” capability. This consistent interface assists analysts throughout their investigation, response, and threat-hunting workflows across EDR/XDR, SIEM, SOAR, and Security Log Management (SLM). In addition, it empowers them to navigate the attack chain swiftly and efficiently, enhancing their response effectiveness.

Secondly, the suite includes Threat Investigator, an AI-powered automated investigation feature that helps manage and prioritize threat alerts by providing comprehensive details about threats and recommending automated response actions for quick mitigation. By automating the data mining processes across various security systems, Threat Investigator reduces the manual effort required for alert investigation, enabling faster response times. The suite also combines essential threat detection, research, and response technologies. Built on an open hybrid cloud platform (OpenShift), it enables extensive interoperability with over 900 pre-built integrations and has a comprehensive partner ecosystem. Leveraging MITRE and SIGMA natively, the suite allows security teams to adapt and keep pace with attackers seamlessly.

Thirdly, it offers flexible purchase options. Customers can obtain individual components separately or as a comprehensive suite. While most components are delivered as a service through AWS, the SIEM component is initially present on the IBM Cloud. It becomes available on AWS at the end of June, allowing for streamlined deployment, enhanced visibility, and seamless integration across cloud environments and data sources. In addition, the modular design of the suite enables customers to start using it with their desired products and easily add additional components as needed.

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