Weekly News Roundup: Around The Channel

Vade Gets Ahead of Tax Season Phishing

Are you and your clients ready for tax season scams? Vade is. The provider of AI-powered threat detection and response has rolled out seven new spear phishing algorithms for its email security suite, Vade for M365, to improve the detection of W2, payroll, and banking fraud.

Using a new method that improves the confidence of its spear-phishing detection engine, Vade is leveraging threat samples created by AI and human resources.

Vade has been “doing AI models and analyzing emails using AI for years now, not just last year” with the focus on ChatGPT, says Michael Posey, lead channel sales engineer from North America. The company leverages several large language models (generative AI), but Posey says they’ve had the most success with GPT 3.5 Turbo.

“The only way that you can really stay ahead of something is to leverage the same technology that’s being used against what you’re trying to protect against, so leveraging AI to fight AI,” he says. “It’s computers fighting computers, if you will, but we do so in the sense that we’re creating new models to really define and test and identify new threats, but also to reduce the false positives and false negatives.”

W2 fraud, which surges during the U.S. tax season, occurs when attackers attempt to fraudulently obtain employee W2s. In the Vade user base of more than 1.4 billion protected mailboxes worldwide, “we’ve already seen a 130% increase between December and January just for W2 fraud,” Posey says. With the new algorithms, Vade says it’s already seeing a 50% increase in confidence of its spear-phishing detection engine.

Posey says Vade’s differentiator in the email protection market is its dataset. “We’re lucky to have one of the largest data sets in the world in terms of just email security, over 4 billion mailboxes. So, we have a very large repository of finding actual real-life examples, and then being able to reproduce those examples using AI just adds to the mix of what we can do with our repository of messages and data from around the world. We’re able to see these attacks and react to them faster than what most are able to see.”

For MSPs, Posey says the value add is “hopefully they spend less time supporting their customers on an email security product, and hopefully we can take care of most of the heavy lifting of taking care of their customers a so that they don’t have to spend those hours and hours remediating messages through different platforms through PowerShell or other tools.”

Tech Industry Still Hanging Helped Wanted Signs, Especially For AI

Despite some recent high-profile layoffs, the unemployment rate for tech occupations remains at 2.3%, below the national rate of 3.7%, according to analysis by industry association CompTIA, based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) jobs report.

CompTIA’s analysis shows that employers listed more than 392,000 active job postings for tech occupations, with nearly 178,000 postings added last month. Job postings in artificial intelligence or requiring AI skills increased by about 2,000 from December to January, to 17,479. And after several months of decline, the number of job postings offering hybrid, remote, or work-from-home options exceeded 30,000, an increase of about 5,000 from December.

Hot markets are in Dallas, Washington, New York, Boston, Atlanta and Chicago, according to the CompTIA analysis.

N-Able’s MSP Horizons Report Identifies Top Growth Areas for MSPs

The inaugural MSP Horizons Report from N-able, with research conducted by channel analyst firm Canalys, finds that 64% of MSPs surveyed expect to grow their managed services revenue by more than 10% this year. The report identifies the top growth areas as cloud infrastructure, managed detection and response, endpoint management, network security, endpoint security, and vulnerability scanning. The research also projects that demand for compliance services will grow as end customers grapple with cyber insurance and regulations.

The top challenge for MSPs in 2024 will be new customer acquisition, according to the report, followed by customer budgets, bringing in skilled staff, business model challenges, and upskilling existing staff.

These findings align fairly closely with the recent MSP Success reader survey.

Colleen Frye is executive editor of MSP Success. A veteran of the B2B publishing industry, she has been covering the channel for the last 17 years.



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