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More Cloud Means More Security Sales

James Anderson**Editor’s Note: Register now for the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, the gathering place for the technology services community, April 10-13, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.**

Rising demand for cloud services has led to a rise in security demand.

Darktrace's Nicole EaganFive channel experts will discuss the security space on the Jive Big Stage at the upcoming Channel Partners Conference and Expo, April 10-13, in Las Vegas.

Nicole Eagan, CEO of Darktrace; Michael Goodenough, Omada Solutions North East Principal Architect; Vincent Lee, director of global security services for Verizon; Andy Singleton, director of security solutions engineering for Masergy; and David Singleton, Panda Security’s director of channel sales, will go discuss what the security market offers for partners.

We caught up with some of the panels to preview their session. The transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

Channel Partners: How does the security space look different from five years ago? What has changed?

Nicole Eagan: The threat landscape is changing rapidly; it’s no longer just about compromised websites or stolen data. Today’s threats are far more insidious, aiming to disrupt or undermine the very integrity of our data. These “trust attacks” target all sectors and company sizes. We’re also seeing the beginnings of a new generation of cyber warfare, which itself relies on AI technologies. These attackers use machine intelligence to enter an organization and learn how to blend in.{ad}

Omada Solutions' Michael GoodenoughThese sophisticated threats demand that defenders be equipped with self-learning technologies too. Rules and signatures are not sufficient on their own to combat these evolving attacks, as security technologies now must be able to defend against previously unknown threats. Against this backdrop, machine learning has become a buzzword in the security space. But there are surprisingly few technologies that are taking a fundamental approach to using machine learning, one that self-learns an organization’s “pattern of life” and establishes an understanding of normal behavior in order to spot abnormal activity as it emerges, even acting automatically to curb the threat.

Michael Goodenough: In the past five to 10 years there has been a giant push to cloud and building services around an extended infrastructure. The primary focuses have been hybrid data-center migrations, digital transformations and disaster recoveries. Today, security is the No. 1 concern for most companies — big and small. The heightened awareness is abundant and a part of almost everyone’s conversations at home and at the office. Each conversation leads to …

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… an undeniable fact that cyberattacks have grown exponentially and today companies have the ability to be preventive. Not only can they be proactive with their approach, but with the proper governance and compliance we ensure the future will have a measurable road map and standard.

Panda Security's David SingletonThe No. 1 change is that hackers and their communities have gotten smarter, and their tooling has improved. These cyberattackers have been leveraging technology advancements, penetrating services in the cloud and targeting every possible vulnerability. It’s time for our partners and customers to arm themselves with the same advancements and communities that will help to ensure their security. The question is, how can it be made simple enough to have a small team or consulting company be effective? The answer is, it can. However, to not take action is to be negligent, which exposes the company and its C-levels.

David Singleton: At a high level, the volume of the attacks has grown and the techniques being used are more sophisticated. Add to that the evolution of the workplace environment having more remote employees with multiple devices causing changes in what we call a “traditional network.” This has led to an evolution of antivirus solutions moving toward proactive protection rather than solely reactive.{ad}

CP: How can security help channel partners make more money?

NE: Cyberdefense is a top-of-mind priority across all industries and sectors. Organizations are now looking for a mode of security that can keep pace both with a sophisticated threat landscape and constantly evolving business networks. This increased enterprise demand for security presents a strong business opportunity for channel partners looking to expand their list of high-value offerings.

The best cyberdefense technologies are differentiators, setting apart both the channel partners that offer them and the enterprises that use them. As they evaluate vendors for their portfolios, particularly those approaches that rely on machine learning, partners should make sure they are asking the right questions: Is the technology proven — what businesses are using it right now? Can it be used on both on premises and in cloud environments? Is machine learning at the technology’s core, or is it merely used as a feature? Does it require model tuning? Can it go beyond detecting threats and start to automatically fight back? Channel partners who ensure their offerings can answer these questions are more competitive in the enterprise market.

MG: Channel partners are thriving in new cloud services. One area of new cloud services is in security, specifically at the network, the edge or VPN level. The next layer of security offerings are the identity and building services around that process. Security services can start with reviews that are as simple as a telecom bill review. The difference is, a security review would use a portal that identifies breaches or governance infractions. Partners are building services based on metrics and details built off a quality security solution like IAM, with a life cycle that embodies workflows and reporting and analytics, following governance requirements. Security is a natural evolution to the cloud and network, playing directly into the abilities of account managers, technical folks and their governing councils. We need to defend our data and the data of our customers.

DS: Managed services through solutions’ features frees time for customers. Optimizing their resources — solutions that offer control, management and security processes. Saving them time, giving them the ability to take on more tasks and work with more customers without a need for additional staff. Training programs and materials that offer in-depth understanding of solution features and target audience, resulting in intelligent conversation with customers. Assistance with marketing efforts reaching the right people. Offering a solution that adds to proactive security and inhibits malicious code and ransomware adding another revenue stream for channel partners.


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