Last year, VCs invested $3.5 billion in 400 security firms, up from 378 deals in 2015, according to CB Insights. If you think that pace is slacking off, you haven’t seen my inbox. To stand out, many security startups are looking to the channel, meaning partners need a way to vet new offerings. Customers may have dozens of security products installed already, so making the case for buying one more layer is a challenge.
That vetting process is the subject of a post by Kelly Shortridge, product manager for cross-platform detection capabilities at BAE Systems, titled. “First Principles of Building Security Products.” Shortridge argues for a set of core principles around enterprise security as the basis for building – and by extension, choosing to resell – products.
Also worth a read is a new cloud security survey by Barracuda that shows strong movement to cloud coupled with a woeful lack of understanding of the shared responsibility model. On average, the 1,300 respondents have nearly 40 percent of their infrastructures in the public cloud today and expect that to rise to 70 percent over the next five years. However, 71 percent said the public cloud provider was responsible for protecting customer data, and 66 percent said the provider was responsible for their applications.
This week saw some announcements by innovative, channel-focused security vendors looking to help you help customers protect their assets.
Zentera announced this week its CoIP Cloud-Ready Enclave product, available in the CenturyLink cloud and based on Zentera’s “Cloud over IP” architecture. The concept is to secure, manage and ease migrations to multi-cloud ecosystems by applying a virtual overlay network. The idea is that by overlaying a virtual security infrastructure, IT or a partner can apply consistent security policies no matter where applications reside. Zentera says the Cloud-Ready Enclave is agnostic in terms of the cloud and network and thus does not require changes to the underlying infrastructure, and it can be up and running in less than a day.
SailPoint at its Navigate conference in Austin (site of Channel Partners Evolution) announced that it will add artificial intelligence to its open identity platform, The company’s goals are ambitious — “provide customers with the visibility they need to understand the risk associated with user access, detect anomalous behavior which may be indicative of a breach, and to focus their governance controls to more efficiently and effectively manage identities.” But it’s not looking to do it all alone. The company, along with CyberArk, Exabeam, F5, Optiv Security, VMware and others is part of the new Identity Defined Security Alliance. The IDSA provides a handy integration framework that diagrams the capabilities and technologies that customers need to execute on identity and access management.
A good IAM strategy covers item No. 10 in Shortridge’s list: “Don’t trust people.”
Indegy helps partners protect industrial IoT and SCADA systems and announced that it was named a “Cool Vendor” by Gartner. The company has investments by Shlomo Kramer of Cato Networks and Gen. David Petraeus’ KKR institute. If you work with utilities or manufacturing firms, it’s likely they have OT systems that can’t be protected by general IT security technologies. The Indegy platform watches for anomalies that could indicate unauthorized access to critical systems.
Have you heard of ZeroFOX? The company’s SaaS platform offers through partners a way to scour posts, messages and accounts across LinkedIn, Facebook, Slack, Twitter, HipChat, Instagram, Reddit, Tumblr and YouTube as well as mobile app stores and the deep web to protect against phishing attacks, fraud, compliance violations and more.
Join us to learn more about the deep (and dark) web and why it matters to partners and customers at an education session on Day 2 of Channel Partners Evolution.
Other items that crossed my desk this week:
Big Switch Networks made some channel moves. It named Claudio Perugini its new VP worldwide channels; Perugini was formerly EVP, worldwide sales at LightCyber. Check out our Q&A for insights into his plans. It also announced that VAD and IT services provider GCI will distribute its Big Monitoring Fabric and Big Cloud Fabric products and facilitate use of open networking hardware from Edgecore. By combining open networking hardware from Edgecore. Jennifer Palbicke, channel sales director for GCI, told me that she sees the combination of white-box hardware and Big Switch’s SDN technology as a win for partners.
“GCI understands that the channel partner community is finding themselves challenged with public cloud, reducing their addressable markets,” said Palbicke. “Big Switch Networks offers the ability for enterprise customers to adopt Big Cloud Fabric as the foundation for privatized cloud and a software-defined data center. Additionally, with all the concerns in the cybersecurity market space, the technology of Big Secure Fabric provides VARs with an incremental revenue stream while offering their customers cost-effective cyber security monitoring.”
Microsoft launched dictation and video collaboration adds for Office. Dictate speech recognition is a free, downloadable add-on for Word, Outlook and PowerPoint that uses Cortana to convert text to speech. Microsoft Stream replaces the previous video service and allows for collaborative creation of video content. Current Office 365 customers will find Stream in the Office app launcher.
Google this week added an AI-powered job search function, though it isn’t (yet) allowing employers to add listings, preferring to work with Monster.com, LinkedIn, CareerBuilder and similar sites. However, there is help available for partners, masters or distributors that have a large volume of listings. The Google Cloud Jobs AP!, now available, will let you plug into Google’s search and machine-learning capabilities to improve the experience of job seekers who visit your site, including estimating commute time. You will need to store your job listings on the Google Cloud Platform.
Ingram Micro, recognizing more enterprise and verticals use of Apple products, announced a deal with training provider LearnQuest to help channel partners better support iOS and Mac devices. In addition, an attendee at the disti’s recent SMB Alliance Unplugged event relates how professional services leader Greg Richey spoke candidly with the 200-plus partners in attendance, encouraging them to take greater advantage of training, assessments, strategy planning, IT asset disposition, advanced solutions and other enablement offerings. Richey’s message: “Say ‘YES, we can’ to the customer.” We’re told to watch for the community to launch a new campaign called “YESMB” in the days ahead.