Charles Leaver – The Security Industry Has To Have Strategic Alliances

Written By Charles Leaver

 

No one can resolve cybersecurity alone. No one solution business, no single provider, no one can take on the whole issue. To take on security needs cooperation between different players.

Often, those companies are at different levels of the service stack – some set up on endpoints, some within applications, others within network routers, others at the telco or the cloud.

Sometimes, those players each have a specific best-of-breed piece of the puzzle: one player specializes in email, others in crypto, others in disrupting the kill chain.

From the business consumer’s viewpoint, effective security requires assembling a set of tools and services into a working whole. Speaking from the suppliers’ viewpoint, effective security needs strategic alliances. Sure, each supplier, whether making hardware, composing software, or offering services, has its own products and copyright. Nevertheless, we all work better when we interact, to enable integrations and make life simple for our resellers, our integrators- and that end consumer.

Paradoxically, not just can vendors make more profit through strategic alliances, however end clients will save money at the same time. Why? Numerous reasons.

Clients do not squander their cash (and time) with products which have overlapping capabilities. Consumers do not need to lose money (and time) creating custom-made integrations. And consumers won’t squander profits (and time) attempting to debug systems that fight each other, such as by triggering extra alerts or hard-to-find incompatibilities.

It’s the Trifecta – Products, Services, and Channels

All 3 interact to meet the needs of the business customer, as well as benefit the suppliers, who can focus on doing what they do best, relying on tactical alliances to create total services out of jigsaw puzzle pieces.

Normally speaking, those services need more than easy APIs – which is where tactical alliances come in.

Consider the integration in between solutions (like a network risk scanner or Ziften’s endpoint visibility options) and analytics options. End clients don’t want to operate a dozen various control panels, and they do not want to manually correlate anomaly findings from a lot of different security tools. Strategic alliances between product suppliers and analytics services – whether on-site or in the cloud – make good sense for everybody. That includes for the channel, who can provide and support total options that are currently dialed in, already debugged, already documented, and will work with the least hassle possible.

Or consider the integration of solutions and managed security services providers (MSSPs). They want to provide prospective customers pre-packaged services, preferably which can run in their multi-tenant clouds. That implies that the products should be scalable, with synergistic license terms. They need to be well-integrated with the MSSP’s existing control panels and administrative control systems. And naturally, they have to feed into predictive analytics and occurrence response programs. The very best way to do that? Through tactical alliances, both horizontally with other product suppliers, and with major MSSPs as well.

What about significant value add resellers (VAR)? VARs require products that are simple to understand, easy to support, and easy to include into existing security deployments. This makes new solutions more enticing, more budget friendly, much easier to set up, easier to support – and reinforce the VAR’s client relationships.

Exactly what do they search for when adding to their solution portfolio? New solutions that have strategic alliances with their existing product offerings. If you don’t dovetail in to the VAR’s portfolio partners, well, you probably don’t fit in.

Two Examples: Fortinet and Microsoft

No one can fix cybersecurity alone, and that consists of giants like Fortinet and Microsoft.

Consider the Fortinet Fabric-Ready Partner Program, where technology alliance partners integrate with the Fortinet Security Fabric through Fabric APIs and are able to actively gather and share information to improve danger intelligence, boost overall hazard awareness, and widen danger response from end to end. As Fortinet describes in their Fortinet Fabric-Ready Partner Program Overview, “partner addition in the program signals to clients and the market at large that the partner has actually worked together with Fortinet and leveraged the Fortinet Fabric APIs to develop verified, end-to-end security options.”

Likewise, Microsoft is pursuing a comparable strategy with the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection program. Microsoft just recently picked only a few essential partners into this security program, stating, “We have actually spoken with our customers that they want protection and visibility into prospective threats on all of their device platforms and we have actually turned to partners to assist address this requirement. Windows Defender ATP provides security teams a single pane of glass for their endpoint security and now by teaming up with these partners, our clients can extend their ATP service to their whole install base.”

We’re the first to admit: Ziften cannot resolve security alone. Nobody can. The best way forward for the security market is to progress together, through strategic alliances combining item suppliers, service providers, and the channel. That way, we all win, suppliers, service companies, channel partners, and business clients alike.

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