Companies are looking for IT security resellers with technical know-how

Vendors can offer managed services to meet customer cyber defense needs.

Elena Zykova

The COVID-19 crisis has forced companies to rethink their business operations and priorities. Many companies have moved their employees to home offices and remote locations, away from secure IT perimeters and office networks. Additionally, digitalization, cloudification, and regulatory compliance are driving businesses to seek out new tools and new ways of working.

Through it all, cyberattacks continue to plague organizations. Attackers have taken advantage of the crisis, using pandemic-related stories to attract clicks on malware-laden attachments. Indeed, 51% of malware in the first half of the year spread through email, with the majority using COVID-19-related themes, according to the company’s Attack Landscape Report. Attackers have also exploited technologies that enable remote working, such as phishing Office 365 credentials and targeting vulnerable Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) ports.

Despite — or perhaps partly because of — the upheaval, 81% of companies plan to increase their security budget over the next year, according to an F-Secure survey. When asked specifically how COVID-19 has impacted their budget plans, only 14% of companies indicated that their security budget would be reduced due to the crisis. With legions of employees telecommuting from outside the network perimeter and potentially working from devices that aren’t managed by the company, security teams need extra support.

For the majority of businesses, at least some of this support will be provided by value-added resellers and managed service providers. According to the same survey, 65% of organizations use some form of managed security service to improve the security of their business. When asked why they value the services, some of the top reasons cited include 24/7 availability, the relationship of trust companies have with their provider, and the lack of sufficient in-house expertise to use internal products effectively. The latter is also a top reason why 69% of companies seek a security service provider with better technical know-how and above-average security knowledge, according to company market research.

Relationship based on trust

The truth is that when looking for a vendor, companies don’t just compare prices and technology features. They are looking for a relationship of trust with a partner who can provide not only technology, but also security information, contextual intelligence and actionable advice on alerts and threats. Companies are looking for partners who can help them navigate the complexity and craft the right security strategy for their business.

This demand for specialized expertise extends to all sizes of organization. Small businesses naturally need more IT security support, but even larger companies that have more in-house staff still use certain elements of security services to augment what they already have. They are looking for vendors they can contact when needed, who can provide guidance on what an alert or incident means, as well as help with remediation processes, policies, and plans.

Become trusted advisors

This is where IT security service providers can shine: by offering state-of-the-art services that put your business in the position of a trusted advisor. With product licensing earning razor-thin margins, it’s the services that will allow resellers to grow their business – services such as vulnerability management, detection and response, and IT security management. In fact, businesses with subscription businesses are growing six times faster than businesses without subscriptions, according to the September 2020 Zuora Subscription Economic Index report.

Even providers who don’t yet have the security know-how or expertise can realize the benefits of offering services with technology and giving customers the option to subscribe or pay for it. advance. Building or expanding a service portfolio can be difficult for traditional license resellers. To support partners in this critical shift, technology vendors should consider offering free consulting to enable partners and support their business transformation every step of the way. Enabling elements should include, among other things, world-class training and skills development programs, service production workshops and guidance on how to deliver security as a service using their technology, rethink the support they offer partners to move from reactive to pending or proactive engagement or even co-service together.

Difficult times tend to force companies to focus more on their core business and optimize in all possible areas, outsourcing functions that are not their core competencies. In this time of transition, IT resellers should take advantage of the opportunity to develop their cybersecurity skills with the support of a trusted cybersecurity vendor. Vendors can assume the role not only of technology provider for their customers, but also of trusted cybersecurity advisor offering managed services to meet or augment their customers’ cyber defense needs. By doing so, resellers can transform their business for growth in a newly reshaped business climate.

Elena Zykova is director and head of global channel operations at the global cybersecurity company F-Secure. Elena focused on creating and aligning go-to-market and channel strategies, as well as building and implementing the frameworks that ensure their successful execution. She is passionate about building the ecosystem and enabling its players to succeed in becoming trusted advisors to corporate clients. She received her Masters of Engineering in Industrial Management from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Finland. You can follow her on LinkedIn and @FSecure on Twitter.

Comments are closed.