Blog · 23 Nov 2021

Delivering a next-generation firewall to the global indirect market

As a telecoms reseller or systems integrator, you need to support your customers from the evolving threat landscape with a next-generation firewall.

Natalie Walker
Senior Manager, Managed Security Services, BT

In July 2016, the UK’s National Crime Unit found cybercrime had overtaken ‘traditional’ crime for the first time, with over two million incidents of computer misuse that year.

And in 2020, cyberattacks in the UK had their busiest year on record. But it’s not just the volume that’s increasing, it’s also the persistence and complexity of the threats. Organised nation state activity and advanced persistent threats are on the rise, as some of the world’s top organisations are now finding that up to 90% of their site traffic is coming from malicious botnets.

In many ways, things were simpler before the pandemic - before widespread adoption of remote working and use of the public cloud. Back then, many organisations could rely on a strong perimeter around their network. Now, they’re dealing with a much more fluid and ever-changing landscape and a more flexible and distributed workforce that has extended the corporate network far beyond the data centre and reach of traditional security controls.

Faced with these challenges, businesses of all sizes are having to re-evaluate and update their defences. But how do you control and secure a moving target?

Firewall management is increasingly complex and costly

Next generation firewall solutions are capable of integrating into network platforms, to offer effective intrusion prevention. Through continuous inspection of inbound and outbound traffic patterns, they can even detect suspicious code and bot-infected machines, and if necessary, use sandboxing to execute them in a secure environment away from the rest of the network.

But managing a global firewall on its own can be complex and costly for enterprise customers who often turn to telecoms resellers and systems integrators to effectively manage their firewall solutions around the world. But in this rapidly evolving cybersecurity environment, trying to manage your customers’ global firewall architecture is a big ask.

For a start, their estates are now more dispersed and complex, which requires more sophisticated security features and time-consuming configuration. Then there’s the information security regulations, which generally vary from region to region, and the never-ending maintenance as you keep up with new policies, firewall configurations and rule sets to remain compliant. On top of all of this, if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, you run the risk of programming conflicting rule sets which create accidental back door entry points.

Look elsewhere for support

Realistically, you’d need to employ a substantial team of skilled security experts and develop a strong set of robust solutions to meet all of these new and continuously expanding requirements. And, in the midst of a global cybersecurity skills shortage, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to attract, train and retain the right skills. You need a robust and skilled team with the resources, experience and scale across the globe to share the significant responsibility of delivering managed firewall services.

This often means looking for a provider with a set of road-tested, multi-tenanted solutions from a range of reliable vendors to serve your customers. You’d be able to use their depth of experience and established connections in the global cybersecurity community, you’d receive reliable threat intelligence from a global ecosystem of partners and get proactive service management to stay ahead of the next zero-day threat. They should also have a strong compliance framework to help keep up with regulations across each region. This way, you can rest assured that your customers’ security posture is continuously improving, while you focus on your core business activities.

Global coverage, experience, and scale

We understand that a cyberattack can happen anytime – so it’s not about ‘if’, it’s about ‘when’. And, because our own network gets over 6,500 attacks everyday – we’re always watching, learning, predicting and responding to threats to protect both ourselves and our customers across the globe.

By offering our indirect channel partners a managed firewall service for their customers, they can benefit from 70 years of expertise dealing with major incidents and managing the threat environment, 3,000 dedicated and on hand security experts, and solutions from vendors rigorously tested by our cyber assessment lab. Our managed offering even has three service tiers depending on the level of requirement for your customers, at that time.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can professionally manage and monitor your customers’ next-generation firewall, please get in touch.