Blog · 09 Nov 2021

Helping channel partners to secure their customers’ infrastructure

Tapping into a partner’s existing cybersecurity portfolio is an increasingly popular way to protect customers and open up new revenue streams.

Michael Wolkowicz
VP cybersecurity for the America's, BT

As a telecoms reseller or systems integrator, you’ll know that cybersecurity has shot up your customers’ agendas in recent months as they look for ways to operate safely in a rapidly shifting world.

They’re probably turning to you for answers, but are you set up to support them?

The security challenges are stacking up 

Although they accept that digital transformation is essential, your customers may not be ready for how it expands their threat landscape. Going digital means they need to protect so much more than a traditional flat network with its clear perimeters. Now, they’re grappling with an increasingly complex estate with more fluid boundaries. They’re dealing with the security implications of extra entry points to their network, from mobile, cloud and SaaS-based applications, to the sensors and edge devices that come with 5G and AI. It’s a massive undertaking, and there’s a very real risk of significant gaps in their security.

And cyber attackers are on the hunt for these gaps. Your customers are facing a constant wave of ingenious global security threats that exploit every possible weak point. In the last two years, 84% of business leaders, employees and consumers said they’d experienced a security incident. Your customers are increasingly aware that new avenues of attack are everywhere: stolen identities, systems held to ransom, phishing scams to spoofed Calling Line Identity (CLI) and network perimeter breaches are just the beginning. And the cost of these attacks is high - not only in terms of monetary impact - but in terms of brand and reputation.

The bottom line is there’s a new appetite for better cybersecurity. Your customers are doubting their current set ups and are eager to explore different ways to protect themselves. Three quarters (78%) of organisations currently lack confidence in their company’s cybersecurity posture, prompting 91% of them to increase their 2021 security budgets.

Are you ready to step in with cybersecurity solutions?

As a result, enterprise customers are looking to telecoms resellers and systems integrators to deliver innovative cybersecurity approaches to futureproof their digital infrastructure across the globe. With so much going on in their network environment, there’s a renewed focus on monitoring and remediation, and your customers are looking for effective, low maintenance ways to manage their cybersecurity.

Talking to our channel partners, I’m aware that delivering on this can be a big ask, and not something that’s easy to deliver single-handedly. Many telecoms resellers and systems integrators are feeling the pinch of the cybersecurity skills shortage and finding their in-house expertise is challenged by the sheer range and scope of the cybersecurity landscape at the moment. They’re also facing lengthy development times to get a product to market. Add into all this the complexity of the regulatory environment and, potentially, limited technological capabilities, and keeping your customers secure is a daunting prospect.

They’re identifying areas where external partners can add value and share the significant responsibility of delivering cybersecurity services. It’s allowing them to raise the profile of their cybersecurity offering with customers, showing them ways to protect their organisations through digitisation, the move to the cloud and new ways of working. It’s also opening up fresh opportunities to create ongoing relationships and stickiness with their customers.

Partnership is the key to solving your customers’ security challenges

Combining partnership and shared responsibility is the most viable route forward, but what type of partnership will best fit your needs?

I know some telecom resellers and systems integrators have turned to partnerships with security vendors to fill their portfolio gaps – with limited success. It tends to be a CPE-led arrangement where it’s easy to buy the products, but the resourcing and management behind them remains an issue. It also runs the risk of leaving end customers exposed, because cybersecurity is more likely to be considered as a silo, rather than as a holistic service that runs through every aspect of the business.

Others are looking for more, wanting to be able to tap into an established global cybersecurity managed service that leverages both existing vendor and advisory bases. They want to be able to piggy-back off a large corporation’s sight lines to protect their customers on a day-to-day basis and use their perspective to build a long-term cybersecurity relationship that will last beyond a simple product sell.

A great example of a solution that can protect your customers and strengthen your relationship with them is a Security Event and Incident Management (SEIM) service. Monitoring and remediation is a real focus for organisations right now, but it’s an expensive capability for providers to set up and takes a lot of resource to procure, staff and proactively monitor. Feedback from our channel partners is that partnering with us for SEIM is proving to be a good door opener to productive relationships with their customers.

Let’s build a productive partnership

We offer our channel partners a simple way to expand their cybersecurity offering, combining a broad ecosystem of suppliers with a comprehensive, highly experienced management wrap.

Our 3,000 global security experts use unique tools and insights to prioritise, validate and protect against the threats that really matter to your customers’ businesses. Through our global security operations centres we defend ourselves and our direct and indirect customers from over 6,500 cyberattacks each day. This, combined with our role supporting some of the world’s largest companies, nation-states, and critical national infrastructures, gives us a unique perspective on cybercrime – a viewpoint that’s ready to help your customers move from a reactive security approach to a proactive management stance.   

Start to explore the possibilities for building new opportunities with your customers.