Written By Chuck Leaver
Nobody can solve cybersecurity alone. No single product company, no single service provider, nobody can tackle the whole thing. To take on security needs cooperation between various companies.
Often, those players are at various levels of the service stack – some install on endpoints, some within applications, others within network routers, others at the telco or the cloud.
In some cases, those players each have a particular best-of-breed component: one company specializes in e-mail, others in crypto, others in disrupting the kill chain.
From the enterprise customer’s point of view, efficient security needs putting together a set of services and tools into a working whole. Speaking from the suppliers’ viewpoint, efficient security needs strategic alliances. Sure, each supplier, whether making hardware, composing software, or providing services, has its own products and intellectual property. Nevertheless, all of us work much better when we interact, to allow 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, but end customers will conserve profits at the same time. Why? Numerous factors.
Consumers don’t waste their cash (and time) with solutions which have overlapping capabilities. Consumers do not need to waste profits (and time) creating customized integrations. And clients will not lose cash (and time) attempting to debug systems that battle each other, such as by triggering extra alerts or hard to find incompatibilities.
The Ultimate Trifecta – Products, Solutions, and Channels
All three work together to satisfy the needs of the business consumer, as well as benefit the vendors, who can focus on doing what they do best, relying on strategic alliances to create total solutions from jigsaw puzzle pieces.
Normally speaking, those solutions require more than simple APIs – which is where strategic alliances are so important.
Think about the integration in between solutions (like a network risk scanner or Ziften’s endpoint visibility options) and analytics solutions. End customers do not wish to operate a dozen various dashboards, and they do not wish to manually correlate anomaly findings from a lot of various security tools. Strategic alliances between product suppliers and analytics options – whether on-site or in the cloud – make sense for everyone. That includes for the channel, who can offer and support complete options that are already dialed in, already debugged, already documented, and will deal with the least difficulty possible.
Or consider the integration of solutions and managed security services providers (MSSPs). They wish to use potential clients pre-packaged options, preferably which can operate in their multi-tenant clouds. That suggests that the products must be scalable, with synergistic license terms. They must be well-integrated with the MSSP’s existing control panels and administrative control systems. And obviously, they need to feed into predictive analytics and occurrence response programs. The best way to do that? Through strategic alliances, both horizontally with other solution vendors, and with major MSSPs too.
What about significant value-added resellers (VAR)? VARs need solutions that are easy to understand, easy to support, and simple to include into existing security deployments. This makes brand-new solutions more attractive, more cost effective, much easier to install, simpler to support – and strengthen the VAR’s customer relationships.
Exactly what do they look for when contributing to their solution portfolio? Brand-new products that have tactical alliances with their existing product offerings. If you do not fit in to the VAR’s portfolio partners, well, you probably do not fit in.
Two Examples: Fortinet and Microsoft
Nobody can fix cybersecurity alone, and that includes giants like Fortinet and Microsoft.
Think About the Fortinet Fabric-Ready Partner Program, where technology alliance partners integrate with the Fortinet Security Fabric via Fabric APIs and have the ability to actively gather and share info to improve danger intelligence, improve general threat awareness, and widen hazard response from end to end. As Fortinet describes in their Fortinet Fabric-Ready Partner Program Introduction, “partner addition in the program signals to clients and the market as a whole that the partner has teamed up with Fortinet and leveraged the Fortinet Fabric APIs to establish verified, end-to-end security solutions.”
Similarly, Microsoft is pursuing a comparable strategy with the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection program. Microsoft recently chose just a few essential partners into this security program, saying, “We have actually spoken with our customers that they desire protection and visibility into prospective threats on all their device platforms and we’ve turned to partners to help resolve this need. 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 very first to confess: Ziften can’t solve security alone. No one can. The very best way forward for the security industry is to move on together, through strategic alliances combining product suppliers, service companies, and the channel. That way, all of us win, vendors, service providers, channel partners, and enterprise clients alike.