It’s no secret that security threats loom large for partners today. As organizations migrate more business-critical applications to the cloud, more vulnerabilities are exposed to bad actors and more malicious attacks occur. In this fast-shifting context where the rise of remote work is synonymous with the rise of weak defense, cybersecurity is paramount in preserving reputation.
Operational resilience is suddenly a key business metric as leaders increasingly look to infrastructure that’s reliable, resilient and agile. Most businesses fall short of this benchmark, which is concerning. Almost three-quarters of CISOs indicate that their organization encountered leaks of sensitive data during the pandemic and that they plan to spend more on insider risk technology going forward.
As a result, cybersecurity presents a double-edged sword for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) partners in that there are considerable risks to navigate and—when done right—massive growth opportunities.
In step one of this blog series about the Ingram Micro Cloud IaaS partner journey, I wrote about the importance of effectively leveraging cloud with optimization. In step two, I’ll focus on how to help partners navigate this moment to best “secure” their growth in cloud.
Minimizing risk in the security journey
As the digital environment continues to grow, so do cybersecurity considerations. Large-scale remote workforces now require advanced access and data governance management, while bad actors increasingly take advantage of weakened cloud architectures. The new normal equates to new complexity in the cloud landscape, and demands best practices in the management of access, sensitive data and threat protection.
Arguably, cybersecurity is far more important today than in years gone by. Neither partners nor their customers can simply implement one solution or one backup and consider themselves secure. Instead, both partners and customers require a holistic approach that ensures infrastructure stays safe and hackers stay out.
Cybersecurity is a journey in and of itself, and it’s one where the risks can be significantly minimized for partners and their customers by sticking to the following five principles:
- Identify: Know where data sits across various dispersed systems and block visibility and easy access to relevant intelligence.
- Protect: Execute proper safeguards to guarantee the delivery of infrastructure solutions.
- Detect: Define and execute the proper tasks to determine the incidence of a cybersecurity event.
- Respond: Implement the proper activities to do something in case of a detected cybersecurity event.
- Recover: Restore any service that suffered from a cybersecurity event and reduce the operational impact.
In the security journey, these essential control criteria of the cybersecurity framework should be part of any partner's portfolio to protect privacy and data security, and more importantly, ensure a successful customer relationship.
The path to a more secure future
Customers in this day and age need help navigating the security landscape. More and more customers are on the hunt for trusted partners who can offer guidance to help them take advantage of the latest, most innovative and advanced security services, and provide services that safeguard the entire infrastructure and all endpoints. At the same time, customers are also often looking to partners to manage their security fabric and take the pressure off internal IT resources.
So, despite the considerable risk of today’s landscape, partners find themselves in the perfect position to take advantage of the shifting context and become much-needed cybersecurity advisors. By expanding their solution offering and helping customers secure their infrastructure and balance costs, partners can actually place themselves front and center of the security ecosystem.
All told, there’s a great opportunity to capitalize on a fast-growing market, outcompete other service providers, increase margins and create new upsell opportunities.
Best of all, expanding into cybersecurity isn’t as hard as it seems. Even though transformation efforts are often perceived as complex and burdensome, partners will find plenty of offerings from the hyperscalers to help along the way—ranging from identity access management, backup and disaster recovery to complete hybrid security management systems.
As security threats mount, the demand for protective solutions will increase, helping those partners who are ready to seize the day to realize stickier propositions in the future.
Secured growth for partners and customers
In short, specializing in security not only bolsters the reputational standing of partners, but also helps them achieve more upsell with less effort. Whether they want to add value with professional services, offer end-to-end support, boost adoption or answer additional security concerns, partners can use the second step of the IaaS partner journey to create the ultimate differentiator in a crowded market.
Along with step one, Optimize, partners must know the ins and outs of security before moving further down the road toward IaaS exceptionalism. This is because the cloud foundation must be strong and safe before partners are firing on all cylinders in the more intensive later stages of Transform and Innovate.
At Ingram Micro Cloud, we’ve seen too many partners consider the cloud transition as the end destination. That’s why we designed the IaaS partner journey as a staged approach to a hyperscale environment, which serves to support partners and enable the right solutions with training, services and content.
At this point of the journey, partners should be operating with an eye to secure their growth and that of their customers. For those who can successfully achieve this, join me for part three: Transform.