Security Problems Need Resolving Through Strategic Alliances – Charles Leaver

Written By Charles Leaver


Nobody can fix cybersecurity alone. No single solution business, no single company, nobody can take on the entire thing. To deal with security requires cooperation between different players.

Often, those companies are at different levels of the solution stack – some set up on endpoints, some within applications, others within network routers, others at the telco or the cloud.

Often, those players each have a particular best of breed piece of the puzzle: one player concentrates on e-mail, others in crypto, others in disrupting the kill chain.

From the business customer’s perspective, efficient security needs assembling a set of tools and services into a working whole. Speaking from the vendors’ viewpoint, effective security requires tactical alliances. Sure, each vendor, whether making hardware, composing software applications, or providing services, has its own solutions and intellectual property. Nevertheless, we all work much better when we work together, to enable integrations and make life simple for our resellers, our integrators- and that end consumer.

Paradoxically, not just can vendors make more cash through tactical alliances, but end customers will conserve cash at the same time. Why? A number of factors.

Clients do not waste their cash (and time) with products which have overlapping capabilities. Customers don’t have to waste profits (and time) creating customized integrations. And clients won’t waste cash (and time) attempting to debug systems that fight each other, such as by causing extra notifications or hard to find incompatibilities.

It’s the Trifecta – Products, Solutions, and Channels

All three work together to satisfy the requirements of the business customer, and also benefit the suppliers, who can focus on doing what they do best, relying on tactical alliances to produce complete services out of jigsaw puzzle pieces.

Generally speaking, those services require more than easy 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 solutions) and analytics options. End customers don’t want to operate a whole load of various dashboards, and they don’t wish to by hand correlate anomaly findings from a dozen various security tools. Strategic alliances between solution vendors and analytics solutions – whether on-site or in the cloud – make good sense for everyone. That includes for the channel, who can provide and support complete options that are currently dialed in, already debugged, currently recorded, and will deal with the least difficulty possible.

Or think about the integration of solutions and managed security services providers (MSSPs). They wish to offer prospective clients pre-packaged options, preferably which can run in their multi-tenant clouds. That implies that the items need to be scalable, with synergistic license terms. They should be well-integrated with the MSSP’s existing dashboards and administrative control systems. And obviously, they have to feed into predictive analytics and occurrence response programs. The very best way to do that? Through strategic alliances, both horizontally with other solution vendors, and with significant MSSPs as well.

What about significant value-added resellers (VAR)? VARs require products that are easy to understand, easy to support, and easy to include into existing security implementations. This makes brand-new products more attractive, more economical, easier to set up, much easier to support – and strengthen the VAR’s consumer relationships.

What do they search for when adding to their solution portfolio? New solutions that have tactical alliances with their existing solution offerings. If you do not fit in to the VAR’s portfolio partners, well, you probably don’t fit in.

Two Examples: Fortinet and Microsoft

Nobody can fix cybersecurity alone, and that includes giants like Fortinet and Microsoft.

Consider the Fortinet Fabric-Ready Partner Program, where innovation alliance partners integrate with the Fortinet Security Fabric via Fabric APIs and have the ability to actively collect and share info to improve danger intelligence, boost overall risk awareness, and widen threat response from end to end. As Fortinet discusses in their Fortinet Fabric-Ready Partner Program Overview, “partner addition in the program signals to clients and the market as a whole that the partner has collaborated with Fortinet and leveraged the Fortinet Fabric APIs to develop confirmed, end-to-end security services.”

Similarly, Microsoft is pursuing a similar method with the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection program. Microsoft just recently picked only a few key partners into this security program, saying, “We have actually heard from our customers that they desire defense and visibility into prospective risks on all of their device platforms and we have actually relied on partners to help resolve this need. Windows Defender ATP provides security groups a single pane of glass for their endpoint security and now by working together with these partners, our consumers can extend their ATP service to their entire set up base.”

We’re the first to admit: Ziften can’t fix security alone. Nobody can. The very best way forward for the security market is to move on together, through strategic alliances uniting item vendors, service providers, and the channel. That way, we all win, suppliers, service providers, channel partners, and enterprise clients alike.