It’s very easy to talk about the legislation, there might be grey areas but the education piece, it’s continuing the work that has been done — ASX100 survey — there’s still suggests there is a great deal of opportunity for the channel.”
How partners can step up in security
With security risk now an everyday reality for organisations across Australia, customers are facing a daily barrage of malicious cyber activity.
In general, the majority are unsophisticated and unsuccessful but as countless media headlines demonstrate, the potential for breaches to cause significant reputational and financial remains.
Therefore, and as outlined through the ASX 100 report, management teams are spending more time and resources on developing a deeper understanding around how to effectively address cyber risks.
But there is more to be done, with only 11 per cent of boards holding a clear understanding of where the company’s key information or data assets are shared with third parties.
Furthermore, and according to ASX 100 findings, just 11 per cent of companies are taking proactive approaches to reassuring investors and customers about the organisation’s cyber security.
“We’ve been working towards this legislation for three years, and engaging with lots of legal firms around this space,” Sententia cyber security practice manager Tony Vizza said. “In response, I’m currently completing my law degree because this particular piece of law will be a fascinating way to add value.
“And if you have an IT background also, this will help immensely. There’s lots of opportunities for integrators who are skilled in the security space, but I feel for vendors, there is genuine concern in the market.
“Every second day another new vendor enters the markets and we’re getting flooded in partner land with new opportunities. Vendors must evaluate their value proposition in the market and why they are compelling to both partners and customers.”
With 66 per cent of companies reporting appropriate levels of security investment in Australia, they also acknowledge the need to dive deeper as threats become more frequent and sophisticated.
“Security forms a key part of our business strategy,” Meridian IT sales manager Louise Bremberg added. “Our value is around providing the most relevant expertise for our customers.
“We must be able to provide advice and guidance that is valuable to their business in the long run to ensure we remain relevant.”
In looking ahead, partner value can be found in the channel chasing opportunities outside of the enterprise market, with mid-market and small businesses struggling to keep pace with legislation and regulations.
“It’s a challenge to educate the small to medium sized market and because of that, I see a huge opportunity for the channel to adopt an advisory role,” GRC Institute managing director Naomi Burley advised.
“There’s demand for partners to package up consultancy services because customers of that size are looking for solutions.
“Anyone who is the business owner, chances are they won’t have IT departments or risk officers, therefore partners can assume that responsibility.
“Regarding the legislation, this is step one in an approach that is going to take data somewhere else.”
But as partners adopt in response to changing market demands, vendors must also step up within the context of security.
“One of our biggest challenges is the notion that when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail,” Content Security manager of consulting and pre-sales Ken Pang added.
“There are some vendors out there who are very pushy and are focused only on their own product, and because of this they don’t realise that they are part of a larger ecosystem.
“Vendors must become more educated on what cyber security means, and not just want it means for their company.”
This roundtable was sponsored by F5 Networks; SecureSoft; Sophos and Trustwave. Photos by Leila Berney.