While 2021 was a year in which cyber threats rapidly scaled upwards, anyone expecting the challenge to ease in 2022 is in for a shock.
According to ACSC, across the 2020-21 financial year there were over 67,500 cybercrime reports – an increase of nearly 13 per cent on the previous financial year. In addition, a higher proportion of those attacks were classified as “substantial” impact.
The Mandiant Security Predictions 2022 report, warns businesses and agencies to prepare for much more. “While we have seen efforts to disrupt operations and hold threat actors accountable, cyber criminals simply sign up with another platform—as part of the ransomware-as-a-service business model—to continue their operations,” the report states.
“In 2022 we expect to see actors ramp up new tactics, such as trying to recruit insiders within their victims or targets. We also expect to see more cyber criminals punishing victims that hire professional negotiation firms to help reduce the final amount of the extortion payment.”
The channel is going to be more critical in addressing this challenge than ever.
Finding new tools to combat the rising security challenge
In October, Mandiant confirmed that it had divested the company from the FireEye products business, reflecting the company’s goal of expanding its coverage beyond the Fortune 500 and making its security expertise available for businesses of all sizes via the channel.
“Renaming our company as Mandiant, Inc. aligns with our mission of making every organisation confident in their cyber defenses,” Kevin Mandia, CEO at Mandiant, said at the time.
To help facilitate that, Mandiant has developed a channel program to help cyber security service providers augment their current security offerings by leveraging the intelligence and experience of Mandiant.
As part of its efforts to engage more deeply with the channel, Mandiant launched a new training program, called Mandiant Academy, in October. This academy provides partners with leading threat intelligence and cyber security expertise that is delivered by frontline industry experts.
In the same month, Mandiant also announced two SaaS offerings – Active Breach & Intel Monitoring and Ransomware Defense Validation. These are solutions that will be of particular interest to managed services providers, as they allow the opportunity to develop recurring revenue streams, and provide up-to-the-minute threat intelligence and monitoring of their client’s environments.
The role of the channel
Channel organisations will engage more closely with the CISO around their challenges in 2022 than ever before. Some of the key pain points that the channel will be expected to resolve include:
- The cost and scarcity of security skills. Australia and New Zealand face a severe skills shortage of nearly 18,000 people (as of 2020). With talented security professionals expensive to find and retain, the channel offers the useful alternative, in having the skills within the organisation to outsource security to.
- The decentralised workforce and the embrace of cloud environments as a result of transformation. Employees are now working off consumer-grade technology at home, public Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile broadband. The question about how to secure the entire network to this changing way of working is a key challenge for CISOs to grapple with, and they’ll be looking for holistic solutions and expert consulting to meet that challenge.
- The need to shift to a new security paradigm. CISOs know that, in the context of the decentralised work environment, the security paradigm needs to shift from perimeter defence to zero trust. However, zero trust solutions can prove catastrophic to business productivity if not managed well, and require ongoing real-time monitoring to be optimally effective. The channel have the opportunity to present vendor-agnostic and holistic zero trust solutions that address these challenges.
The reality is that there’s no one security vendor that can assist businesses with meeting all of these challenges, and therefore the CISO will be looking for vendor-agnostic solutions. The channel is therefore in a unique position to address these challenges for their customers, but to do that, it’s important that the channel move up through the value chain to become managed services partners. That’s where the value of recurring revenue SaaS and frontline training comes into play.
Mandiant’s channel strategy is to help facilitate those holistic solutions. The company has worked to build technology alliances with vendors such as Microsoft and Splunk around incident response, proactive threat hunting and security validation solutions that mean that channel partners can build more comprehensive solutions for their customers, around technologies and vendors that they’re likely already using.
According to Gartner, global IT spending will top $US4 trillion in 2022. This is an increase of 5.5 per cent on 2021. The channel is primed to have a great year, if they focus on the right areas to target. With Gartner finding that cyber and information security topping the likes of planned IT investments for the year, now is the time for channel organisations to prepare themselves for the managed security opportunities in the year ahead.