The cyber security threats that have been facing enterprises across Australia have been accelerating throughout 2021, and there is no indication that it will slow from here. Furthermore, the stresses around security that organisations are facing are difficult to solve within the business, leading to greater reliance on channel support than ever.
ACSC data shows that there was an increase of 13 per cent in cybercrime reports for the 2020-2021 financial year, at over 67,500. As the report notes “no sector of the Australian economy was immune from the impacts of cybercrime and other malicious cyber activity. Government agencies at all levels, large organisations, critical infrastructure providers, small to medium enterprises, families and individuals were all targeted over the reporting period – predominantly by criminals or state actors.”
For CISOs and other IT leaders, some of the key challenges that they are facing include:
- Sectors that weren’t previously a target for concentrated attack by cyber criminals are now firmly on the radar. Financial services has had decades to build robust security environments. Manufacturers, small businesses, arts and transport companies – to name just a few disparate examples – are grappling with much of this for the first time, and from a position of disadvantage.
- There is a proliferation of threats, underpinned by the ease of access to cybercrime packages on the dark web. There are even “cybercrime-as-a-service” solutions available, making it easier to be a cyber criminal than ever.
- SMEs are particularly vulnerable. Where cyber criminals would previously target the big pay-offs, now the low hanging fruit offers them easy revenue opportunities, and consequently, SMEs are facing increasing security risks, compounded by the need for many of them to shift to remote working for the first time.
- A lack of security resources is particularly problematic. Australia faces a massive cybersecurity shortage in the coming years, and that means that security skills will be expensive to retain, and less “desirable” sectors will miss out entirely.
For businesses, the solution to these challenges cannot simply be “new technology.” Businesses need solutions that can address the security challenge from a holistic perspective, and that means bringing strategy together with robust technology. This, of course, is the traditional strength and value-add of the channel.
WatchGuard in action
As a channel-only organisation, WatchGuard has committed to providing managed security providers (MSPs) with a best-in-class Unified Security Platform™ that allows them to easily and profitably deliver security solutions to their customers at scale.
Central to delivering this is WatchGuardONE®, the award-winning channel partner program that’s designed to enable MSPs to grow their businesses profitably. With three tiers – Silver, Gold, and Platinum – WatchGuardONE unlocks key features such as product discounts and rebates, deal registration, 24x7 technical support, flexible payment options, sales and marketing resources, renewals and leads management, syndicated content, as well as free or low-cost training classes and product discounts. WatchGuard claims that with these tools, personalised support, and its unique approach to engagement, partners willhave everything they need to be the cybersecurity leader that their customers are looking for.
An example of WatchGuard’s success in the channel can be found with iconic Australian brand Akubra. As an SME with far-reaching global prestige, the company realised that its risk profile was growing too significant to ignore. Cybersecurity incidents were occurring at an increasing rate and staff were experiencing a deluge of malicious spam email. Furthermore, their older Wi-Fi network was not only prone to productivity-damaging disruption, but had also become a major security risk.
Through partner, C3 Group, WatchGuard was able to deploy a T35 Firebox with Total Security Suite as a plug-and-play step to modernise their infrastructure. Then, C3 Group deployed a series of WatchGuard AP325 Wi-Fi access points with WatchGuard Total Security. Between the new firewall and Wi-Fi access points, Akubra immediately observed a massive reduction in security threats, and hours of productivity were gained as staff no longer needed to manage the sheer weight of spam entering their inboxes. Furthermore, the Wi-Fi access points mean that staff can work with greater mobility around the factory, secure in the knowledge that they weren’t vulnerable from insecure connections (for more on the Akubra success story, click here).
The Akubra story highlights the strengths of WatchGuard’s channel partner program, the company claims. Focused on enablement and giving partners straightforward and effective tools, WatchGuard assists partners in reaching customers of all sizes and scales with practical, plug-and-play equipment that doesn’t rely on the customer to build out an IT security team as part of the deployment. Furthermore, it empowers the partner to engage more deeply and on an ongoing basis with their customers.
Customers – especially in those that are grappling with the full extent of cybersecurity for the first time – are really looking for managed providers that can provide solutions that don’t require them to resource up new security teams. Whether the channel partner is an MSP, or looking for solutions that their customer’s existing IT teams can manage, the strength of WatchGuard as a vendor and partner is that the channel can cut through the noise while also providing effective, proven, and highly manageable technology solutions.