IT security was already a board-level discussion point, but it is becoming an ever-more critical challenge for businesses, with the scale of the threat landscape escalating rapidly in recent years. For many enterprises, turning to their channel partners is their only answer.
Earlier this year, in response to the geo-political environment, and a general proliferation of malware and other threats, the Australian government issued a high alert status on cybersecurity and recommended that organisations “urgently” adopt an enhanced cyber security posture.
However, research shows that just nine per cent of Australian IT professionals feel like their organisation is “prepared” for the IT security threat. Meanwhile, across the country there is a severe cybersecurity skills gap, which is only growing wider.
For the channel, the combination of these challenges, coupled with the urgency of the situation, is a significant opportunity to take a leadership position within their customers.
Understanding The Opportunity
For channel organisations to be able to address the security challenge within their customers, understanding the breadth of the challenge is the first priority. Elsewhere in IT, organisations are investing in transforming their IT environments to become more digital-focused, agile, and embrace the opportunities provided by AI, IoT and the Edge.
Practically, organisations are also shifting from hybrid work being a stop-gap solution in enabling teams to continue to function through COVID-mandated lockdowns and social distancing to being a permanent and strategic part of the organisation’s approach to work. This has further security implications for everything from ensuring that video and voice conferences are protected from remote snooping to the security of the physical equipment, as higher-quality screens, cameras, and voice equipment is brought into meeting rooms and home offices.
Diversified Communications Australia is hosting two events in August that combined aim to help channel organisations understand their role in building solutions that meet the needs of their customers. One is the Integrate expo. This three-day event will contain key themes across hybrid work and the AV experience that is necessary to structure an organisation to take a strategic perspective on the new ways of working.
Channel partners will find value in sessions such as “Presenting Your IT requirements To The IT Team” which will help them better understand the dynamics occurring between IT and other lines of business within their organisation, while “Implementing Cybersecurity for IoT, AV, Media and Workplace Technology Within Enterprise Environments” will be a deep dive into the specific cybersecurity implications of the technology that enables hybrid work.
Meanwhile, the 2022 Security Exhibition & Conference, which will run in parallel in August, will take a more holistic look at security across the organisation. The event includes the ASIAL Security 2022 Conference, in which sessions there will look at the ongoing security implications of digital transformation and AI, how channel partners can help their customers build security capabilities and capacity, and risk management implications with IT. Additionally, there will be a networking event with the Security 2022 Gala Dinner, an exhibition that brings together all the major vendors in the security space, and other events.
The Scope Of The Opportunity
As Gartner has noted, the approach that businesses are taking with security is evolving. CISOs are transitioning their roles from being technologists to becoming more corporate strategists that engage at a board level and are responsible for managing risk across the business. Now, more than ever, they need support in this from their partners.
Meanwhile, across the organisation, companies are re-thinking the security technology stack in-line with the increasing sophistication of new threats, they’re looking to push cybersecurity decision making to the business units to improve the responsiveness and overall security posture, and they’re evolving and reframing the security practice.
This becomes a solutions opportunity for the channel. From the product-driven shift from perimeter security to a zero-trust approach, and the adoption of new secure technologies at the end-point, right through to audits and managed services (that help customers address their internal skills shortages), there is plenty of scope for channel organisations to expand on their role of being a technology provider to being a strategic partner.
The partners that will be successful in supporting this transition will be those that understand security in the context of the other business objectives, and can ensure that security solutions are a journey of enablement, rather than a roadblock.
One of the keynote sessions at the ASIAL Security Conference, as part of the Security Exhibition & Conference, will be an in-depth look into the Sydney Local Health District Response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Forced to transform operations and engage with new IT solutions rapidly, the organisation was able to continue treating patients and supporting the community while maintaining compliant with the heavy regulatory burden that healthcare has around data privacy and protection.
Examples like that are what businesses of all sizes will be looking to their channel partners to deliver going forward.
For more information on the Security Exhibition & Conference, keynote summaries, and to book conference tickets, click here.