Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Feb 26

RSA Roundup Day 2: Mimecast, Exabeam, CrowdStrike, Firemon

By | Managed Services News

Exabeam unveiled a new cloud platform and FireMon handed out awards.

Day two of this week’s massive RSA Conference 2020 in San Francisco prompted more product news from Mimecast, Exabeam and Crowdstrike.

Mimecast has added new capabilities to its cloud-based platform comprised of integrated service components to combat the latest cybersecurity challenges. These capabilities further enable customers to “embrace a new approach” to defending email, the company said.

Mimecast's Dino DiMarino

Mimecast’s Dino DiMarino

Dino DiMarino, Mimecast’s chief revenue officer, tells us these new additions provide partners with a “stronger, more comprehensive” defense against evolving attack methods, which can be integrated to streamline and eliminate cost and complexity.

“With these updates, our partners can increase their customer’s cybersecurity protection across all corners of their organizations beyond their purview, strengthening three distinct zones — at the perimeter, within an organization or network, and beyond the perimeter,” he said. “This offers a unique opportunity for partners to differentiate themselves by offering customers more pervasive security protection in a single, integrated solution compared to [a] disparate point solution.”

Exabeam unveiled its new Exabeam Cloud Platform, designed to help architects secure new use cases by expediting the provisioning and consumption of new applications, tools and content, and making security engineers and analysts more efficient.

Applications, including the previously announced Exabeam Threat Intelligence Service and the new Exabeam Cloud Archive, will be available on the cloud platform through the Exabeam Application Marketplace. The first tool, the Exabeam Parser Editor, is being made available with the launch of the Exabeam Cloud Studio on the cloud platform.

Ted Plumis, Exabeam’s vice president of channels, business and corporate development, tells us each tool is designed to streamline the workload of the security operations center (SOC) engineer and increase the security available.

Exabeam's Ted Plumis

Exabeam’s Ted Plumis

“Partners will see carryover benefits from assisting end users in solving specific pain points: helping leaders improve the company’s security posture; aiding architects in securing new use cases by expediting the provisioning and consumption of new applications, tools and content; and making security engineers and analysts more efficient with simplicity of use and deployment,” he said. “This is the first step in new opportunities for Exabeam partners. In the future, applications will also be available from trusted partners. Partners will be able to build applications on the cloud platform using Exabeam’s software development toolkit (SDK) or simply sell them through the marketplace. Having access to this marketplace is a distinct competitive advantage for Exabeam partners.”

CrowdStrike announced that it has made available to partners new features built on the data of the CrowdStrike Falcon platform to enable them to develop and deliver security applications and services to customers. The new offerings allow technology alliance partners, CrowdStrike Store application partners and MSSPs to innovate for new security use cases that combat advanced threats and stop breaches.

The Falcon platform reduces the burden of operationalizing, maintaining, configuring and optimizing endpoint security for MSSPs while providing the “most comprehensive protection available,” according to CrowdStrike. MSSPs can better protect their customers with CrowdStrike’s endpoint protection because it allows them to protect endpoints across all leading operating system (OS) platforms and against all types of attacks, enabling immediate and effective prevention and detection of threats, according to the company.

“The valuable crowdsourced data and rich APIs of the CrowdStrike Falcon Platform power our thriving partner ecosystem,” said Matthew Polly, CrowdStrike’s vice president of business alliances and channels. “This is demonstrated by the growth in our strategic technology integrations with cloud leaders, the increase of offerings for our customers in the CrowdStrike Store, and the development of our new MSSP program. As a pioneer of the security cloud, CrowdStrike has revolutionized enterprise security by providing a holistic ecosystem of leading tools and applications that enable partners and customers to better architect their security stack and seamlessly deploy and manage new resources all through one platform. We are proud to partner with innovative leaders worldwide in the global battle to fight advanced threats and stop breaches.”

Also at RSA, FireMon announced the winners of its Ignite Partner of the Year awards recognizing top-performing partners, integrators and distributors.

The 2019 FireMon award winners are:

  • 2019 Growth Partner of the Year – SHI
  • 2019 Americas Partner of the Year – Presidio
  • 2019 EMEA Partner of the Year – IBM Switzerland
  • 2019 APAC Partner of the Year – AmonSoft
  • 2019 Americas Distributor of the Year – Synnex
  • 2019 International Distributor of the Year – StarLink

FireMon also announced new API integrations with ServiceNow, Cisco ACI and Swimlane aimed at helping customers improve network security visibility, control and efficiency while maximizing the value of their investments in security and IT service management systems.

Feb 25

HP Marches Forward with Growth Plan, Calls Xerox Proposal ‘Fundamentally Flawed’

By | Managed Services News

Yet the company is open to exploring talks with Xerox.

As promised, HP Inc. has emerged from its quiet period and announced a multiyear plan to grow earnings and the company, maintaining its commitment to shareholders. At the same time, HP said it’s keeping the door open to further talks with Xerox, which has been on a tear to take over the company for the past few months.

HP’s multiyear strategic and financial value creation plan is expected to deliver $4.7-$5.1 billion of non-GAAP operating profit in fiscal 2022, driven by growth in the company’s printer and 3-D printing and digital manufacturing products, as well as sustained attention to costs, and a new capital return program of about $16 billion from fiscal 2020 to fiscal 2022.

HP's Enrique Lores

HP’s Enrique Lores

“HP is out of the gate strong in [the first quarter], with outstanding earnings and a robust plan to create significant value for shareholders,” said Enrique Lores, president and CEO of HP. “Our three-year financial targets reflect a company at the top of its game, combining the industry’s best innovation with disciplined cost management and aggressive capital returns to support a compelling investment in both the short and long term.”

Lores also noted that Xerox’s most recent bid for the company, at $24 per share or about $34 billion, undervalues HP, creates significant risk and compromises the future of the company.

Here’s a closer look at the last Xerox proposal, as per HP:

  • Exchanges HP stock for cash and Xerox stock at a fundamentally flawed value exchange that does not compensate HP shareholders for the value of HP executing on its strategic plan and transfers value from HP shareholders to Xerox shareholders.
  • Uses HP’s balance sheet as transaction consideration and creates an irresponsible capital structure that would jeopardize the future value of the combined company and constrain its ability to invest in growth and innovation.
  • Overstates the potential synergies by including HP’s existing plans for independent cost reductions and productivity gains.

Always keeping its stockholders front and center, including potential mergers and acquisitions, HP said it will reach out to Xerox to explore if there is a deal that creates value for shareholders that is additive to HP’s strategic and financial plan.

“The HP Board is united in its full support of the company’s strategy and team. HP has a proven track record of consistent value creation and it is well positioned in both print and personal systems to drive operating profit growth and attractive shareholder returns,” said Chip Bergh, chair of HP’s board of directors. “Our new capital return program enables us to optimize our balance sheet while maintaining the appropriate capital structure for the business.”

Feb 25

Boomi Launches Improved Integration Center of Excellence Service

By | Managed Services News

Boomi partners can leverage Boomi’s ICoE for greater ROI.

Boomi, a Dell Technologies business, has a new Integration Center of Excellence (ICoE) service, to help today’s modern business with their digital tranformations.

The latest iteration of Boomi’s ICoE practice, or service, is based on a five-step methodology designed to help enterprise customers build integrations faster and better.

Boomi's Chris Port

Boomi’s Chris Port

“Based on our experience with over 10,000 customers, Boomi has developed the first ICoE model for the age of rapid, distributed innovation and AI, IoT, multicloud infrastructures and other technologies, that enterprises depend on today,” said Chris Port, chief operating officer for Boomi. “We’re uniquely positioned to help customers make the most of the Boomi Unified Platform to drive integrated experiences with their customers by building integrations, reducing technical debt, and achieving their goals for growth and digital transformation.”

Historically, ICoE has promised to standardize processes, cut integration costs and improve business processes, but it was criticized for falling short in each area, especially in today’s world where organizations are more distributed, a new ICoE approach needed to be created, according to Port.

The new ICoE service goes further than previous approaches and is based on Boomi’s experience with more than 10,000 customers and was developed in collaboration with leading global system integrators.

“We developed a methodology to build an ICoE that supports digital transformation and builds capabilities that meet the needs of today’s enterprise, such as support for cloud, on-premises, API, rigorous security and more,” he said. “Our ICoE is not another top-down bureaucracy designed for a pre-cloud enterprise. It’s a flexible, collaborative team that makes the most of iPaaS to empower integration contributors – from security experts to citizen integrators – to make building integrations faster and more suitable to today’s rapidly evolving digital organization.”

In contrast with earlier industry efforts with ICoEs, the new Boomi ICoE is different:

  • Boomi says its service combines modern development and management practices to provide a more productive, flexible, and collaborative IT environment.
  • Enterprises have had to pick and choose which integrations to excel at, whereas Boomi’s ICoE addresses all types of integrations – whether it involves low-code, API development or custom coding, and whether they connect to cloud, multicloud, on-prem, IoT or other endpoints.
  • Every organization starts at a different point in the integration maturity spectrum and has unique differences that need to be well understood. The Boomi ICoE service helps customers with the maturity journey, enabling them to more quickly and effectively achieve better business outcomes.

Partners deal with large customers who have increasingly complex and distributed teams. Their customers need support and guidance, which is what Boomi’s ICoE service is designed to do.

“Boomi’s ICoE enables partners to leverage our integration community of excellence while we remain focused on the integrations. The center will provide partners with a faster implementation, increased time to value, and greater ROI,” said Port. “Partners will be able to support even larger enterprise customers, providing them with the guidance, community, and methodology needed to more rapidly scale and succeed at integrations.“

Feb 25

Automation: An Answer to the Compliance Kerfuffle

By | Managed Services News

Less than 10% of MSPs offer compliance-as-a-service solutions. Kaseya Compliance Manager seeks to fill this gap.

Compliance is so hot right now, and Kaseya is all over it. The provider just announced a new comprehensive audit, assessment and analysis solution that allows users to automate compliance processes and documentation according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Cyber Security Framework (CSF). 

This capability within Kaseya Compliance Manager boosts MSPs and helps them better support small and midsize clients facing the increasingly nasty and growing number of cybersecurity threats by leveraging the best practices outlined in the NIST CSF.

According to Kaseya’s 2019 MSP Benchmark Survey, 83% of MSPs are impacted by their end-customers’ compliance requirements, and one-half assist end customers in their compliance efforts on an ad-hoc basis; yet, there’s a compliance expertise gap among MSPs, with less than one in 10 MSPs offering compliance-as-a-service solutions. 

Kaseya Compliance Manager aims to solve this issue, empowering small and midsize companies to prepare for just about any existing or future data privacy law iteration, as NIST CSF makes up the foundation for a majority of these regulations. [For example, the federal COPRA bill (US’ would-be answer to the GDPR), the CCPA, and the NY SHIELD Act — arguably the most comprehensive state data privacy regulation to date, effective March 2020).

Kaseya's Mike Puglia

Kaseya’s Mike Puglia

“Standards like GDPR, HIPAA and NIST CSF have a laundry list of requirements to demonstrate compliance, and oftentimes the complexity of these requirements reach beyond the expertise of IT administrators and MSPs,” said Mike Puglia, chief strategy officer, Kaseya. “Despite that fact, almost every MSP client is subject to at least one set of security or privacy rules, if not more. For most organizations, compliance with these rules is outside their skill set. This presents a huge opportunity for MSPs to step in and offer to manage the compliance process for their customers.” 

Puglia warns, however, to do so effectively, MSPs need a solution that not only helps them bridge the compliance expertise gap but also complements their multifunction capabilities so that they can capitalize on this next big managed service. This is where Kaseya Compliance Manager comes in. 

Kaseya Compliance Manager is a purpose-built, role-based compliance process automation platform. The product’s workflow engine, automated discovery, management portal, and built-in compliance document generation and archiving hand MSPs the information they need to gather, process, analyze and validate customer compliance efforts with a number of regulations and laws. 

“We built Compliance Manager to be intuitive,” said Puglia. “Regulation-specific versions of Compliance Manager, for GDPR and HIPAA for example, delve into the specific requirements and nuances of those standards without requiring the technician to have a background in data privacy or medical records. Additionally, again keeping MSPs in mind, we offer live instructor-led training, one-on-one sessions and onboarding assistance to help them get their first deployment up and running, as well as provide free unlimited technical support.”

Feb 25

Microsoft Sharpens Focus on India as Market Primed for Rapid Growth

By | Managed Services News

Digital India initiative has buoyed opportunities for IT partners.

(Pictured above: Microsoft’s Satya Nadella on stage at the company’s Future Decoded conference in Mumbai, India.)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is in his home country of India this week where the company is doubling down on its effort to deepen its partnerships with technology solutions and service providers.

On the first of a three-day trip to India, Nadella addressed an audience of CEOs at Microsoft’s Future Decoded conference in Mumbai, where he talked up the company’s latest advances in AI, automation and tools to enable digital transformation.

Nadella described Microsoft’s drive toward a ubiquitous compute fabric with increasing intelligence in the cloud, at the edge, and the shift away from dependency on any one device, showcasing the company’s enabling tools and platforms including Azure, GitHub, LinkedIn, PowerApps and Teams.

“To me, it comes down to how every organization here in India can drive this wave,” Nadella said.

Anant Maheshwari, president of Microsoft India, told attendees that the country now has 560 million internet users and 460 million who use smartphones.

Microsoft's Anant Maheshwari,

Microsoft’s Anant Maheshwari

“The data loop that this is creating is amongst the largest and growing the fastest across the world,” Maheshwari said. “And that creates tremendous opportunity for India to influence the world and influence where digital goes.”

Maheshwari added that the IT industry makes up $180 billion, approximately 8% of the country’s GDP. India is home of the world’s third largest ecosystem including 8,000 startups that are SaaS providers, a figure that has grown three times over the past five years, according to Maheshwari.

“If you take these two ends of the spectrum, we are part of leading the India transformation from both ends — the services side from the IT services and the innovation that’s happening in startups,” he said.

Over the past year, Microsoft has engaged in deeper partnerships with some of India’s largest IT services and infrastructure providers. Through its ITeS 360 initiative, Microsoft is encouraging some of its largest partners to create business units focused on the company’s core applications and solutions stack.

Among them, Tata Communications Services (TCS) formed a Microsoft business unit in November and HCL Technologies last month also formed one. Both are among India’s largest IT services, solutions and outsourcing providers. Last summer, Reliance Jio, a subsidiary of diversified energy and chemical conglomerate Reliance Industries, signed a broad 10-year partnership with Microsoft.

As part of that agreement, Jio is building data centers across India with the “next-generation” of compute, storage and network infrastructure where Microsoft will deploy its Azure platform. The first two datacenters are slated to go live this year in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Jio will also build solutions for clients based on the Azure platform.

India has rapidly arisen as a potentially lucrative growth market for companies that provide a wide variety of IT services throughout the country, where approximately 1.4 billion people represent the world’s second largest population.

The country has aggressively modernized its infrastructure following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative in 2014 to bring affordable and widely available broadband and modern wireless communications services throughout India.

Indeed, just a few years ago the best broadband service available was 256 Kbps, and now the average speed available in villages throughout India is 21 Mbps, according to Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani, who joined Nadella on stage during yesterday’s Future Decoded speech.

It also wasn’t long ago that only 2G wireless service was widely available, Ambani added, noting that it came at the steep price of 10,000 rupees (approximately 139 USD) per Gb. Over the past three years, he said 380 million people have migrated to 4G technology, which now costs about 14 rupees, or 19 cents.

“I can easily say that the mobile networks in India now are better or on par with anybody else in the world,” Ambani said. “Consumption has also gone up and this has really become people’s movement. Because we have this infrastructure, we are accelerating, and we are just at the beginning of this whole journey.”

Feb 24

Forcepoint Debuts Security Subscription Services

By | Managed Services News

Forcepoint Advantage modernizes enterprise security pricing.

Forcepoint has new security subscription services delivering all-you-can-consume access, unlimited growth and support across the company’s protection solutions.

Forcepoint Advantage offers a single per-user subscription program across the endpoint, network, cloud and entity behavior analytics. This eliminates the need to license and manage separate point products — such as a firewall, web gateway, cloud access security broker (CASB) and data loss prevention (DLP).

Ravi Srinivasan, Forcepoint vice president, tells us there were three primary drivers for introducing Forcepoint Advantage. Those include: growing market demand for organizations seeking security solutions that could address broader use cases; the complexity faced by the enterprises to buy, implement and maintain multiple point product vendor relations; and the lack of transparency in those point product pricing models, even in a security-as-a-services model.

Forcepoint's Ravi Srinivasan

Forcepoint’s Ravi Srinivasan

“This promoted Forcepoint to introduce Forcepoint Advantage, modernizing enterprise security pricing with the required security solutions to solve broader security use cases,” he said.

Forcepoint Advantage will help partners create new business opportunities, especially in the area of protecting data wherever it’s used (on premises or in the cloud) and protecting any access to cloud (branch offices or remote users), Srinivasan said.

“Partners can benefit from the disruptive, single-subscription pricing model to introduce Forcepoint solutions to address broader enterprises security needs,” he said. “For example, partners can lead with Forcepoint Advantage to unify the necessary data security controls to protecting data wherever it’s used with converged a data protection solution. This means expanded opportunities for partners.”

Instead of promoting a point product like next-generation firewall for protecting network on the edge of the enterprise, partners can leverage Forcepoint Advantage to help enterprises protect all access to cloud, from enterprise, branch offices and remote users connecting to public, private and hybrid clouds, “thus differentiating from point vendors that are either a firewall-only vendor or secure web gateway vendor, or CASB vendor,” Srinivasan said.

Organizations garner the “most flexible” enterprise deployment model available to cover unlimited user growth, whether through organic business expansion or mergers and acquisition, over the term of the relationship, according to Forcepoint.

“Forcepoint recognizes that solving today’s most pressing security problems requires tight integration of capabilities that cross traditional point product boundaries,” said Matthew Moynahan, Forcepoint’s CEO. “We are committed to being a true security partner by driving convergence across the security stack and returning value back to our customers in the form of dramatically reduced licensing costs and lower operational burden for their already resource constrained security teams. Every user on today’s enterprise network must be protected, and we are committed to making it affordable for our customers to do so through programs such as Forcepoint Advantage.”

Feb 24

RSA Roundup: McAfee M&A, BlackBerry, Trustifi, BigID

By | Managed Services News

McAfee is collaborating with DXC Technology on managed detection and response.

McAfee‘s acquisition of Light Point Security and product news from by BlackBerry, Trustifi and BigID marked the opening of the 2020 RSA Conference in San Francisco.

“In its 29-year history, RSA Conference has evolved to meet new demands of the ever-changing world of cybersecurity,” said Linda Gray Martin, RSA Conference’s senior director and general manager. “But one thing has always remained constant, and that’s the importance of the human element in driving the industry forward.”

McAfee plans to integrate Light Point’s browser isolation technology into McAfee Secure Web Gateway, complementing its existing inbound and outbound protection for all web and cloud traffic. Financial details of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.

McAfee's Ash Kulkarni

McAfee’s Ash Kulkarni

“Web browsing is one of the most common threat vectors for endpoints to get infected,” said Ash Kulkarni, executive vice president and chief product officer in McAfee‘s enterprise business group. “Adding Light Point Security’s capabilities into our products will create solutions that enable our customers to mitigate web-based threats without impacting user experience. We are constantly working to find ways to help our customers safely adopt the cloud so they enjoy increased productivity without experiencing heightened concerns about cyberattacks. Light Point Security’s browser isolation capabilities will bolster the McAfee Unified Cloud Edge offering to make it a preferred solution for security-focused businesses without compromising on productivity.”

In addition, McAfee has launched a global managed detection and response (MDR) platform in collaboration with DXC Technology, and has unveiled new innovations to its cloud-native MVision platform with the availability of Unified Cloud Edge (UCE), which provides unified data and threat protection from device level to the cloud.

Also at RSA, BlackBerry unveiled its new BlackBerry Spark platform with a new unified endpoint security (UES) layer which can work with BlackBerry unified endpoint management (UEM) to deliver zero-trust security. Using AI, ML and automation, Spark now offers improved cyberthreat prevention and remediation, and provides visibility across desktop, mobile, server, and IoT (including automotive) endpoints.

Richard McLeod, BlackBerry‘s global vice president of enterprise software channels, said the Spark platform and his company’s zero trust/unified endpoint security architecture represent “significant security consultation, professional and managed services, and high value-add security sales opportunities” for BlackBerry partners.

BlackBerry's Richard McLeod

BlackBerry’s Richard McLeod

“With this announcement, endpoint protection platform, endpoint defense and response, mobile threat defense and continuous authentication solutions are available today for authorized BlackBerry partners,” he said. “Enabling our partners to bridge the security requirements from servers to laptops to mobile devices, from endpoints to applications, to IoT and automobiles.”

​​​​​In addition, with the Spark platform, partners can take advantage of BlackBerry’s software development kit (SDK) to integrate intelligent security into their apps and services,” McLeod said.

“For example, in upcoming releases an ISV that is already using our Dynamics SDK will be able to leverage BlackBerry’s advanced Mobile Threat Defense within their application without having to add any code,” he said.

Also at RSA:

  • Trustifi, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) email security company, has just incorporated a new AI-enabled feature into its email encryption and data loss prevention (DLP) solution that also works via optical character recognition technology (OCR). The tool recognizes elements such as a scan of a credit card or a screenshot of a financial statement, and categorizes those attachments as sensitive. It then automatically encrypts the attachment, reducing the opportunity for employees/individuals to mistakenly transmit confidential material unprotected.
  • BigID announced next-generation data security capabilities, with features that apply BigID’s ML algorithms, designed originally to facilitate compliance with privacy regulations like the California Consumer Privacy (CCPA), to dark data. This solution uses advanced data discovery and ML-driven cluster analysis to identify, classify and process unstructured files, and retroactively addressing glaring security blindspots and getting ahead of future issues.
Feb 24

Cybersecurity Roundup: BullGuard, Olympics Cyberthreats, Sophos, SentinelOne

By | Managed Services News

Many SMBs are operating under a false sense of security.

Despite constant headlines of breaches and warnings that cybercriminals aren’t strictly going after big targets, many SMBs still aren’t taking cybersecurity seriously enough.

New research commissioned and published by BullGuard revealed an alarming number of small businesses in the United States and United Kingdom are not prepared for a potential cyberattack or breach.

One-third of companies with 50 or fewer employees report using free, consumer-grade cybersecurity, and one in five companies uses no endpoint security. Additionally, 43% of SMB owners have no cybersecurity defense plan in place at all — leaving their most sensitive financial, customer and business data – and ultimately their companies – at significant risk.

The study also revealed some glaring discrepancies between what SMB owners believe versus what’s actually occurring in the market. Nearly 60% of SMB owners believe their business is unlikely to be targeted by cybercriminals; however, the results revealed that almost 19% of SMB owners have suffered from a cyberattack or data breach within the past year.

Once breached, one in four (25%) SMB owners said they had to spend $10,000 or more to resolve the attack, which could be potentially devastating for a small company. As for time lost, one-half of SMB owners said it took 24 hours or longer to recover from a breach or cyberattack, while one-quarter reported they lost business as a result, and almost two in five said they lost crucial data.

To find out more about why many SMBs are lax when it comes to cybersecurity, we spoke with Paul Lipman, BullGuard’s CEO.

Channel Futures: Why are so many SMBs still not taking cybersecurity seriously?

BullGuard's Paul Lipman

BullGuard’s Paul Lipman

Paul Lipman: Many SMBs are operating under a false sense of security as larger companies attract most of the media attention when it comes to cybercrime and hacking. In reality, SMBs are enticing targets for hackers. Large corporations invest heavily in internet security systems, typically making it challenging for hackers to breach their networks. They also have the financial resources and workforce to monitor and address such threats compared to smaller organizations. Small businesses are not immune to cyberattacks and data breaches, and are often targeted specifically because they fail to prioritize security and have limited resources available.

Smaller companies may have less data to steal, but if successfully hacked, they can provide a tunnel into the networks of larger companies with which they work. And as phishing targets, they are much more vulnerable than their larger counterparts who have first-line defenses, sophisticated firewalls, intrusion detection systems and sandboxes that are all overseen by 24/7 monitoring.

CF: What are the dangers of relying on free consumer cybersecurity solutions?

PL: One of the last things SMBs think about is cybersecurity. By shortchanging cybersecurity, they are putting everything they’ve worked for at risk.

Additionally, for consumers, as much as free public Wi-Fi is appealing, it can also be risky and unsafe. Since it’s a free service, its use can be by anyone, including hackers, predators, spies and all sorts of cybercriminals. You never know who is sharing the public Wi-Fi connection with you and what their intentions are. There are a number of free and paid VPNs available. Though free VPNs can reduce the risks associated with public Wi-Fi, they do have security limitations. As such, it’s much better to invest in a paid VPN service to ensure maximum protection.

CF: What can MSSPs and other cybersecurity providers be doing to help these SMBs?

PL: Service providers deliver value in three key areas. First, in recommending …

Feb 24

CenturyLink, Microsoft, Google, Cisco Kick Off the Week with Cloud News

By | Managed Services News

There’s a lot happening this week thanks to the RSA Conference and the popularity of cloud in general.

Cloud news leaped out of the gates on Monday as a number of companies made announcements independently and as part of the RSA Conference taking place this week. We’ve rounded up some of the channel-centric cloud pieces and compiled them in this short roundup.

CenturyLink Now an Azure MSP

As businesses move workloads to the edge and use more than one clother oud, they must optimize performance. To that end, CenturyLink, a Microsoft gold partner, has joined the Networking Managed Service Provider Program for Microsoft Azure.

CenturyLink now is authorized to provide network and consultation services around Azure services to help enterprises more easily connect and build cloud solutions.

Last year, the carrier and Microsoft made a deal for CenturyLink to provide high-performance connectivity to Azure locations.

“Azure customers can now look to CenturyLink to build cloud solutions with high performance, and predictable networking and security,” said Ross Ortega, partner program manager, Microsoft Azure Networking.

Microsoft Moving Into Mexico

There’s more news on the Microsoft cloud front. Last week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella held a press conference with the president of Mexico to announce a $1.1 billion investment in that country.

A big part of the so-called “Innovate for Mexico” initiative comes in the form of a new data center region for Azure. Once that’s completed within the next five years, businesses and organizations in Mexico will be able to buy Azure, Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform services, and they may opt to keep data in-country, the company said.

Microsoft's Enrique Perezyera

Microsoft’s Enrique Perezyera

“There is only one future, and it will be digital,” Enrique Perezyera, general manager, Microsoft Mexico, said. “Mexico is well positioned to harness the power of new technologies, and by jointly working with Microsoft, the country will make this future a reality.”

“Innovate for Mexico” aims to contribute to Mexico’s development, not just through data centers but also through education and skills development. For Azure partners, though, the data center news is likely most applicable — at least for now. As more people undergo Microsoft training, managed service providers, VARs and other partners looking to operate or expand in Mexico will have a larger talent pool from which to draw.

The addition of data centers in Mexico means Microsoft Azure will operate 57 cloud regions in 22 countries.

Microsoft stands out as the first of the big three public cloud providers to really focus on the Mexico market.

Google Cloud Releases More Chronicle-Enabled Security Features

Google Cloud Platform on Monday unveiled additional security features made possible by its 2019 Chronicle acquisition.

First, GCP has updated Chronicle’s security analytics platform so users may detect threats using the new YARA-L rules language.

“This advanced threat detection provides hugely scalable, real-time and retroactive rule execution,” Sunil Potti, vice president, Google Cloud Security, wrote in a Feb. 24 blog.

And second, GCP debuted Chronicle’s data fusion capability, which allows deeper security insights including automatically linking multiple events into one timeline. Palo Alto Networks is the first partner to integrate this new data structure, doing so with its new Cortex XSOAR platform that adds threat management to security orchestration, automation and response.

“Cortex XSOAR offers automated enrichment, response and case management to enterprise-wide threats,” said Rishi Bhargava, vice president, product strategy at Palo Alto Networks. “The integration with Chronicle’s new detection capabilities and event timelines, across months or years of data, enhances that response and enables comprehensive threat management for our mutual customers.”

Chronicle launched its security analytics platform last year to …

Feb 24

Unisys Unveils Updated Global Partner Program at RSA

By | Managed Services News

Unisys also announced the availability of Stealth 5.0.

RSA CONFERENCE — Unisys, the security services provider, has expanded and enhanced the partner program it introduced last year.

Announced during this week’s RSA Conference 2020, the new Unisys Security Global Channel Partner Program designates partners at three performance-based tiers – platinum, gold and silver – with benefits assigned to each tier. Registered partners have access to discounts, demos, collateral, co-branded materials and customizable marketing campaigns related to Unisys Stealth and other security offerings.

Other benefits include webinars, partner roadshows and regional events later in 2020. Partner-specific solution overviews with use cases and case studies are also available.

Chris Kloes, Unisys’ vice president of security, tells us the program focused specific resources on a couple of partners in select markets in 2019, and the results were “wildly successful.”

Unisys' Chris Kloes

Unisys’ Chris Kloes

“With greater demand for software-defined perimeter and zero-trust solutions in the market, we knew that other partners globally required this type of solution,” he said. “Some partners have decades of experience in working with technology providers. We have taken some of the best practices and applied them to the program. Unisys has invested significantly in its online training curriculum in order for our partner teams to be fully enabled when speaking with their customers.”

By formalizing relationships with registered resellers of its security solutions, Unisys will broaden its client base for its security solutions, as well as boost the market reach of partners through the ability to resell solutions like Stealth, according to the company.

“Our partners have clear line of sight to the margin they’ll earn through transparent deal registration programs and additional margin incentives based on select criteria being met,” Kloes said. “The partner program expands Unisys Stealth into many more verticals and geographies where we haven’t had a presence. Through our comprehensive training program, our partners will be able to establish additional services revenues to complement the technology sale.”

Also at RSA, Unisys announced the availability of Stealth 5.0, the latest version of its security software which now provides protection for data in container and Kubernetes environments, designed to improve data-center security and secure new workloads. Stealth brings clients “always on” security and resilience, stopping even sponsored, sophisticated cyberattacks. And should an attacker get inside, Stealth prevents data exfiltration so that the breach remains a minor occurrence, the company said.

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