Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

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.

Feb 24

Expert Insights on 8 Cybersecurity Trends for 2020

By | Managed Services News

The only real way for your customers to thwart cyber threats is to become armed with information.

Cyberattacks will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, according to the “2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report,” by Cybersecurity Ventures. These cybercrimes represent “the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history, risks the incentives for innovation and investment, and will be more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined,” the report states.

The only real way for your customers to thwart them is to become armed with information. Check out these cybersecurity insights about looming threats, trends and technologies for 2020.

  1. The Skills Gap Widens –The shortage of cybersecurity professionals is nearly 3 million globally, according to the (ISC2) Cybersecurity Workforce Study “Cybersecurity Professionals Focus on Developing New Skills as Workforce Gap Widens,” with close to half a million in the United States alone. What’s more, 60% of those surveyed say their companies are at moderate or extreme risk of cybersecurity attacks due to this shortage, the study states. Fortunately, the industry is responding with creative solutions, such as cyber ranges, to fill the gaps.
  2. The Potential for Colossal Attacks on IoT – With the increased adoption of internet of things (IoT) and industrial internet of things (IIoT) comes the potential for colossal security breaches—both in terms of size and impacts. For example, the global connected cars market is expected to grow 270% by 2022, with more than 125 million passenger cars with embedded connectivityto be shipped between 2018 and 2022, according to CounterPoint research. Imagine the consequences of an attack.
  3. It’s All in Service Providers’ Contracts – Read and understand the contracts of your service providers and delineate security responsibilities up front. For example, the HIPPA Privacy Rule requires that “a covered [healthcare] entity obtain satisfactory assurances from its business associates that the business associate will appropriately safeguard the protected health information it receives or creates on behalf of the covered entity.”
  4. Dev-Test Environments – Production environments are protected, but what about dev-test and other non-production environments? Uber software engineers developed and tested software that could connect to backup data related to users and drivers through inadequate access controls. Intruders then exploited Uber’s software development environment in a series of breaches, demonstrating the importance of securing all software environments, not just production environments.
  5. Growing Data Privacy Concerns and Regulation – Data continues to be collected from every connected device, which raises the question: Who owns the data? If an enterprise owns the data, then the enterprise must be mandated to protect it. The GDPR (and the California Consumer Privacy Act) established that personal data is fundamentally the property of the person. In the case of California, which will likely become a de facto standard across the nation, organizations will have to disclose to California customers what personal data has been collected, and then delete and stop selling it if the customer requests.
  6. AI-Generated Cybersecurity – Attackers are increasingly using AI to mimic people we know, but security companies are also using AI to fight back. In fact, 61% of enterprises say they cannot detect breach attempts today without the use of AI technologies, and 48% say their budgets for AI in cybersecurity will increase by an average of 29% in FY 2020, according to the article “Why AI Is the Future of Cybersecurity.”
  7. Fighting Back with Cyber Ranges – Today’s organizations, universities and companies alike are increasingly turning to cyber ranges to help employees understand the latest threats and give them the tools and practice to combat them.
  8. The Downstream Suppliers – No longer are organizations navigating the global economy alone. There are partners, suppliers, franchisees and other constituencies to consider—all connected in some way. An attack on you or any one of them puts everyone at risk. The Target breach that shocked the world in 2013 and affected 40 million cardholders demonstrated how cyber attackers gained access to Target’s gateway server through credentials stolen from a third-party vendor.

These are all trends that your customers will face in 2020.This is your opportunity to serve as a trusted advisor by having critical conversations about each of these topics to determine the best solutions to solve their challenges. There is no better time to take advantage of the various opportunities in the cybersecurity space. Tech Data can help empower your team with the latest industry expertise, cutting-edge solutions and services to enhance your reputable security practice. Let Tech Data’s holistic approach to cybersecurity help you grow your security margins across the cyber-threat continuum.

To learn more, visit here or contact [email protected].

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Feb 24

Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Services Is Named a Top 3PL for the Fifth Consecutive Year

By | Managed Services News

Third-party logistics companies are selected based on industry experience, services offered and the ability to handle high order flow.

Each year, in January, the editors of Multichannel Merchant announce a list of the top 3PLs—the leading logistics providers. For the fifth consecutive year, Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Services earned a spot on the list.

Companies are selected based on industry experience, services offered and the ability to handle high order flow. The editors also conduct a comprehensive review of key capabilities and factor in average annual order volume. Holding a place on this list year after year is a testament to our team’s commitment to innovation and excellence—and our ability to meet the ever-changing demands of our clients and the market.

Supply chain solutions are becoming more valuable.

 With the growth of ecommerce, direct-to-consumer merchants need outside help to manage their internal fulfillment capabilities. Reverse logistics, too, are more critical than ever. Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Services is pleased to be earning more and more recognition for our proficiency in handling forward logistics services, as well as returns.

We’re the global leader in logistics, commerce enablement and device lifecycle services.

With our global infrastructure, open technology platform, and services including cross-border fulfillment, drop shipping, returns management, IT asset disposition and re-marketing, we offer clients a broad range of resources and decades of knowledge.

Our Technology: 

  • BlueIQ: Ingram Micro’s proprietary global IT asset management system enables clients to manage their assets efficiently in real time, regardless of where on the globe they’re collected. From receipt through processing and disposition, BlueIQ provides process control oversight and a complete, auditable chain of custody.
  • Shipwire: Our order and fulfillment management platform connects merchants to an expansive global network of warehouses, parcel carriers, transportation and ecommerce options. The platform’s logistics infrastructure supports B2B and B2C solutions, and enables fast order fulfillment, inventory control and visibility, and optimized supply chain solutions.
  • Warehouse Management System (WMS): Our proprietary WMS is highly customizable and scalable. Whether clients need to manage hundreds of returns a month or millions of units across multiple locations on a major holiday, our WMS can handle it.

To learn more about Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Services and understand why we were chosen for the Top 3PL list again this year, visit

Glen Sutton is senior vice president, Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Services, Americas region.

 This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Feb 24

Juniper Networks Enhances Security Protection for Enterprise Traffic

By | Managed Services News

Juniper Networks adds value to infrastructure sales with its expanded Connected Security portfolio.

Juniper Networks on Monday said it has expanded its Connected Security Portfolio with encrypted traffic analysis for Juniper Advanced Thread Prevention (ATP) Cloud and SRX Series firewalls. The vendor also integrated its security intelligence framework (SecIntel) to the Mist platform for wireless access.

By adding these additional capabilities, Juniper offers solutions to secure all traffic within an organization, whether encrypted or not, throughout all parts of the networks – access, campus, WAN or data center – according to the company.

Juniper Networks' Samantha Madrid

Juniper Networks’ Samantha Madrid

“To achieve the best results for our customers, we must take advantage of existing network infrastructure to create a threat-aware network,” said Samantha Madrid, vice president of security business and strategy at Juniper Networks. “Juniper Connected Security gives organizations the ability to safeguard users, applications and infrastructure by extending deep network visibility and security policy enforcements to all points of connection across the network.”

At the same time, the announcement of SecIntel integration with Mist represents the vendor’s rounding out of its portfolio that already includes enabling SecIntel on Black Hat MX last August and SecIntel integration on its QFX and EX switching products in November.

With this latest integration of wireless access into the Juniper Connected Security strategy, Mist customers now can get threat alerts detected by Juniper SRX firewalls and ATP cloud within the Mist cloud-based management application.

What does this mean to Juniper partners?

“Encrypted traffic analysis will add value to the ATP Cloud platform, which will increase the software attach rate,” Oliver Schuermann, senior director, enterprise product marketing at Juniper, told Channel Futures. “Similarly, SecIntel for Mist will add value to the infrastructure, allowing tighter integration with the wireless portfolio. Also, this will add additional revenue with the pull-through of security sales. This demonstrates our ability to deliver an integrated operational experience, as well as add value to the portfolio for our partners.”

Last month, Juniper named Gordon Mackintosh its new channel chief. Mackintosh is vice president of worldwide channel and virtual sales and is responsible for the company’s go-to-market strategy for partners with the goal of delivering greater business outcomes.

Feb 21

New FBI Report Reveals Cyberthreats with New Twists

By | Managed Services News

Cyberattacks are getting creative and so are MSSPs aiming to stop old threats with new twists in their tracks.

The recently released FBI Internet Crime Report 2019 alerts the public to current threats. It’s also useful data for MSSPs looking for insights from law enforcement on recent and ongoing criminal activity. Three of the top issues of most interest to MSSPs are tech support fraud, ransomware and phishing. While none of these is new to the threatscape, they’re all picking up in intensity.

The FBI reports that losses from tech support fraud in 2019 topped $54 million, up 40% from a year ago. The agency received 13,633 complaints about this issue from victims in 48 countries.

Tech-Support Scams

Comparitech's Paul Bischoff

Comparitech’s Paul Bischoff

“Tech-support scams are a fast-growing problem according to the Bureau’s report. Microsoft is the most commonly impersonated company in these scams, and given that it leaked a huge customer service database earlier this year, that’s likely to continue,” said Paul Bischoff, lead researcher and privacy advocate with Comparitech.

The Microsoft customer service database leak Bischoff is referencing exposed 250 million Microsoft customer-service and support records over a 14-year period. No password or user authentication was required for anyone to see all of that data from a web browser. The potential for subsequent personalized tech support scams, phishing, spearphishing and whale phishing attacks is almost incalculable.

There’s an increase in the creativity behind such attacks as well. The FBI report cites some of the most recent as criminals posing as customer support for well-known travel industry companies, financial institutions or virtual currency exchanges.

However, there’s no downtick in more traditional tech support threat attacks including “email or bank account, a virus on a computer, or a software license renewal,” according to the report.


Ransomware attacks are increasing, and some say the number of such attacks exceed that which the FBI reported. But the consensus remains strong — ransomware remains a top threat.

“The FBI received 2,047 ransomware complaints accounting for losses of $8.9 million. I don’t know how the FBI adjusts for losses, but that seems like a very conservative estimate,” said Bischoff.

The FBI discourages paying the ransom in such attacks as the success only serves to encourage criminals to attack even more organizations. However, the FBI says in its report that if an organization does elect to pay the ransom it should also report the incident to the FBI and request assistance.

Ransomware attacks are particularly debilitating to organizations without the proper backups and restore plans in place prior to the incident. But even then, criminals are constantly adapting. For example, now ransomware attacks backups too.

Attackers are also targeting third parties for access to bigger organizations. On Feb. 11, NRC Health was hit by a ransomware attack, effectively expanding the threat to health-care institutions via third-party attack vectors. NRC Health collects patient satisfaction survey data that is used to determine doctors pay and Medicare reimbursements for hospitals.

BitSight's Jake Olcott

BitSight’s Jake Olcott

“This incident isn’t just a wake-up call for NRC Health to better manage their own cyber risk, but it should sound the alarms for the hospitals and health systems that leverage their tools. Instead of breaking through the walls of hospitals and health systems, criminals now realize that an easier path to disruption is through a trusted vendor,” said Jake Olcott, vice president of BitSight, a security ratings company

“Supply-chain risk management must be a priority for the health care organizations that rely on an ever-growing ecosystem of vendors for day-to-day operations — and that starts with immediately assessing the security of those vendors and continuously monitoring their performance,” Olcott added.

But it’s not just …

Feb 21

MSP360 Readies New Billing Platform, MSP University for Q2

By | Managed Services News

The numbers and 2020 initiatives highlight the company’s continued focus on the needs of MSPs.

MSP360 has rolled out its year-end 2019 results along with several other updates, including the location of its new corporate headquarters and the development of both unified billing and MSP University. 

The multicloud data backup and recovery (BDR) solutions provider highlighted the continued focus on the needs of MSPs, and says that last year’s numbers paint a pretty clear picture of protecting its clients’ data, acquiring new customers and helping MSPs with generating new business. 

Overall product activations for MSP360 Managed Backup Service (MBS), the company’s data backup solution, increased to more than 210,000 by year-end 2019. Compared to 2018 numbers, revenue for the backup-as-a-service (BaaS) platform increased by 38%. 

Further, MSP360’s user base for MSP360 Remote Assistant, a free product that allows MSPs to quickly and securely connect and provide remote support — grew by 185% year over year. 

MSP360's Brian Helwig

MSP360’s Brian Helwig

“While the numbers do reflect how our storage-agnostic approach to BDR has been resonating with MSPs, there’s more to the story,” said Brian Helwig, CEO of MSP360. “Our customers have been coming to us for assistance on a variety of business challenges – typically having to do with marketing, sales and support – so instead of solely focusing on selling our BDR platform, we’ve been developing new ways to deliver additional value to our customers. Educating them on common functional areas of business is proving to be an effective approach.”

In addition, the company announced that MSP360’s unified billing platform, designed to simplify the MSPs billing process for storage and software, will launch by the end of the second quarter. Essentially, instead of receiving separate bills for the cloud storage the MSP purchases from a third-party vendor and MSP360’s offerings, an MSP will have the option to receive a single, comprehensive bill highlighting both expenses if they enable unified billing. For storage providers enrolled within MSP360’s unified billing platform, MSPs will receive the same prices third-party cloud storage providers are charging their customers directly. 

The provider also announced an initiative to help MSPs grow and scale through MSP University, a tool to help MSPs grow and scale. The platform is still in development, but will be designed to provide MSPs with the skills needed to take their businesses to the next level. Also expected to launch in the second quarter, the platform will provide MSPs with educational content on common functional areas in business, including marketing, sales, HR, finance and customer service. 

“We’re just getting started,” says Helwig. “We’re constantly working with our partners to develop new ways to help them with generating more monthly recurring revenue. We thrive when our MSPs do.”

Feb 21

Anatomy of an Active Cryptomining Worm

By | Managed Services News

AT&T Cybersecurity has conducted a technical analysis of the common malicious implants used by threat actors targeting vulnerable Exim, Confluence and WebLogic servers.

AT&T Cybersecurity has conducted a technical analysis of the common malicious implants used by threat actors targeting vulnerable Exim, Confluence and WebLogic servers. Upon exploitation, malicious implants are deployed on the compromised machine. While most of the attacks described are historical, we at AT&T Cybersecurity are continuing to see new attacks, which can be further researched here.

The main goal of the malicious implants thus far has been mining Monero cryptocurrency. For the complete, detailed analysis of how an active cryptomining worm works, including scripts, click here.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Feb 21

Backup and Recovery: Growing Opportunity for IT Solution Providers

By | Managed Services News

Backup and recovery are critical elements of any business continuity plan. The ability for partners to offer disaster recovery and cloud backup services for total data protection means leveraging a full end-to-end, hybrid cloud approach.

This whitepaper discusses how end-to-end data protection and recovery from a single interface presents a great opportunity to expand your portfolio and grow your business.

Topics include:

  • Affordability
  • Flexibility
  • Support
  • Performance
Feb 21

2020 Outlook for IT Solution Providers: Growth in Edge Computing, AI, and More

By | Managed Services News

Looking into 2020, there is plenty of growth potential as disruptive technologies create new services and sales opportunities. The market is changing thanks to new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and edge computing.

These technologies are enabling organizations to reach new levels of efficiency, achieve operational excellence, and provider better customer experiences. But organizations cannot possible implement, manage, and maintain the necessary systems and platforms to run these technologies – enter IT solution providers.

Read more in this whitepaper to learn how to tune into the market’s transformation and position yourself to leverage new opportunities. The future is bright – and 2020 should be a successful year!