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Why partners must stop educating and start strategising in security

James Henderson | Aug. 17, 2017
Onus on the channel to evolve and extend security capabilities as customers become more aware of emerging threats.


Security strategies

And thinking differently is key for the channel, with the awareness and education game only taking partners so far.

Because while some businesses - usually smaller - still require greater awareness training, on the whole, end-users are up-to-speed with the consequences of inaction around security.

The key opportunity for the channel lies in building effective security strategies for customers, strategies capable of delivering increased protection across an organisation, irrespective of size or stature.

“Security is a broad and complex topic, sitting within a huge industry with a threat landscape that is growing faster and faster,” Hagerman said.

“If customers want an effective way to address challenges, they must be thoughtful about aligning with partners who really understand the strategic element of security.”

With the industry plagued by a skills shortage, security-focused partners are assuming expert roles across the market, helping structure viable business strategies around protection.

“Partners must help customers recognise security with the right level of priority,” Hagerman added. “They must have the budget walk follow the talk.

“The way we deal with security at Sophos in our own IT group is no mystery. We talk to our security team and ask - What do you need to keep us secure? How many people do you need? What tools do you need? How much budget do you need?”

Built on internal trust, Hagerman said one a strategic approach is developed at an operational level, the left over investment funds are then moved over to the IT department.

“I can’t think of another element of IT where if you get it wrong, the whole company is exposed and the business may or may not survive,” he said. “If you delay the roll-out of an application or you upgrade an operating system, of course you’re not operating at the level you would like but it’s not jeopardising the health and survival of the company.

“If you get security wrong it can literally do that. Internally, we have put our money where our mouthes are and we maintain that priority at board-evel and when allocating budget.”

In organisations that have aligned the walking and the talking, clear strategies are being built, with major banks and healthcare organisations in particular rethinking processes around security.



Amid a broad and fast-rising tide, Hagerman is at the helm of a security vendor taking a focused approach to the market, an approach that places the business in line to crack a billion dollars in billings by FY20.

“We’re very clear on what we are the best in the world at and that’s delivering a simple, innovative and highly effective approach to security,” Hagerman said. “And the channel is at the centre of our mission statement as we target the mid-market enterprise space together.


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