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Digital risk rising up the channel agenda

Focus on data protection has increased over the course of the pandemic with Skurio and its partners able to tap into growing demand

Digital risk protection has become an area of interest to the channel as customers reach out for help in evaluating the dangers they face across networks.

Earlier this week, the government announced it was looking closely at supply chain risks and the exposure that managed service providers (MSPs) might have to be an attack vector for hackers, adding to the growing sense that customers need to be more on top of where potential threats could be coming from.

One of the vendors in the digital risk arena, Skurio, has reacted to the changing landscape by increasing efforts to support and develop its channel business.

Sophia Anastasi, head of channels and alliances at Skurio, said the more customers were aware of the need to discover where their data resided, and with increased automation and diverse networks, it was important to get a handle on data.

“When SMEs are breached and customer data is taken, or people are aware that their data might not be secure in that environment, it does cause churn and it is very difficult for a customer to come back after an attack like that,” she said.

“More MSSPs [manage security service providers], MSPs and resellers are becoming trusted advisors and telling firms to secure the data, not necessarily just the network. The traditional network perimeter doesn’t exist anymore,” added Anastasi.

“You stand a good chance of securing your data on your own network because you understand what your security stack looks like. But you don’t know what the supply chain looks like and what their security looks like,” she said.

“We are working hard on establishing a channel programme. It is important for us to have a channel-first strategy to partner with organisations that really understand their customers”
Sophia Anatasia, Skurio

Anastasi was brought in to run the Skurio channel business last October, and has set about making sure that the partner programme ticks the right boxes.

“At the moment, we are working hard on establishing a channel programme. We have built out a channel structure around pricing, MSP programmes, channel marketing and providing MDF [market development funds],” she said. “It is important for us to have a channel-first strategy to partner with organisations that really understand their customers.”

Andrew Pitt, co-founder of security provider Saepio, said it was able to use digital risk protection to show customers where data sat on the dark web, but there was still plenty of hand-holding for the channel to do around risk.

“We are still having to do a lot of education. There is awareness and education. A lot of people are aware that cyber security is a thing and it is a problem. We still see a significant amount of companies in the UK that are requesting security awareness training,” he said.

“A lot of the awareness around DRP [disaster recovery planning] is likely to be driven by valued partners...our job is to look at the customer challenges and come up with innovative ways to help,” added Pitt. “We see ourselves becoming a key operational player to customers and we go from someone reactively responding to getting ahead.”

Pitt said the channel had a role to play in making it clear to customers where the risks were and advising them what steps to take to reduce their exposure.


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