Digital transformation is expanding the traditional network in ways that few anticipated, including such things as the adoption of multi-cloud infrastructures (public, private, and hybrid) and cloud-based services, mobile workers and their growing number of connected devices, the accelerated integration of IoT devices into the network, and the growing demands from connected consumers for increased access to customized data and services as well as increased protection and privacy. Every organization looking to participate in the new digital marketplace is scrambling to meet these new requirements.
The challenge is that IT budgets and resources are not keeping pace. Today’s organizations are facing a new set of cybersecurity challenges that many are unprepared to address. The complexity of protecting everything from IoT to multi-cloud networks coupled with the growing shortage of skilled security professionals has overtaxed many IT security teams. These teams now have to fight increasingly sophisticated threats and data regulations across a rapidly expanding and evolving attack surface that many teams are still struggling to understand, let alone protect. And they have to do it with a security budget that is often inadequate.
As a result, these three key forces - complexity, cost, and the growing cybersecurity skills gap - are driving the growth of managed security services. Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) provide outsourced monitoring and management of security devices and systems by using high-availability security operation centers to reduce the number of operational security personnel enterprises needs to hire, train, and retain in order to maintain an effective security posture. Traditionally, they have provided such things as managed firewall, IPS, VPN, and vulnerability scanning and anti-virus services.
As environments have grown more complex, and the demand for resources has continued to grow, however, MSSPs have had to adapt. According to a recent report by Persistence Market Research, the global managed security services (MSS) market is expected to reach $100 billion in the next nine years. This growth in demand for outsourced security services is not only bringing a host of new MSSPs into the marketplace, It is forcing existing MSSPs to adopt new models that better address the evolving requirements spurred by digital transformation.
To help MSSP organizations meet these new market demands, Fortinet has announced five new areas of focus for its MSSP program to help its partners meet the expanding security requirements of the organizations they serve.
1) New Silver Level Designation: This new partner designation is designed to help new MSSPs, as well as traditional VARs transitioning to becoming more service oriented. This new Silver level designation includes specialized services creation and best practices content, and exclusive content, including an FNDN account and access to the MSSP Center of Excellence. Bundles and promotions are also available to help MSSPs develop internal capabilities, including FortiManager, FortiSIEM, FortiGate VM, FortiCloud, and an MSSP Lab. This also includes exclusive access to webinars and events that provides real-world skills needed to succeed in this marketplace, including developing a presales engineering team, quarterly business reviews, cross-selling techniques and execution, pricing methodologies, developing a target customer profile, establishing service levels and SLAs, and tracking performance metrics and processes.
This new program is designed to provide a path for new VARs and MSSPs entering this marketplace, or who are converting from other security vendors. It also provides a pathway towards eventually achieving Gold or Platinum status.
2) Fabric-Enabler Program for MSSPs: Fabric Enablers are partners that are mutually certified in Fortinet and Fabric-Ready partner technologies that have demonstrated expertise in designing, integrating, and managing customized Security Fabric solutions utilizing Fortinet and Fabric-Ready partner technologies. Certified partners who join the Fabric-Enabler program are able to participate in a widely promoted program that includes website signage, webinars, lead campaigns, and sales alignment support. They also receive specialized API integration, access to threat intelligence sharing methodologies, automation tools, playbooks, and service creation support. These tools enable them to develop and deliver differentiated and outcome-based services to better capitalize on new professional and managed services revenue opportunities.
3) Services Enablement to Support Digital Transformation Strategies: New service enablement packages have been developed to help MSSPs address the challenges their customers are facing due to digital transformation. Packages are available for securing multi-cloud environments, implementing automation, deploying secure SD-WAN, and managing secure access for IoT and OT environments. These service enablement packages include technology starter kits and engineering fast track tools, as well as service creation content and sales, marketing, and DevOps playbooks.
4) Regional Engineering and Partner Services Support: Fortinet has expanded the number of regional subject matter experts and Partner Service Managers in order to help support global MSSPs with service creation, sales, and operational alignment efforts.
5) Expansion of the FortiVet Program to Staff MSSPs: One of the biggest challenges facing customers and MSSPs alike is the growing cybersecurity skills gap. To help address this challenge, the Fortinet Veterans Program (FortiVet) was designed to facilitate the transition of exceptional military veterans into the cybersecurity industry. We do this by providing specialized training, hands on mentoring, and professional networking services. While this program originally began in the US, it has now been expanded to include the United Kingdom.
With the expansion of the Fortinet MSSP Program, small to large MSSPs benefit from the tools, expertise, training and support to accelerate their profitability and deliver the industry’s most advanced security services to their customers.