Infrascale, a cloud backup and disaster recovery company, is attempting to tackle the complexities of ransomware protection and mitigation with a new program for its partners.
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This week, the company launched the Ransomware Antidote Program, which provides tools to help Infrascale partners to drive productive conversations about ransomware with their clients. The program also offers guidance for navigating the ransomware-related products that have been inundating the market.
"This program's all about educating our partners so they can then have a good conversation with their downstream clients," said Dean Nicolls, vice president of marketing at Infrascale, based in El Segundo, Calif.
Through the Ransomware Antidote Program, Infrascale partners can access a range of educational media, including e-books, presentations and an online quiz called, "Are you a soft target for ransomware?" for evaluating customers' risks for ransomware attacks.
Nicolls said Infrascale is using a three-pronged strategy for ransomware protection. First, the Ransomware Antidote Program emphasizes training and auditing users on phishing attacks -- "the primary vector that ransomware gets into your organization and infects your systems," he noted. Infrascale will soon announce partnerships with companies that provide auditing capabilities, such as fake phishing attacks used to identify vulnerabilities.
"Partners can play a vital role in training their users to be more aware of phishing attacks because [the attacks are] getting a lot more sophisticated than they used to be," Nicolls said.
The second and third prongs of Infrascale's approach include getting customers to implement commercial-grade antivirus and backup or disaster recovery as a service products. Infrascale is also planning to team up with antivirus protection providers to give Infrascale partners antivirus products that they can recommend.
"Organizations of all stripes" are being targeted by ransomware attacks, Nicolls said. However, there are some organizations that are targeted more than others.
"They're typically organizations that have important data to protect, but often lack IT resources" for executing security awareness training and implementing antivirus and recovery capabilities, Nicolls said. Hospitals, state and local government organizations, and even police departments represent particularly vulnerable targets.
Cyberbit launches North American partner program
Cyberbit, a cybersecurity vendor, unveiled a channel program for North American partners.
Cyberbit was launched in April 2015 as a subsidiary of defense systems company Elbit Systems Ltd., based in Haifa, Israel. Cyberbit's product portfolio includes endpoint detection and response, security operations center (SOC) automation and orchestration, cyber range training and simulation, and industrial control systems security.
Stephen Thomas, vice president of sales at Cyberbit, said that, while the vendor is relatively new, its technology has been in production at organizations such as Israel's electric company and Israel Defense Forces.
Channel companies, Thomas said, "aren't partnering up with two men in a truck or a company that just got series A funding."
Thomas, formerly vice president of channel sales at Symantec, said Cyberbit has signed about 20 partners thus far. For the most part, those companies are IT security resellers, but a few are operational technology (OT) partners who work in such fields as North American Electric Reliability Corporation Critical Infrastructure Protection compliance. Thomas said Cyberbit will sell exclusively through the channel.
Cyberbit's partner program currently provides a deal registration portal for participating companies. Early next year, the channel initiative will add a managed security services provider (MSSP) program. In addition, Cyberbit will roll out a "first call" program that will offer enhanced margins to channel partners that provide tier 1 technical support for Cyberbit customers, according to Thomas.
Thomas said Cyberbit's product line offers a number of opportunities for partners. In industrial control systems security, for example, the vendor's SCADAShield product can help launch IT security partners into the OT security business.
"We have seen a real opportunity for classic IT security VARs that don't have OT experience," Thomas said. "They can use our platform to do a very quick assessment of a utility's environment or any OT environment."
SCADAShield provides a view of the assets and inventory on both IT and OT networks and shows a channel partner the connectivity between the IT and OT sides, Thomas explained.
In another channel play, a partner can perform implementation work around Cyberbit's SOC automation offering. Thomas said many companies with SOCs use runbooks based on an Excel spreadsheet or Word document. In those cases, a partner can deploy Cyberbit's SOC product to automate those runbooks, which security personal use to codify incident response procedures. Thomas said SOC automation projects may also get the partner involved in business process consulting.
A channel partner can also deploy the SOC automation product in-house as a way of branching into the MSSP sector. Thomas described channel partners' potential roles with Cyberbit as "sell, implement and manage" as they work with its technology.
"We are trying to open all the doors that we can," he said.
Kaseya offers free migration tool
Kaseya, a vendor of IT management solutions for managed services providers (MSP), is offering a free professional services automation (PSA) migration tool.
The company launched the tool at its Kaseya Connect Europe conference, which was recently held in Barcelona, Spain. Fred Voccola, CEO at Kaseya, said his company's PSA product costs about a quarter of the price of what its PSA competitors charge.
"We want to get the MSPs using a lower-cost, higher-value, second-generation … PSA," Voccola said.
The new PSA tool automates the task of migrating from one PSA product to Kaseya's offering. Most customers will be able to migrate their data and workflows to Kaseya's PSA system in a week. The tool counters a misconception in the market that PSA migration takes months to accomplish, Voccola said.
Also at Kaseya Connect Europe, the company unveiled the latest release of Kaseya AuthAnvil On-Demand, which now includes single sign-on, multifactor authentication and automated user provisioning for Microsoft Office 365. And in another move, Kaseya announced late November availability for the latest version of its Traverse hybrid cloud and data center monitoring solution.
Xerox, Ricoh and Tech Data make moves
Xerox is targeting channel partners using its Web Capture Service, turnkey applications and an updated partner playbook.
The Web Capture Service, a workflow automation tool, helps channel partners address the problem of importing a hard copy scan of business documents, such as invoices, into applications, such as QuickBooks or Office 365, according to Xerox. The service will be available to select U.S. partners in the fourth quarter of 2016 and to all partners in the U.S., Canada and Europe in the first quarter of 2017.
In another partner-oriented effort, the company now offers Productivity Packs for ConnectKey i-Series multifunction printers. The packs are pre-packaged turnkey apps geared toward vertical markets such as education, healthcare, finance and general office. Productivity Packs are available now in Europe and will be ready for the U.S. and Canadian markets in 2017.
Finally, the company has revised its Partner Solutions Playbook with 18 new industry applications, use cases and sales strategies. The playbook is available now in the U.S. and Europe.
Ricoh USA Inc., meanwhile, debuted its Ricoh Application and Infrastructure Monitoring and Management Service (RAIMMS), an offering that the company said monitors and manages businesses' hardware and software infrastructures. Ricoh is collaborating with mindSHIFT Technologies, an MSP and cloud services provider, on the RAIMMS offering. Ricoh acquired mindSHIFT in 2014.
In addition, Tech Data Corp. has been named the master distributor for Fujitsu do Brasil. The deal makes Tech Data the exclusive distributor of Fujitsu document scanners to solution providers in Latin America.
Apple enterprise adoption spurs Jamf's channel expansion
Jamf, a provider of enterprise management software for the Apple platform, said it plans to build out its channel partner program in 2017.
Jamf intends to offer all of the hallmarks of conventional channel programs, such as deal registration, market development funds and tiered partner differentiation. The company will also develop its training and enablement resources to align with Apple.
"In the areas of enablement … I think that's where we're going to make the largest and most notable strides and improvements," Berndt said.
He noted that Jamf's decision to build out its channel resources was partly driven by growing enterprise Mac adoption. He attributed the increased customer interest to influential moves by IBM, BMW and other companies that now offer Macs to their employees.
AWS re:Invent 2016: What AWS partners can expect
This year's AWS re:Invent conference will likely offer a deeper technical dive than in years past, according to 2nd Watch, an enterprise cloud workload and management company and a Premier AWS partner.
"I think it's going to be focused highly around the technical folk, maybe even a deeper technical emphasis, if anything," said Jeff Aden, executive vice president of marketing and strategic business development at 2nd Watch, based in Seattle. This will be 2nd Watch's fifth year of attending AWS re:Invent.
Aden added that he expects the technical sessions to cover "the breadth and depth of services," as well as technologies that are more in the forefront, such as Aurora, the internet of things and machine learning.
Based on what Aden has heard from customers, machine learning is a major interest. "Understanding [machine learning], how to use it and how other companies are using it will be a big area of focus in the coming years," he said.
The sold-out AWS re:Invent 2016 conference will be held in Las Vegas from Nov. 27 through Dec. 2.
Here's a look at more highlights from the week:
- Distributor Avnet launched a program enabling its North American partners to offer managed security services. The program, dubbed "Recon," allows partners to offer security services under their own brand or under Avnet's. Recon offers a range of security capabilities, including threat detection and remediation via a unified security management system; cloud-based monitoring and remediation; and assessment, discovery and networking functions, according to Avnet. Additionally, partners can bundle Recon services with security technology from Cisco, Check Point and F5 Networks, among other vendors. Partners will have access to Avnet's solution specialists for help developing security offerings.
- GE Digital rolled out an independent software vendor (ISV) program, which the company said aims to create a marketplace for Predix-based applications. Predix is GE's operating system for the industrial internet. The ISV initiative allows partners to use Predix as a "building block" for new applications, according to the company. GE Digital has more than 100 registered ISV program participants. The program, in addition to offering access to the Predix platform, also provides application development support.
- Exact, a global business software supplier and the owner of Macola, said it added eight solution providers to its Macola Unity Partner Program in the previous quarter. The Unity Partner Program launched in January 2015 and offers access to deal registration incentives, leads, market development funds and technical training for the company's Macola 10 product.
- Sutherland Digital has named Andy Zimmerman, former president of Frog Design, as its president. Zimmerman will also lead the company's telecommunications and technology business units.
- Security company FireEye named former Symantec and Nuance Communications executive Bill Robbins as its executive vice president of worldwide sales.
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