Cloud security presents a big opportunity, but analytics capabilities pose an added revenue bonus that solution providers should make sure they don't miss, security experts said.
As more mature customers adopt more cloud solutions, data and cloud metrics are becoming a "big factor" in their security operations center and security information and event management (SIEM) strategies, said JD Sherry, vice president of strategy and innovation at Denver-based Optiv Security. In particular, he added, companies are looking to leverage emerging machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies to automate and orchestrate threat intelligence information.
"We are fundamentally seeing the evolution of the security operations center as it pertains to incorporating cloud security data and metadata in security decisions," Sherry said.
In cloud security, two kinds of opportunities pertain to analytics, said Doug Cahill, senior analyst for cybersecurity at the Enterprise Strategy Group, Milford, Mass. The first involves user behavior through cloud access security broker solutions, he said, which allow companies to identify anomalous behavior on cloud applications.
The second, Cahill said, is an opportunity for partners to leverage the cloud as a platform for greater analytics capabilities, particularly around SIEM as a service solutions, which he said help democratize SIEM for businesses of all sizes.
As customers look to close the gap between moving to the cloud and looking to secure that adoption, Cahill said, these types of analytics solutions are key.
"Organizations are closing the gap between their adoption of cloud technology and their readiness to secure that adoption," Cahill said. "Channel partners that have a core competency in security can engage and consult their clients on how to close the readiness gap."
Because of that consultation and engagement, it's much more than just a revenue-builder, he said. "It's certainly a revenue opportunity, but I think it's a strategic consulting and trusted adviser opportunity,” said Cahill.
Erin Malone, vice president of North American channel sales at Abingdon, England-based Sophos, agreed, saying that while there's a "large revenue opportunity" around cloud security analytics, the bigger opportunity is for partners to establish themselves as trusted advisers.
"It makes [partners] become a trusted adviser and gives them another tool in their belt to retain that customer and provide exceptional value to them," Malone said. "I think that's what customers are expecting of partners now."