5 Things To Watch For At Sophos Discover 2019

Here's a look at five topics being discussed at Sophos Discover 2019, including how to go about building a wireless practice, growth in managed security services, and keeping compliance and visibility in the public cloud.


The Future Is Bright

More than 650 Sophos partners have converged on Las Vegas for Sophos Discover 2019, the company's annual partner event. The theme for this year's conference is 'Evolve,' which is meant to reflect both the dynamic nature of the threat landscape as well as the Sophos security portfolio, according to Kendra Krause, vice president of global channels.

The event will focus heavily on enabling partners both by discussing the tools available to support the channel as well as providing more education about the cybersecurity industry, Krause said. Sophos also plans to educate solution providers on how the company's channel has been evolving and will continue to evolve, according to Krause.

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"We're continuing to offer a channel-first strategy with the latest in cybersecurity," Krause said.

From public cloud visibility to managed security services to building out a wireless practice, here's a look at five topics Sophos will be hammering home at Sophos Discover 2019.

5. Hackers Embrace Automation To Identify Prey

Sophos research indicates that hackers have strengthened their use of automation in attacks to better identity the ideal victim in an organization as well as the weak spots in a business, Krause said.

Once the attackers get into someone's network, Krause said they find a manual way to do a quick strike, going after IP-rich areas that can attract a larger ransom. These adversaries tend to buy tools off the dark web, Krause said, and then combine bots that identity potential victims with manual legwork to determine what areas offer the greatest potential return on investment.

These attacks tend to be smash-and-grab nature and rely heavily on doing lateral movements, Krause said. Solution providers should stay up-to-speed on the latest security threats, Krause said, and deploy deep learning to be able to act in a more predictive and intelligent manner.

4. New Billing Options For EDR Offerings

Endpoint detection and response (EDR) has been very successful for Sophos, Krause said, with the company delivering both Intercept X Advanced with EDR as well as Intercept X for Server with EDR to provide deep learning technology and artificial intelligence across all key platforms.

All of this is managed by Sophos Central, Krause said, allowing partners to take advantage of the latest technology with a single management platform.

The Sophos EDR offering can currently be obtained with term licensing, but starting in June, Krause said partners and customers will be able to take advantage of flexible monthly billing options for the EDR offering. This will allow partners to boost their capital expenditures and margins, secure a predictable revenue stream, and only have to manage a single security offering for customers.

3. Simplified Visibility, Compliance In Public Cloud

Even though many customers are using public cloud, Krause said they often lack visibility into the specific cloud services being deploying. Sophos Cloud Optix, introduced earlier this month, provides customers with greater visibility into what's deployed in the public cloud, Krause said, and ensures that the allowable conduct is aligned with compliancy restrictions.

Sophos has expanded its cloud security program to better educate customers on public cloud offerings and ensure they understand how the shared security model works. The company has also done a lot of training and enablement sessions for partners around Sophos Cloud Optix, according to Krause.

As recently as a few years ago, Krause said cloud was more for just large enterprises, but she said it's definitely come down to the mid-market since then. Cloud provides end customers with the opportunity to have a more dynamic business, maintain compliance, deploy a broader set of applications, and operate a zero-trust network, Krause said, all of which are appealing to SMBs.

2. All-In On Managed Security Services

The managed services space is expected to grow from $180 billion today to $282 billion in 2023, and Krause said businesses increasingly want help managing their security deployments. This can either take the form of co-management, Krause said, or customers might opt for a fully outsourced model where the partner is responsible for managing everything.

Some of the most common managed security services customers turn to solution providers for include alert management, compliance audits, and ensuring configurations are set up correctly on either a monthly or quarterly basis, according to Krause. Offering more managed services boosts margins for partners, Krause said, and allows them to obtain higher retention and customer satisfaction ratings.

Sophos regularly talks with partners about the managed services programs available to them, Krause said, and provides consulting around what customers should deploy as well as compliance and audit checks.

1. Support For Partners Scaling Up A Wireless Practice

Sophos plans to add wireless desk services, help desk services and RFP (request for proposal) services to help provide partners with more expertise on the back-end, Krause said. As far as wireless desk services are concerned, Krause said Sophos is offering a lot of training and enablement, as well as a desk where the company can work with solution providers on designing the best wireless deployments.

Specifically, Krause said Sophos can team up with partners to examine a site map and determine where wireless access points should be located. Sophos plans to start this service on a very small basis with its partner advisory council members to get more feedback, according to Krause.

The company manages wireless access points and wireless solutions in Sophos Central alongside the XG firewall and Intercept X advanced endpoint protection, Krause said.