Security News

Cybersecurity Companies To Know In 2023: Channel Moves In Q1

Kyle Alspach

We’re taking a look at the channel-focused security vendors that have unveiled major partner program updates in the first quarter of 2023, including Palo Alto Networks and Trellix.

Growing Opportunities For Partnering

While it may not grab as much attention as the torrent of industry layoffs or the latest news on AI chatbots, 2023 has already seen a steady stream of channel program announcements by tech vendors looking to do more with partners. That includes in the cybersecurity industry, where a number of vendors, large and small, are doubling down on their investments in the channel.

[Related: 10 Hot XDR Security Companies You Should Watch In 2023]

Executives from these cybersecurity companies told CRN that it’s a great time to make these investments because the opportunities around security only continue to grow, even in spite of the current economic upheaval. Intensifying cyber threats such as data theft and ransomware, along with increasing regulations and cyber insurance requirements, are just a few of the factors that experts predict strong demand for cybersecurity products and services to continue, regardless of the economic environment.

Security vendors that have unveiled major channel partner program updates in Q1 of 2023 include Palo Alto Networks, Skyhigh Security, Trellix and Proofpoint.

What follows are the details on some of the channel-focused cybersecurity companies that have unveiled major partner program updates in the first quarter of 2023. CRN will update this list on an ongoing basis.

Palo Alto Networks

Starting off the new year, Palo Alto Networks announced more details in early January about current and forthcoming updates to its NextWave Program. In an interview with CRN, Palo Alto Networks Channel Chief Tom Evans said that “the biggest change is that we looked at our partner ecosystem and realized that not all partners are the same. And to try to fit them into areas that they necessarily didn’t fit — while it worked, and certainly we were able to transact business — it didn’t completely drive the right behavior at the partners.”

“And so what we’re changing is really creating all of the different ‘paths,’ so that each of our partners — no matter what path they want to come into, or even multiple paths — have a framework within the program that drives them,” said Evans, who is vice president of worldwide channel sales at Palo Alto Networks.

The program includes five distinct “paths” for partners depending on whether they’re predominantly a solution provider (focused on offering specialized expertise in products and services); an MSSP; a services partner (for consulting, professional or risk liability services); a distributor; or a cloud service provider (focused on marketplace transactions).

Palo Alto Networks is also dramatically expanding its services specializations as well as adding new proficiencies, including professional services proficiencies and the vendor’s first managed services proficiency. The company said that more than 95 percent of its revenue is generated through partners.

Ultimately, all of the changes in the NextWave Program are aimed at making it easier and more rewarding for partners to sell more of the Palo Alto Networks product portfolio, beyond just the company’s widely deployed next-generation firewalls, Evans said. In addition to firewalls, the portfolio now includes Prisma SASE (secure access service edge) and Prisma Access for providing secure remote access to an organization’s applications and other resources; Prisma Cloud for securing applications and cloud environments; and Cortex for endpoint security, XDR and “autonomous” security operations.

“My advice to all of our firewall partners is, look at our entire portfolio and figure out the story you‘re telling to the customer. Don’t look at it as a product — look at it as [the story of] how you’re trying to make your customer secure. And then figure out which of our solutions fit in,” Evans told CRN. “And you’ll find that you don’t have to go out there and sell a bunch of solutions [from different vendors]. They can really just focus on Palo Alto [Networks] with multiple solutions.”

Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach is a Senior Editor at CRN focused on cybersecurity. His coverage spans news, analysis and deep dives on the cybersecurity industry, with a focus on fast-growing segments such as cloud security, application security and identity security.  He can be reached at

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