The cybersecurity market is expected to grow to $7.6 billion by 2024 as cyber threats surge. Leading vendors Microsoft, Citrix, Trend Micro, Commvault and VMware come together to discuss the role of technology and partners in protecting Australia’s SMBs.

Tony Lam Tony Lam Business Manager - Software at Dicker Data
Tony Lam

Why Dicker Data and our partners are leading the way in cyber security

The Australian Cyber Security Centre reported one cybercrime occurred every 10 minutes over the last year and at least one malicious attack every eight hours.

On Thursday 20 May, Dicker Data hosted the inaugural Cyber Risk Symposium event in Sydney with keynote speaker Mark Iles, Industry Analyst, Tech Research Asia. Bringing together experts from heavyweight Dicker Data vendors; Commvault, Citrix, Microsoft, Trend Micro and VMware, Mark explored today’s evolving cyber risk and security landscape, the technology that can help protect customers and grow businesses, current skill shortages and the opportunities for partners.

While the Symposium planned to travel to Melbourne soon after, lockdowns have meant the event is now postponed. The Dicker Data team and vendors are actively monitoring the situation and planning additional events to be announced shortly.

Here is a look into the cyber security sector and a snippet on what was covered at the Sydney event and sample of what other locations can expect:

Cyber-attacks on the rise

The cybersecurity market is expected to grow to $7.6 billion by 2024 as cyber threats surge. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OIAC) indicated 68 percent of cyber-attacks are attributed to phishing, malware, ransomware, brute-force attacks, compromised or stolen credentials and other forms of hacking. Rob Dooley, Director ANZ, VMWare, says when it comes to cybersecurity “it’s around speed, visibility, bolting on security and providing really good information to your IT teams.”

Remote and hybrid workforces amid COVID-19 exposed businesses and individuals to greater cyber threats and vulnerabilities, shifting security responsibilities from the corporate office to multiple remote environments. Aaron Robinson, Head of Presales ANZ, Citrix, indicated 35 percent of workers will continue working remotely post-COVID-19. This emphasises that vendors, partners, and businesses need to navigate and closely manage new and unprecedented security challenges, as employees operate from multiple locations and on various networks.

An urgent call for IT skills

The Australian IT skills shortage is a growing challenge to the industry and broader economy, impacting 70 percent of cybersecurity professionals. Cyber Risk Symposium explores the skills gap impact on Australia’s Chief Information Officers (CIOs), with 60 percent requiring educational programs to attract new talent, and update processes to address modern cybersecurity.

Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs) contribute $380 million to the Australian economy, however Samantha Zammit, Modern Workplace Lead for SMB, Microsoft, said “SMBs have the least security and technology knowledge due to limited training on modern solutions, putting Australia’s economy at greater risk.” Samantha demonstrated Dicker Data’s commitment to support partners close the skills gap through joint Microsoft Certification as a Service and Ascend training programs.

As businesses and individuals become more exposed to cyber risks, Mark Iles suggests, “IT and security experts need to be across the emerging innovative, fast, and well-rounded solutions available to the market. However, a single vendor cannot provide the end-to-end security requirements for today’s evolving challenges.” Mark encourages partners to form their own security resource hubs by leveraging value-added services from Dicker Data, such as cross-vendor support, engaging online courses and training and development programs.

Market opportunities partners can leverage

Mark has a wealth of knowledge about the market opportunities of cyber risk and security for partners and advises, “there is no quick fix when it comes to security, however there are multiple opportunities available to partners in solving the emerging threat landscape.”

1. Identify the threat landscape

The first step to safe security practices is to conduct an in-depth assessment of the customers threat landscape. This is the process of detecting where risks lie and identifying how vulnerable and targeted the customer’s industry is. David Rajkovic, Area Vice President, ANZ, Commvault said “You need to assume as a business you will be hacked. Cyber-attacks are an everyday occurrence and data protection is business critical.” For partners who may not have access to the talent or resources, outsourcing the threat landscape audit is critical to managing, mitigating, and responding to customers security requirements. 

2. Create a solution map

Once the risk factors are identified, partners can create an efficient and tailored solution map. This involves partners acting as strategic advisors and utilising their customers’ security budgets effectively. Mark Iles emphasises the importance of identifying specific granular systems to fill the gaps customers need to strengthen their security. He advises partners to “tighten customers security budget with solutions that addresses the risks they are exposed to. This enables you to have a measurable strategy, report on ROI, and demonstrate your value.”

Ashley Watkins, Vice President ANZ Commercial, Trend Micro added, “Every vendor wants to see resellers and their customers succeed. Understanding your customers challenges, limitations, risks and experiences is critical for partners to provide us (vendors) with the visibility we need to help you react, strategies, and put a plan of action in place.”

3. Add value and offer virtual Chief Security Officer (CSIO) consulting

A Chief Information Security Officer (CSIO) is a valuable business asset, however, can be a significant cost. Leveraging expertise, partners can offer virtual CSIO (vCISO) services for existing and prospective customers to outsource. This maximises business opportunities for partners, while enabling customers to access instant industry leading skills, resources, and IT knowledge. CSO Australia reported “vCISOs are results driven and are estimated to cost between 30 and 40 percent of a full-time CISO”. vCISOS provide on-demand security support services, customised management, and protection of IT infrastructure, and data security.

4. Leverage your Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs) offerings

The need for Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs) is in high demand. IDC found 73 percent of Australian organisations are set to boost investments in MSSPs, giving partners the opportunity to outsource the monitoring and management of security systems, and devices. By offering MSSP services, partners can maximise business opportunities, act as trusted advisors to customers’ while enhancing end-user security, and IT ecosystems.

As a value-added distributor, Dicker Data will continue to be a part of the cybersecurity conversation, working with leading vendors to drive solutions, and provide opportunities for partners to ensure cyber safe practices are in place.

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To learn more about our resources, visit the Dicker Data security hub.


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