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Maintaining Your Most Valuable Assets

by Charles Ho
SonicWall Outside Regional Sales Director


Creating a team of skilled security professionals is the single biggest gap for businesses today. While this gap is fueling the need for managed security services, managed security service providers (MSSPs) also face the same problem.

MSSP staff members are constantly being approached by recruiters, competitors and even their customers. The value that MSSPs deliver to their customers is a direct correlation to the talented people manning their operations. How can you better keep your security operations center (SOC) analysts happy, engaged and committed for the long term? Compensation is obvious, but I want to focus on three arguably more important factors: technology, team building and enablement.

Technology

Throughout an analyst’s day, they’re touching different technologies at the customer site and in your SOC. Having access to the right tools can make the job significantly more effective and efficient, which cuts down on frustration and increases productivity.

Involve analysts in technology choices

Which threat detection technology should your customer deploy? Ask your analyst! They understand what’s effective but more importantly, which technologies make their job easier. One brand’s alerts may only show a title, but another brand may provide comprehensive access to packet data as well as additional context from threat intelligence feeds. This is even more important when evaluating SOC tools. Changing to a more cost-effective tool that your analysts hate will only result in employee attrition.

Look at automation

Many MSSPs I talk to are looking at automation to reduce costs by increasing the analyst-to-customer ratio. However, the bigger benefit is being able to reduce the amount of Level 1 work an analyst needs to perform. Analysts love working on net-new cases where they can potentially unravel a significant breach and will, in many cases, work overtime to continue to triage. The opposite is also true, where working on repetitive cases can lead to fatigue.

Team Building and Culture

Analysts don’t work alone. The more they can work as a team, the more effective they’ll be. The camaraderie of a team helps employees believe they’re part of something bigger than themselves. Here are some suggestions to improve working environment:

Promote joint activities outside of work

  • Provide access to entertainment at the office with a focus on multiplayer activities, like ping pong
  • Plan regular team-building activities, like a staff lunch
  • Encourage involvement in company activities
  • Rotate analysts appropriately so everyone gets a chance to participate

Encourage interaction between SOCs

  • Hold regular video conference hand-offs; everyone needs to know everyone’s face
  • Offer cross-SOC training opportunities
  • Create options to relocate between SOCs

Enablement and Career

Just like any other job, a network security employee wants to grow professionally. Not only do they want to enhance their skills, but they also want the opportunity to progress to a bigger role. Unless you’re a global MSSP, the latter can be a challenge as the company structure can be very flat. Some suggestions for professional development:

Implement training and mentor programs

  • Particularly for a new analyst, it can be very rewarding to learn from someone senior. Establishing mentor relationships not only allows the new analyst to grow, but can also give the senior analyst a sense of accomplishment, especially if they’re not a manager.
  • Encourage and support external training activities. Sending someone to the yearly Black Hat global information security conference can be seen as a big reward, but attending smaller — and often free — vendor trainings can have similar effects.

Expand job scopes

It’s not always possible to promote an individual, but providing them unique opportunities to show off their capability can be an alternative to career progression.

  • Use case walkthroughs with the team to have analysts share interesting findings. This is even better if they can share their discoveries with people outside the SOC, such as the sales team.
  • Provide SOC tours to customers and have analysts walk through their daily activity and share sample cases.
  • Use monthly/quarterly customer reviews (onsite or remote) to show value to customers beyond reporting and alerting.

SOC analysts are your most valuable asset. Keep them happy and your business will prosper.

Learn more information about SonicWall’s SecureFirst partner program, which helps accelerate our partners’ ability to be thought-leaders and game-changers in the ever-evolving security landscape.

https://www.sonicwall.com/en-us/partners/mssp-partner-program

SonicWall’s Michele Campbell, Dawn Ringstaff Named to CRN’s 2018 Women of the Channel List

CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, has named two SonicWall employees, Michele Campbell and Dawn Ringstaff, to its prestigious 2018 Women of the Channel list, which recognizes top women in business for their vision, experience and influence in driving channel success.

In addition to being named to the Women of the Channel list, Campbell has the additional honor of also being recognized as a 2018 Woman of the Channel Power 100 honoree. The Power 100 belong to an exclusive group drawn from this larger list: women leaders whose vision and influence are key drivers of their company’s success and help move the entire IT channel forward.

“This accomplished group of leaders is steadily guiding the IT channel into a prosperous new era of services-led business models and deep, strategic partnerships,” said Bob Skelley, CEO of The Channel Company. “CRN’s 2018 Women of the Channel list honors executives who are driving channel progress doing will have lasting impact for years to come.”

Michele Campbell
Sr. Director, Global Channel Programs & Education Services, SonicWall

Campbell has been honored with the CRN Women of The Channel award three times over the course of her career, which includes 25 years of in-depth experience in the channel. In her role leading global channel programs and partner enablement at SonicWall, she led the charge in developing the SecureFirst Partner Program, which has had a significant impact on SonicWall in the past year with over 21,000 registered partners, 8,000 of those partners are new to SonicWall.

Campbell also introduced new partner enablement initiatives into the program, including SonicWall University to address the cybersecurity skills gap and train partners on insights gleaned by the SonicWall Capture Labs researchers, and new global marketing programs and incentives to help the SonicWall channel deliver cyber security solutions and services to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Dawn Ringstaff
Regional Sales Director, SonicWall

Leveraging her 20 years of experience working in the channel, Ringstaff leads the team that is responsible for North American partner enablement, partner profitability and overall sales growth at SonicWall. During her decade at SonicWall, she has forged deep relationships with SonicWall’s North American partners, and was recognized internally at SonicWall as last year’s top-performing director on the channel and sales team in North America. As a seasoned channel sales leader, Ringstaff has mentored countless channel sales teams and at SonicWall she has been instrumental in helping many inside sales representatives transition to highly successful field territory channel managers.

The 2018 Women of the Channel list will be featured in the June issue of CRN Magazine and online at https://www.crn.com/wotc.

In addition to CRN naming Campbell and Ringstaff to the Women of the Channel list, CRN has included SonicWall and its executives on a number of additional prestigious lists since SonicWall became an independent cybersecurity company. In the past six months, SonicWall has been recognized with the following:

New SonicWall SecureFirst Partner Program -100% Security, 100% SonicWall

Today is an exciting day for SonicWall and our channel partners.  As part of SonicWall’s transition to an independent company owned by Francisco Partners and Elliot Management and to affirm our 100% channel strategy, we are launching the new SonicWall SecureFirst Partner Program.  We thought long and hard on what to name our new program.  So why SecureFirst?  SECURE – because for SonicWall, security is our mission – it’s all we do and it’s what motivates us every day – to protect our customers from the constantly evolving cyber threat landscape.  And FIRST – because our partners and customers always come first!

SecureFirst is now the way our channel partners worldwide access the entire SonicWall portfolio of technology and solutions – from our best-in-class next-generation firewalls, SonicWall Capture for advanced threat protection, access security, email security and Security-as-a-Service.  With SecureFirst, all of these solutions will continue to be available through SonicWall’s network of valued Distributors, so partners can continue to source SonicWall products uninterrupted, in the way they are accustomed. Partners will find several program levels in SecureFirst, allowing them to commit to SonicWall solutions at a level that is right for their security practices. With the different levels of commitment to the program come differentiated levels of rewards and benefits. Central to the new program is Reward for Value, SonicWall’s partner profitability framework that rewards partners for the value they bring to selling, implementing, and supporting SonicWall solutions. Both up-front discounts and back-end rewards have all been refreshed with the new program and are optimized for partners growing their security practice with SonicWall. New sales and technical enablement will become available as well as new programs to help partners leverage greater services and support opportunity with their SonicWall solutions.  When you add it all up, SecureFirst has the horsepower to deliver high performance and deep security solutions with unparalleled protection for your customers, while driving accelerated reward and value for your business.

Sign up for SecureFirst today. We encourage all partners – whether you are legacy SonicWall, legacy Dell or a new partner looking to onboard with SonicWall — to enroll in the SecureFirst Partner Program.  The process is simple and straightforward. Further details can be found at the new partner website www.sonicwall.com/partners.

With a twenty-five year legacy as a security industry leader, we couldn’t be more excited about the launch of the new program.  Partnering has always been at the heart of SonicWall’s strategy and the partner program is an important part of that.  But equally important is the commitment we make to the channel and the deliberate dependence we have on our partners.  And the entire SonicWall team of security professionals that is dedicated to the success of our partners and their customers. These things will never change.  They are just as much a part of the new SonicWall as they’ve always been.  Thanks for investing in your partnership with the new SonicWall.  As always, we want to hear from you.  Find us on Twitter @SonicWall and @sppataky.

“We are pleased that the Secure First Partner Program rewards committed partners for the value they provide to customers, provides sufficient product margin and rebates, and offers discounted training and incentives for new SonicWall partners to grow their SonicWall practice.

Western NRG has been working with SonicWall exclusively for over a decade. We provide customers with custom-fit SonicWall configuration, ongoing appliance management, network reporting, and expert network security support. We are excited for what lies ahead as SonicWall begins this new chapter and continues to deliver the world’s best security solutions.” Said Timothy Martinez, President and CEO of Western NRG, Inc.

“For over a decade, SonicWall has been such a great and valuable partner across Latin America. A channel-centric vendor that provides profitable growth opportunity for us and our resellers on the cyber security segment helping small, medium and large customers to protect their infrastructure and applications,” said Rafael Paloni, President Latin America, Network1 ScanSource.

SonicWall Announces New “Reward for Value” for Channel Partners

I like cars. All kinds of cars. From high speed racers, to utility pickups and even classics like the 1961 Corvette I’m looking to restore in my spare time. Partner programs are a lot like cars. Some are basic and get you from point A to point B. Others are high performance vehicles designed to thrill. As we announce the new  SonicWall Secure First partner program and Reward for Value incentives at our PEAK16 conference this week in Las Vegas, we’ll unveil a program that I’d like to believe has a lot of horsepower, gives its drivers great controls, and is a dependable ride.

At the heart of the new program are our partnering engines designed to help our partners deliver the best security possible to protect their customers while creating more value for their business. We’ve tuned up all the partnering engines Incentives, Enablement, Support and Services.

For the incentive engine, “Reward for Value” recognizes and rewards partners for the full value they contribute to selling and supporting SonicWall solutions across the entire customer lifecycle. Whether it’s hunting a new sales opportunity, delivering a proof of concept, attaching incremental security services subscriptions to a sale or demonstrating vertical market expertise, Reward for Value delivers balanced up-front discounts and back-end rewards.

We’re also revving up new partner sales and SE trainings and accreditation tracks all built on a new partner enablement platform that delivers rich media training content and sales tools designed around the customer lifecycle. The new accreditations will provide valuable general knowledge on the threat landscape and cyber security, as well as on the latest SonicWall solutions like SonicWall Capture our new advanced threat protection offering.

Additionally, the Authorized Support Partner program is being announced to help partners builds out profitable support and services practices with their SonicWall solutions. Rich with support and services enablement that will ensure together we deliver customer success, this new program will recognize and reward Partners for owning their customers through deployment, support, optimization and upgrades. We’re also highlighting the momentum we’re building with our Security-as-a-Service and how partners can deliver managed security services on the SonicWall platform.

With close to 750 Partners attending from across the Americas, this is our largest and most successful partner event in the history of SonicWall. In fact, I’ve talked to Partners here who have attended every Peak we’ve hosted over 14 years! Talk about a loyal and dedicated Partner base. It’s humbling and an honor to count these companies among our Partners. And speaking of great Partners, I want to thank our platinum sponsors for co-sponsoring this annual event Tech Data, D&H Distributing, Securematics, SYNNEX and Ingram Micro. Without them none of this would have happened.

Our Americas business is running on all cylinders, the partnering engines are revving up and we’re thrilled to launch our Secure First partner program and Reward for Value. With the partner feedback and validation we’re receiving at PEAK, we’ve got our eyes focused on the road ahead and together with our Partners are speeding toward even greater success.

“SonicWall has proven to be a winner for us in our security practice. We have had a number of wins against other security products because of the support provided by SonicWall. PEAK16 is in that it enables me to engage with peers and enhance my skills,” says Jeffrey Grant, vice president of Tri-Delta Resources Corp.

“SonicWall understands partner challenges, enabling us to deliver thousands of customer centric solutions over the 25 years,” said Joseph Tassia, president of Nuoz.

I am meeting one-on-one with our partners this week to listen and help them further with their security mission. Follow @SonicWall on Twitter and SonicWall on Facebook with #YesPeak16 to join in the conversation and get updates. We want to hear from you.

Ingram Micro and SonicWall at PEAK: Innovating Security Solutions Sales Cycle

Note: This is a guest blog post by Eric Kohl, Vice President, Advanced Solutions, Network Security, Ingram Micro

With a proliferation of devices and increasingly sophisticated threats driving expanded opportunity around security, I think we can all agree that it’s worth the time and trouble to build a robust security practice. Our role at Ingram Micro is to show you ways to shorten the security sales cycle to help drive profitability while also positioning your business as a trusted security adviser.

While we have a dedicated team of SonicWall experts who will help you go to market with confidence, I’d like to challenge you to think beyond that to the other ways Ingram Micro can support your security practice. You can do that at the upcoming annual SonicWall PEAK16 Conference, Aug. 28-31 at the Aria in Las Vegas where we are a platinum sponsor and looking forward to meeting all of the 700 attendees. We offer security consulting and education, channel enablement services, and marketing support that help you profitably sell SonicWall solutions. We also provide real-time support, certified technical expertise, technology help desks, dedicated order management and more, so that you can provide your customers with the most up-to-date security solutions and support available. But what you might not know is how our portfolio of professional services can help you better protect your existing customers and open the door to new ones. Identifying weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your customers’ infrastructure can provide a springboard for discussions about the impact of those gaps in security coverage, drastically shortening the sales cycle by providing tests and assessments as an extension of your team’s experts, and following up with reporting and consultation. Once we’ve identified those weaknesses, our technology consulting team can back you up with proof of concept and demos all geared to help you fully secure all of your customers’ environment from devices through the network and right into the cloud.

Attendees at Peak Performance 2015

At PEAK16 next week in the Solutions Expo, stop by Ingram Micro Booth 101 to learn more about how Ingram Micro can help you shorten the sales cycle. (Plus, when you drop your business card at the booth, you could win a yeti cooler in our raffle!). Follow the conversation on Twitter with the conference hashtag #YesPeak16 @SonicWall and @IngramTechSol.

See you there!


Eric Kohl, Vice President Advanced Solutions, Network Security, Ingram Micro

Eric Kohl serves as vice president, Ingram Micro’s Security Business Unit, responsible for driving the strategy and execution of U.S. sales, vendor management, marketing and market development efforts for IT vendors and solution providers within that business unit. Since joining Ingram Micro in 1998, Eric has served as senior vendor business manager for Ingram Micro U.S. and worked in various roles in both product management and purchasing. Originally from the East Coast, Eric lives in sunny California with his wife and two children. He remains a die-hard Red Sox fan, is an avid reader and hack golfer.

Sneak Preview of the Art of the Hack with Rob Krug

Well, it’s Peak16 time again at the Aria in Las Vegas.

Did you enjoy Peak 2015? Then check this out ““ they are actually putting me on the main stage this year. If you thought that last year was entertaining, wait till you get a load me this time.

Don’t miss my main stage presentation on Tuesday, August 30, “The Art of the Hack”.

I have been analyzing the latest threats, exploits and breach scenarios, and between you and me, it’s pretty sinister out there. To highlight key information, I have some surprises in store. What better way to deliver a fresh look at the security threat landscape than on the main stage and the big screen. I would love to divulge the details but what’s the fun in that?

Go to the PEAK16 site to get the latest agenda, with all of the keynotes, business and technical sessions on SonicWall network security, access security and email security. This is going to be an awesome event with our channel partners.

I can’t wait to see you there. In the meantime, check out these videos – and follow PEAK16 on Twitter at @SonicWall #YesPeak16 on Twitter.

SoincWall Security Helps Partners Fight Malware Economy with Innovation at SoincWall Peak Performance

Today, at SoincWall Peak Performance 2015 in Las Vegas, I am zeroing in on the most important information for our SoincWall Security channel partners.

A lot has happened in the last year across SoincWall Security Solutions. In fact, as of this month, we have quite literally completed a complete refresh of our SonicWall TZ Wireless firewall product line from top to bottom while expanding the portfolio with the introduction of new platform form factors and performance capabilities. We’ve innovated with the software, with features, with performance, and with value for every size company from small businesses to distributed enterprises. We continue to fight the malware economy by improving our threat research, our Deep Packet Inspection Engine, and we’ve dramatically increased security for our customers by enhancing our DPI SSL capabilities and overall support from top to bottom.

Just today, we announced a phenomenal customer and partner success with Time Warner Cable Wireless and our premier partner Secure Designs, Inc. It is inspiring to learn how our partner integrated the latest  SonicWall solutions to support Time Warner Cable to protect schools and provide a better, more secure learning environment in order to facilitate the education of children nationwide.

And, there is always the new new threat! At Peak Performance, I’m discussing the new threats. What’s new in the overall security industry? What are some of the shocking evolutions in hacking? What is new in our SonicWall threat research? And of course, what are we doing about it and what does that mean for our product roadmap?

So, at this year’s Peak Performance, I am charting our future with you, our partners. Hearing what you like, and what you still need is what I value most about this week and is the reason why our entire team is here to support you. And to this point, remember, you help us build our roadmaps. We refine what we build and what we don’t by listening to you.

That is not bull. That is a fact.

We can’t and don’t want to build every product in the world. We do want to build the right products and features that will protect your customers. You have that knowledge. So attending SoincWall Peak Performance is not just an opportunity to receive info on what is happening. It is an opportunity to change our roadmap. To change the industry. To change security for your partners. We are here to give and to receive. I look forward to both! Just today we have received great support from our partners and customers on-site.

Joe Gleinser, president of GCS Technologies, a premier partner, was interviewed onsite:

“I have used SonicWall for nearly a decade and have 500 clients deployed across Texas and my clients learn to depend on the SonicWall brand.”