Channels are true evangelists of cloud security: Reno Maglitto

Channels redefining the cloud security conundrum will rapidly accelerate their business in the modern world, says APAC Channel Chief Reno at Netskope.

reno maglitto channel and alliance director apac netskope.2

The cloud security company Netskope is fast expanding its footprint delivering data-centric security with the right balance of protection and speed businesses need to secure their digital transformation journey. IDG had a detailed interaction with Reno Maglitto, Channel and Alliance Director APAC at Netskope a consistent channel advocate for over twenty years assisting APAC Partners monetise successful relationships with top tier IT Security vendors. Reno spoke on CASB market, its channel ecosystem and Netskope’s USP as one cloud architecture securing organisations’ cloud presence.

Edited Excerpts

Which industry trends should CIOs and CSOs be wary of with respect to organisation’s security posture? Will they be safe in 2019 and 2020?

The consistent theme from CSOs across APAC region is their want to reduce the unnecessary noise (around security) from external bodies but also internally from their own colleagues. The important aspect that keeps them up at night is the new environment of cloud which is certainly high on CISOs’ agenda as most businesses transforming to this model. In case of an incident, most of times the security controls in place protect cloud hitting risk register, auditors getting involved and CSOs sit comfortably in the board.

With physical perimeter evaporating in cloud world, the customers have to rearchitect their security blueprint. The key solutions in the cloud marketplace are reengineered endpoint solutions, identity solutions and cloud DLP offerings (from vendors like Netskope for visibility and control).

Most CSOs had to say no to innovation and transformation as many installed grandiose secure web gateways from leading security vendors which inhibited them to innovate due to reduction in number of apps accessible by the users. Netskope’s more open approach allows access to websites and importantly protects corporate information.

The worldwide revenue for CASB solutions is expected to grow rapidly to touch $1 billion by 2022. What are the definite opportunities and any roadblocks on its adoption rate?

We believe that penetration rates for technology like us is between 3 to 5%. If we take the bigger number, only 5% organisations across APAC would have any visibility from cloud perspective, they still don’t have relevant controls, policies in place to protect data.

reno maglitto channel and alliance director apac netskope.1 Netskope

A customer that doesn’t think about the need to change is the biggest roadblock to cloud security. In most cases, CSO is that odd person as saying yes to the business means something will change which they would now have to secure.

Reno Maglitto, Channel & Alliance Director APAC, Netskope

Working with channel partners to help their customers rethink effective cloud security is the biggest opportunity and partners with agility become the trusted advisors of CSOs. We are spending efforts in channel model with core group of partners with comprehensive trainings to take forward that new message into the market. We are redefining security for cloud by investing significantly in people, infra, product development to lead the space.

A customer that doesn’t think about the need to change is the biggest roadblock to cloud security. In most cases, CSO is that odd person that has been mostly reluctant to change and saying yes to the business means something will change which they would have to secure.

Netskope venturing into a crowded competitive market of secure web gateway is a ‘foot in the door’ for your channel partners. Isn’t it?

In terms of sales strategy we are educating partners on introducing secure web gateway which we believe is low hanging fruit. Most customers have secure web gateway solution which is due for renewal as channels can leverage the renewal and introduce Netskope’s secure gateway. Then they can expand our portfolio to CASB, IaaS security, secure private access.

That is an effective strategy that’s garnered much success across region. Customers are moving from on prem proxy solutions into cloud based solutions and secure web gateway ‘foot in the door’ strategy will accelerate.  

What credentials do you seek to on board channel partners? Who’s first on the radar - specialised security partners or even traditional IT infra partners?

Channel partners that really wants to put the efforts in to monetise our relationship be it security partner or IT Infra partner. Everybody wants to partner with a new vendor in the marketplace which is good from excitement perspective but our channels need to have a bend towards security especially for cloud environments.

I primarily seek 4 Cs - Capability, Capacity, Commitment and Communication – in a partner organisation. The right DNA of a partner is crucial as a channel servicing too many vendors does not give me right capacity. Channels should have right and adequate resources in terms of technical, sales, marketing to help us leverage their capability in terms of skillsets. They need to be committed to sync into Netskope vision with revenue target including a business partner planning exercise. Lastly, they need to effectively communicate Netskope internally as well as communicating to the external stakeholders including CSOs.

Reno Maglitto, Netskope

Netskope Expanded its Cloud Security Partner Program few months ago offering bigger profits and incentives including technical training and certification for resellers. Will it appeal more to traditional hardware or security companies or born in the cloud (MSSP, CSP partners) channels?

We are fortunate that we have a dedicated enablement team in our business. We acknowledge to extract leverage and value out of partners we have significant in APAC and global. We have a concept of channel pod that we will be replicating and investing in APAC and India. Channel manager, channel se and channel business development manager (lead gen manager) effectively to activate and promote netskope with partners. And important part is training. Channel program is about rewarding partners that invest in training.  

Right now, MSSP space is very low for us though we are highly relevant to many organisations with that model. Technically we have development work to be truly multi tenets and the right sort of architecture. But it’s not stopping to us to have MSSP partners. Most of our partners are traditional reseller followed by consulting / risk firms that leverage our product to deliver greater insight to their customers about security and risk in cloud

Quality of partners or quantity of partners. Comment.

We are very much about quality. Netskope will be pervasive and I truly believe that every customer is in cloud in any way will have to have something like Netskope. Right now the strategy is recruiting better partners and not more partners. We are investing heavily in core partners for them to have the right certs and right capability to be effective in the field.

It’s our breadth of offerings as CSOs are tired of point solutions that has added to the problems to be honest. The ability to offer one product to secure everything cloud is our big differentiator with global presence in terms of people and physical datacentres. And people deriving value from the agile deployment of our technology solutions.

Who’s the clear competition for Netskope in the super crowded security world? Wherein according to you lies the big play for your channels wrt segment size, verticals across APAC?

Market has changed significantly over past twelve months with big disruption to Mcafee and Symantec. We have seen alliances break or change in case of Zscaler. Our biggest competition today is Symantec. However we are truly one product with one architecture, one dashboard that provides visibility and real-time data and threat protection for users to access cloud services, websites, and private apps from anywhere, on any device. A customer would need seven to ten products of Symantec integrated with multiple dashboards.

Ideally we want partners to gravitate towards enterprise account but the partners’ plays across the full spectrum of industry. We see BFSI as top vertical besides ecom, IT services companies and fintech (new banks born on cloud in ANZ region). For ‘born in the cloud’ companies with no legacy infra, CASB from netskope with Identity and endpoint solutions through our relationship with Okta and CrowdStrike make the right security layer. From 50 users’ law or logistic company to large enterprise accounts, we are built for the cloud in the cloud company on subscription model with no limit on size of enterprise or vertical.

What would be Reno’s leadership and management mantras for channel partners to accelerate their business? Can you highlight your prime priorities as APAC Channel Chief for 2019 and 2020?

Have complete transparency, honesty and trust to form a true relationship with the vendor. Be truly proficient in the space with great know- how of Netskope products. Don’t be afraid to tell the customers that they have chosen global leader Netskope as their preferred vendor. Importantly bring Netskope into your business planning early on to help us build the pipeline and skill your people to capture the market opportunities.

A ‘top of line’ priority is building PODs in APAC including India and Singapore after the global model was introduced in ANZ region. We have to leverage from our country –wise distributors to build .truly autonomous run rate business. Identify new opportunities for channels in cloud world and help the build pipeline to drive business is ongoing activity.

We are just scratching the surface with CASB market as not many organisations have CASB in place. The market will swing towards cloud security solutions with deployment of O365, upcoming privacy regulation for countries like India. We are in good position to dominate that market in India and other regions of APAC as a company with one cloud architecture that secures the organisations’ cloud presence.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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