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Interviews / Technology

“MSPs should wisely refuse clients seeking dangerous bargains on security.” – Amit Parbhucharan, General Manager -EMEA & Asia, Beachhead Solutions

Interview with Wire19

The COVID-19 pandemic mandated work from home has pressurized organizations to spin up new work-from-home policies while securing business’ data and devices irrespective of their location, and maintain employee productivity as well. We interviewed Amit Parbhucharan, General Manager of EMEA & Asia at Beachhead Solutions, a leading provider of data and device encryption, to know their plans for the Asia and Indian markets, understand how organizations can keep themselves secure today, trends in the cybersecurity space, and their expansion plans in the coming months.

1. Let’s start with a brief introduction of Beachhead Solutions, which is new to the Asia and Indian markets. What is its mission?

Beachhead Solutions provides a web-managed security platform called SimplySecure. The full-featured SaaS platform enables you to securely enforce device access and ensure data encryption, two absolute “musts” for any organization.

In Asia and India we sell exclusively through the channel. In fact, SimplySecure for MSPs™ is a platform version we built specifically with the needs of MSPs and IT solution providers in mind. Using SimplySecure, MSPs can enforce encryption and remotely control data access from all of their clients’ employee-used devices from a single web-based console. SimplySecure allows MSPs to secure clients’ Windows and Mac PCs, iOS and Android phones and tablets, USB storage devices, and Windows Servers.

The platform provides specific capabilities – such as remote data wipe and data quarantine – that enable MSPs to ensure that clients’ sensitive data is always secure even in scenarios where devices become lost or stolen. SimplySecure for MSPs also includes the robust monitoring, alerting, and reporting capabilities MSPs require to provide Compliance-as-a-Service. This has been a key differentiator for MSPs’ clients who operate under the purview of strict data security regulations such as GDPR.

2 Beachhead recently launched its SimplySecure Reseller Program across Asia and India. What are its benefits for IT solution providers and MSPs?

The SimplySecure Reseller Program offers our channel partners a straightforward approach to securing clients’ entire fleets of devices, with the ability to provide device protection as either a customer-managed subscription or a monthly managed service. Beachhead has carefully designed the program so that MSPs can operate the solution with healthy margins, and leverage a recurring revenue model for clients requiring Compliance-as-a-Service.

Additionally – and I think particularly importantly – MSPs and IT solution providers have a security platform that will integrate seamlessly within their existing portfolios of tools.

Beachhead has been a trusted security vendor in the U.S. for many years; we’re really excited to significantly expand our footprint to solution providers and MSPs in Asia and India.

Suggested Reading: Beachhead Solutions launches Channel Program in Asia with SimplySecure for MSPs™

3 Do you think cybersecurity solutions have become more important now than ever, due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Relatedly, what measures do you think companies must take to protect data amidst the increasing adoption of remote work and BYOD policies?

For many, many companies, social distancing mandated an incredibly rapid implementation of work-from-home policies. This tasked IT teams and service providers with the challenge of enforcing data and device security across distributed workplaces. Going through this has unequivocally highlighted the importance of using security tools you trust, and that get the job done.

To secure distributed workplace environments, businesses should implement data encryption, as well as remote access controls and remote deletion capabilities that mitigate data breaches in the event that devices are compromised. Employee-used devices should also be hardened to include only necessary software, reducing the attack surface. That software should be maintained with the latest security patches and updates. VPNs and other security tools should be in place to make sure access is both – secure and seamless for employees. Finally, employee training regimens should become more intensive so that employees are better able to recognize and avoid risks to data. Employee behaviour is and always has been the number-one threat to data security.

Related Reading: Enhancing on-premise solutions market in India: ZNet becomes a distributor of Acronis

4 Beachhead has recently partnered with Indian distributor RankSecure as part of its international expansion plans. Tell us about more about that deal and what it aims to bring to the Indian market.

We were proud to announce RankSecure’s exclusive partnership deal with Beachhead to bring the SimplySecure platform to solution providers and MSPs across India. RankSecure has 34 years of experience in IT, and they really understand MSPs’ demand for the easy-to-use cloud-managed data and device security that SimplySecure offers.

RankSecure is currently completing an internal rollout of its own device security and data safeguards incorporating SimplySecure. They have also completed training around SimplySecure and are launching the initial phase of their marketing plans to onboard SimplySecure resellers in India. 

5 Beachhead has been active in South Africa, which has recently enacted POPIA as a data security compliance measure. What is POPIA and how must MSPs across South Africa prepare themselves for the new changes?

POPIA is the Protection of Personal Information Act, which requires businesses in South Africa that handle personal information to safeguard all sensitive personal data in-line with the regulation’s guidelines. Specifically, these businesses and their MSPs should introduce several layers of data protection – including carefully enforced access controls, data encryption, robust monitoring and auditing, data backups to neutralize ransomware, anti-virus and anti-malware solutions, and effective in-depth employee training. It’s an intense regulation, and many businesses in South Africa are scrambling to achieve compliance – or risk large fines and reputational harm to their brands and customer trust.

Recently, the major breach by Experian impacting over 24 million customers has sparked a great deal of press attention, increasing awareness of the need for businesses big and small to become POPIA-compliant. Already, banking clients are experiencing phishing attacks thought to be related to the Experian breach. Banks in South Africa have responded by dramatically increasing their customer awareness, education, and vigilance campaigns, while also introducing security and fraud monitoring improvements.

The truth is that data regulations, whether GDPR, POPIA, or others, are rolling out to more and more countries – and they all are similar in demanding organizations take better care of their data security. MSPs should certainly take the opportunity of the moment to ensure their offerings include security measures that will ensure compliance, if they haven’t already.

6 What major trends do you see in the cybersecurity managed services provider space over the coming years?

Arguably the biggest trend, I think, is that the increase in remote work and related security needs will likely be with us for years to come, even after the pandemic is hopefully behind us.

We’re also witnessing a shift toward embracing co-managed IT services (CoMITs). In fact, Beachhead is now amending its reseller policies to equip MSPs with a framework for granting certain end clients’ privileges for self-managing SimplySecure in a safe and secure manner.

7 What practices must MSPs follow to ensure their own internal security?

MSPs have increasingly become targets themselves in recent years, as attackers have realized that breaching a single MSP’s systems can grant them access to all of their clients’ systems and data as well. At the same time, MSPs that present clients with effective security strategy planning too often receive pushback and requests for lower costs alternatives, even when there’s no possible way to reduce costs without compromising on safety. MSPs that give into compromises do so at their peril. I recommend that MSPs wisely refuse clients seeking dangerous bargains on security – it’s not worth it. MSPs should enlist fully effective security measures, and put them to work protecting their own systems as well as their clients.

8 What’s next for Beachhead? Any new announcements on the horizon, or insight into what the product roadmap looks like for the upcoming months?

In addition to our rollout plans in India and Asia, we’ll soon be introducing a channel program specialized to the needs of partners in emerging markets like Africa, which will feature attractive pricing and incentives, as well as the aforementioned CoMITs capabilities. We’re in communication with both new and existing partners about these program offerings, and there’s a lot of excitement in those conversations.

We’re also finalizing a contract with a new distributor covering South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana, which we’ll announce in the near future.

Our engineers at our headquarters in Silicon Valley are hard at work on our next release. This is due for market release soon, and MSPs will gain significant advantages from the platform enhancements and advances in access control measures that further fortify the security of employee-used computers – no matter if they’re domain attached or work-from-home standalone workgroup computers.

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