@melimulhol , https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissa-mulholland/

One of the biggest challenges in digital transformation is ensuring security, privacy, and compliance. In 2015, a new threshold was reached when a sophisticated attack ring successfully breached more than 100 banks across 30 countries with losses estimated to exceed $1 billion.

Because of the heightened risk, cyber-insurance policies are becoming a new operating expense for many companies, with premiums for this emerging offering set predicted to triple in the next few years, approaching $7.5 billion by 2020.

This evolving digital landscape makes improving security from your datacenter to your endpoints even more important. More than 2 billion customer records were compromised in 2016 alone. The total cost of a data breach is estimated at $4,000,000, and the average business impact per security breach in the U.S. is $17 million. It’s becoming very clear, to customers and businesses alike, that a more secure cloud is essential to future success.

Building a Cloud Security Practice

As a result of this struggle for increased trust and managed security, companies face the risk of significant financial loss, damage to customer satisfaction, and market reputation. This presents an opportunity for partners to help companies manage security concerns in an ever-evolving technology world that’s constantly under threat. That’s why we’ve developed the Security Practice Development Playbook to help you optimize a security focused practice. The content enables partners to understand ways to develop or grow a security focused business practice across O365, Windows, EMS, and Azure and what they need to consider to do so.

“Our objective is to consolidate infrastructure, create one platform for all SaaS solutions and mobile applications, remove the need for multiple logons, and lower the cost of ownership of our technology. Azure Active Directory Premium makes life simpler for the business and for employees. It gives them access to enterprise applications from any device with a single sign-on that is secure and reliable. That is fundamental in increasing the adoption of cloud technology.”

-Kapil Mehta, Productivity & Directory Services Manager, Bristow Group Inc.

Through your security practice, you can help keep your customers productive, secure, and their company data protected. Consider building your practice around one of these focus areas.

Identity & Access Management

Help your customers protect their identities and data. Use behavioral analysis to provide actionable insights and ensure that customers have a sound approach to manage users and groups, as well as secure access to on-premise and cloud apps.

Threat Protection

Build a practice that helps your customers proactively guard against threats, identify breaches and threats using advanced analytics, and automate the response to threats enterprise-wide.

“Nothing products more ‘Aha!’ moments than when a customer first sees Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection block malicious emails that normally would have gone into their inbox.”

– Bruce Ward, Vice President of Business Strategy, Peters & Associates

Information Protection

Manage and protect corporate apps and data. Provide your customers with mobile device management, mobile app management, and PC management capabilities. Enable employees with access from virtually anywhere on almost any device, while helping to keep corporate information secure and compliant.

Security Management

Help your customers manage the security of their enterprise-wide assets with centralized tooling and help them establish a security operations center from which to monitor and manage.

New Privacy Regulation (GDPR) Presents New Opportunities

Additionally, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires significant changes by organizations all over the world regarding how they manage and protect personal data. Specifically, GDPR imposes new rules on organizations that offer goods and services to people who reside in the European Union (EU), or that collect and analyze data tied to EU residents, no matter where they are located. In fact, IDC predicts GDPR will create a $3.5B market opportunity for security and storage vendors.

As a partner, you have multiple opportunities to monetize on GDPR. First, customers will need consultants to support them on their journey to GDPR compliance, which may start with assisting customers in identifying the personal data they store, where it is stored, how it is stored and how it needs to be protected. Second, partners can conduct gap assessments and make recommendations on technology, people and processes that customers need to comply with GDPR. And third, partners can play a major role in helping customers build and maintain detection and notification systems for data breaches.

With every challenge comes a new opportunity. I look forward to seeing how our partners rise to the challenge of providing a more secure cloud experience for their customers. If you’re going to Microsoft Inspire, you can attend GDPR-related sessions to learn how you can use Microsoft Cloud Services to support your client GDPR journey.

Accelerate Cloud Profitability at Microsoft Inspire

Want to accelerate your efforts to build and grow a profitable Cloud business? It starts with a focus on high margin industry solutions. This session (PRAC02) will showcase partners who have built successful cloud practices and how you can learn from their innovative approach leveraging security.

Have you started to develop your cloud security practice? If so, what resources have you found helpful so far? Share your thoughts with the Microsoft Partner Community!