Ask the Experts: How Do I Boost My Network Security Strategy?

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by In this video, Intelisys’ SVP Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle discusses network security strategy and the role of managed services with Matrix’s President Neely Loring. Find out more about network security and customized cloud solutions from Neely and the Matrix team here:

Andrew: Okay guys. Welcome back. We’re going to have another brief conversation with one of our faculty members here on this topic of network security. Please welcome Neely Loring, President of Matrix, one of our cloud suppliers in our portfolio. Matrix is killing it with us right now, and really goes deep in this area around network security. Neely, welcome.
Neely: Thanks. Good to be here.
Andrew: All right. Very cool. One question for you on this topic. When a customer is looking at designing an overall network security strategy, what role can managed services play in that implementation, and the management of those policies?
Neely: Well, you know with managed services–just like when you’re outsourcing things in the cloud or other pieces–it’s get the expert in there. Anybody can buy a firewall. Anybody can take the default, and put it out there, and let it sit. We are past that point in the evolution of the internet and of the bad people that are out there. That evolution is something that is always fluid. Something new came out between the time we started talking and now. You have to be proactive, and that’s not the way that it’s been.
Managed services are becoming less and less of an “option.” If you’re not proposing managed services, you’re doing an injustice to your client because they don’t have the in-house knowledge to do it. They don’t even know the right questions to ask. It’s another case where early on around network deals–security is a piece of every one of them. Bring the expert in, the people that do this all day long. Those are the people that we, as a community, need to be giving to our clients.
Andrew: Yeah. Got it. No, it makes a lot of sense. It’s more than just the . . . When we think network security, we always tend to think firewall, right?
Neely: Sure.
Andrew: Whether it sits at the customer’s prem, or in the cloud, in the network, or whatever. This whole thing of the network security strategy goes way beyond just firewall, right? What other components fit into that?
Neely: You have to think about everything. Even internal. One of the arguments that we always make is, one of the reasons you don’t want your security to be done by an in-house person is: that’s a risk. You have risk points throughout. Someone brings a thumb drive and plugs it into their PC. They’re already inside, behind the network. And to be able to manage, not just the firewall–it’s the thing we think of most–but to be able to manage all of the touch points, the switches down to the PC. And to be honest, what we’re doing is we’re getting some kind of proactive message. That’s what we want. Some kind of monitoring to, “This thing is happening,” and somebody that can sit there and say, “That’s a problem,” or “No, it’s not.”
Andrew: Got it. Got it. If your customer is serious about developing and maintaining an aggressive network security strategy, outsourcing that to a cloud provider that wraps a lot of services around that. That stays nimble, and fluid, and up-to-date, and really vigilant in how they manage it, has got to be a key component. It makes a lot of sense to me, Neely.
Neely: I would go so far as to say this shouldn’t be optional. This is such a big deal. All of their data, all of their experience is at risk. It’s just like we don’t put our money in the bottom right-hand drawer anymore. We put it in a bank because of all the security. You’ve got to take this seriously.
Andrew: I put mine in my mattress. Is that still a good idea, or no?
Neely: It’s not there anymore.
Andrew: Oh, damn. Excellent. Hey, Neely, thanks for your time. This is awesome. Guys, once again that’s Neely Loring, President of Matrix, one of our cloud suppliers in our portfolio and a trusted supplier who’s doing some great things with us. Make sure you check out the Matrix learning center here in the University. Be on the lookout for more great insights and wisdom from Mr. Neely Loring. Neely, thanks for your time.
Neely: Great. Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew: All right. Good selling, guys.