Ask the Experts: Why Network Security is Much More Than Firewall

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by In this video, Intelisys’ SVP Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle discusses the reasons why managing network and data security has moved far beyond firewall, and how to leverage security as a cloud conversation starter, with Matrix’s Neely Loring. Learn more about from the Matrix team here:

Andrew: Okay guys. Time for another Ask the Experts session. We always love these, guys. We get to get inside the deep, dark minds of some of our smartest faculty members in the University. Welcome back to the studios, Mr. Neely Loring, CEO of Matrix. Neely, welcome man.
Neely: Thanks. Good to be here, Andrew.
Andrew: All right. Hey you’ve always got some great insights on this and we’ve been talking about network and data security. We’ve been talking about some of the risks associated with it. How it’s really becoming a hot button for many companies. The fact that there’s so much at stake around their reputations and around their data loss and revenue loss and downtime. It seems to me, in talking with a lot of SMB customers, that some make the mistake that where they perceive they’re protected simply because they’ve got a firewall on their network, right. They’ve installed the firewall. They kind of check that box and they move on with their lives. I want us to kind of blow up if you could: what are the other considerations for an IT leader when it comes to an overall security strategy, and the complexities around that? I’m curious. Are you seeing this growing concern that IT leaders are having–pushing customers more towards the cloud, and more towards a managed services provider, like a Matrix and others. What do you think about that?
Neely: I think you’re on target there. I think that what many people in the SMB space are doing on their local prem is they are getting that firewall and checking that box. But then it’s kind of set it and forget it. Even if there’s somebody that does some checking or is able to log into it, we are way, way, way past the point to where this isn’t something that’s on somebody’s radar all the time. It doesn’t matter how great of a device you bought, or how smart the person is. This is about chopping wood and carrying water. You’ve got to be doing it all the time. You’ve got to be diligent because the internet continues to have more and more and more hacks, and penetrations, and new ways to do stuff we don’t want them to do. It’s absolutely not enough … The firewall is the one percent, right? The piece of equipment’s the one percent.
The 99% is, what do you do? There are ports that you open that allow you to get to and from websites or email. And those are open. And it’s configured correctly, and they’re not blocked. So what do you do then? What you have to do is there has to be analysis. And there are … You know, you can spend as much money on this as you have and probably more. The real questions that our partners need to be asking the people they’re talking to is, you know, at what level do you want to personally intervene?
You know, you talk about service providers. I think that this service ought to be, if not number one, then in the top two of you need to have service provider that can specialize in this, that can do it en masse, that has some economy of scale, because the end clients that we’re talking to … Even if they have their own IT team of five or ten, that’s just not enough economy of scale. These tools … you know one of the great things that cloud has brought us is you can get your little pro rata share. So the firewall that sits on a client’s prem. If it’s being monitored as one of 10,000 instead of one of one, then the brain power, the processes, all those pieces are done so much better because you have lots of people looking at a mass and you can build trends where you can’t really build a trend of one.
Outsource that to a company that that’s what they do. That’s a specialization. And get really, really smart people. And when you need that one hour of the smartest person on this specific problem, you can get that right then. You already have it lined up.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah. That’s good.
Neely: I think security in general, Andrew, really should be a conversation starter around other cloud services. I think it starts here because part of the problem that we see when we’re out talking to people and working with partners is people don’t know how at risk they are. You know, and really doing education around–it’s not that you have to become an expert in this, it’s you have to make good solid business decisions to put it with the people that can do it best for you.
Andrew: Yup. Yeah. That’s good. That’s good. I love that analogy, Neely. Once in a while, I certainly wouldn’t mind chopping some wood or carrying some water, but for the most part, I’m going to hire somebody to do that work for me.
Neely: Right.
Andrew: That’s good. That’s cool. This is one of those things where a customer’s never going to be as expert in managing security as a company that does this for a living and has a team full of people managing that for them every single day, right?
Neely: Absolutely.
Andrew: Very cool. Well good, and I love that it’s a jumping off point to the cloud. We need to find more of those because that’s where everything is moving and that’s where finding so many enormous opportunities that are game changers for all of us. Neely, thanks for jumping in again, man. Always great.
Neely: You bet. Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew: You bet. Guys that’s Neely Loring. He’s CEO of Matrix, one of our go-to cloud providers for Intelisys. We use them ourselves for much of our technology. We’re big fans. You should be too. Do study up on the learning center here at the University and make sure that you get tight on what it is that Matrix can do to help you grow your business. Their videos, their white papers, sales tools. Get in touch with their teams. Get smart about how you too can close big deals in the cloud. Good selling.