Technology Pillars: Cybersecurity

Selling Cybersecurity: Six Steps to Building Your Practice

Malware. Ransomware. DDoS attacks. It’s a matter of if, not when, a security breach will occur.

If you’re following the news, you’ve probably seen coverage on ransomware attacks like the Colonial Pipeline attack or the Log4j security vulnerability. The bad guys aren’t coming. The bad guys are already here. 

You can leverage the latest technology to ensure that your customers are getting the best protection possible. But we get it — learning how to sell cybersecurity services can be complex.

Keeping pace with cybersecurity trends can be intimidating. With hundreds of acronyms, learning about security can feel like listening to a language you don’t speak. 

Be it Network, CCaaS, PSaa, UCaaS, security fits into every conversation. And rest assured, if you’re not asking your customers questions, someone else will.

So where do you start?

How to Sell Cybersecurity Services

We’re here to answer your questions about this solution set and how to use cybersecurity sales methods to build your practice.

We’ve outlined how to sell cybersecurity solutions in six steps:

Step #1: Learn About Cybersecurity

The first step is to arm yourself with a little background knowledge about cybersecurity. With our cybersecurity sales training resources in Intelisys University (“iU”), you’ll find it easy to start a conversation with your customers with confidence.

Don’t worry — you don’t need to know everything. Our Solutions Engineering team and Suppliers are the technology experts and they are on call to serve as an extension of your team.

What is Cybersecurity?

According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), cybersecurity is “the art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorized access or criminal use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity and availability of information.”

Cybersecurity is also known as information technology security or electronic information security.

Today’s cyberthreats are rapidly evolving. Defense in depth is a solid, comprehensive approach to utilizing a combination of advanced security tools to protect critical data and block threats before they reach their endpoint. Endpoint protection, including antivirus and firewalls, are still instrumental elements of complete security. 

However, a defense in depth strategy is rising significantly, as these methods of network security alone are no longer enough. The concept of defense in depth takes cybersecurity a step further by acknowledging the macro controls needed for ultimate protection, including physical, technical, and administrative aspects of the network. 

These three controls build the architecture of a defense in depth strategy:

  1. Physical Controls –The security measures that protect IT systems from physical harm.
  2. Technical Controls – The protection methods that secure network systems. Hardware, software, and network-level protection are included within a company’s specific technical controls.
  3. Administrative Controls – The policies and procedures put in place by an organization that is directed at the employees.

Learn more about cybersecurity in the Technology Guide in MyIntelisys and check out our Demystifying Security webinar, available for on-demand viewing.

We also have a helpful “Demystifying Security Guide” broken out into three categories – the attacks, the defenses and cybersecurity services.

Talking the Cybersecurity Talk

We understand that talking about cybersecurity can be intimidating. After all, there are so many acronyms. This guide will help you understand the acronyms.

Malware: “The Bad Guy”
Viruses, ransomware and spyware

A form of malware that deliberately prevents you from accessing files on your computer until a ransom is paid.

Phishing or Spear Phishing:
A social engineering attack

A malicious application or unpatched vulnerability.

A software application or script that allows an attacker to remotely take control of an affected computer.

Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS):
Multiple machines (bots) attacking one device or network.

A barrier between trusted and untrusted networks.

Virtual Private Network (VPN):
Encrypted tunnel over the internet.

Email Security Gateway Protection:
Defend from phishing, spam, malware and known bad email addresses.

Security Assessment:
A study to locate security vulnerabilities and risks.

Penetration Test (Pen Test):
Expert attempt to find and exploit vulnerabilities.

Security Information & Event Management (SIEM):
Log collection and aggregation systems.

Still have questions about cybersecurity terms? For a more detailed discussion, check out our Demystifying Security: Part I and Demystifying Security: Part II blogs.

How to Eliminate One of the Biggest Risks

One of the biggest security risks is between the keyboard and chair.

Users have become our firewalls. Businesses can eliminate many of today’s problems by educating users properly. What are some of the most common cybersecurity challenges? Simple passwords that can be easily guessed, default passwords, and employees who fail to recognize phishing emails.

All users are responsible for security awareness. By deploying security awareness training, your customers can create safer environments and make it harder for the bad guys to get in.

Learn more about how to help your customers educate their users with the Cybersecurity Sales Journey and the Demystifying Cybersecurity Guide.

Who Is the Ideal Cybersecurity Customer?

If your customer says, “the bad guys only target large companies with deep pockets,” you have a path to a cybersecurity sale.

It’s a myth that small businesses do not need to worry about cybersecurity. 42 percent of small businesses experienced a cyberattack in the last year, according to a survey by AdvisorSmith. 

Organizations of all sizes will benefit from well-developed cybersecurity platforms and habits. Every company needs some form or factor of cybersecurity to compete in the modern age. And if they don’t they are headed for some expensive mistakes. 

Industries Most Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

Every business faces the risk of cyberattack, regardless of its size or industry. According to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, the gap between the number of breaches seen by small and large organizations has closed, becoming significantly smaller:

Small (fewer than 1,000 employees) 
Frequency: 1037 incidents
263 with confirmed data disclosure

Large (more than 1,000 employees) 
Frequency: 819 incidents
307 with confirmed data disclosure

Some industries may be more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Learn more about the most popular vertical markets and how to discuss specific solutions with our Vertical Market Education in iU.

Managing Cybersecurity Risks

So how can you empower your customers to create safer cyber environments? Start with identifying where to help customers begin with cybersecurity best practices. Here are a few:

  • Keep software up to date. 
  • Educate employees about the different ways cybercriminals can infiltrate systems and how to recognize signs of a breach.
  • Implement and enforce formal security policies.
  • Regularly hold meetings and seminars on the best cybersecurity practices, such as using strong passwords, identifying and reporting suspicious emails, activating two-factor authentication, and clicking links or downloading attachments.
  • Practice your incident response plan to ensure attacks can be quickly identified and quelled before doing too much damage.

Want to see more? Check out the Technology Guide in MyIntelisys. 

Ready to dive deeper into cybersecurity sales training? Check out our Selling Security 101, Selling Security 201 and Selling Security 301 on-demand webinars.

Step #2: Start Your Cybersecurity Sales Journey

A little knowledge can go a long way. Now that you’ve learned the basics about cybersecurity, you’re ready to start on your Cybersecurity Sales Journey.

The Intelisys Advantage is here to support you through each phase of the sales cycle. Visit the Cybersecurity Sales Journey in iU to get started. The Cybersecurity Sales Journey organizes all content and tools that iU and MyIntelisys have to offer, displayed on a single page. 

We show you how to Learn, Prospect, Qualify and Present the right-fit solution for your customers in this blog post: ​​Prioritizing Risk Prevention: Everything You Need to Sell Cybersecurity.

Step #3: Become a Security Consultant and Educator

Once you’ve done your research, the Cybersecurity Sales Journey in iU will equip you with the educational resources and marketing tools that support your cybersecurity sale:

Learn more about how to leverage our tools for prospecting in this blog post.

Step #4: Ask Questions that Reveal Hidden Needs

Once your customer shows interest in cybersecurity, it’s time to build their solution. Where do you start? Ask the right pre-qualifying questions. Here are six cybersecurity discovery questions that you might ask:

  • How are you protecting your business today?
  • How confident are you in your security readiness?
  • Do you have real-time insight into your security infrastructure?
  • How would a breach impact your business?
  • How will your business remain agile during a breach? 
  • Do you have the appropriate IT security staff and expertise? 

These are just a few of the questions you can ask to create optimal solutions. Visit the Cybersecurity Sales Journey to access the “Cybersecurity Questions to Ask” and the “Demystifying Cybersecurity Guide” resources to help you qualify opportunities.

And don’t forget — our “Always On” Solutions Engineering team is standing by to help you with your opportunities.

Step #5: Sell the Value of Cybersecurity Services

You’re ready to present your cybersecurity sales pitch. We know this isn’t always easy. Put our platform to work and access the wide variety of tools in MyIntelisys to help. 

Let’s start with CX Switch. Engage prospects with a branded, customer-facing view of the MyIntelisys tools. Choose from a library of pre-created content or add your own. CX Switch helps you develop custom content with your brand logo and introduce specific Supplier solutions.

With Share Content, you can share branded content with prospects. Select important information for your customer, brand it with your logo and deliver it on a private landing page. Customers can view this content directly without having to log in.

The Technology Guide provides a customer view into multiple technologies. Access technology solutions by type, high-level overviews, ideal customer profiles and more.

See more tools and resources to help you develop and enhance your cybersecurity sales pitch.

Step #6: Manage Your Quotes, Orders, Customers and Supplier Relationships

Congratulations! You’ve created the optimal solution and your customer is ready to proceed. Now what?

Take charge of your business with MyIntelisys. We offer tools and resources targeted to help you manage your sales process. Get expanded detail and visibility into quotes, orders and commission reporting. Track placed orders, expected revenue and easily escalate concerns to the right team.

Try our Quick Quotes to get budgetary pricing for select suppliers in five minutes or less. Not sure which Supplier to quote? Get smart recommendations based on your specific project details with “Who to Quote.”

The Virtual Order Assistant provides increased visibility on orders. This tracking tool allows you to add detailed records to your dashboard.

Want us to take a look at a particular order? Request an escalation for faster resolution.

With Commission Runs, you’ll always know what revenue is being collected for your business. Verify current net billing, commissions and variances, plus see weekly commission previews.

The Intelisys Advantage

When you’re first getting started, your cybersecurity sales cycle might feel complex or overwhelming. Our people and platform are here, every step of the way, to support you through each phase of the sales cycle. 

Our Suppliers, programs, tools, and resources streamline what’s complicated. We can support your managed security services opportunities, including:  

  • Security as a Service (“SECaaS”)
  • Physical Security as a Service (“PSaaS”)
  • Unified Threat Management (“UTM”)
  • Managed firewall
  • DDoS mitigation
  • Compliancy audits
  • Penetration testing
  • Endpoint management
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Professional services 

Find everything you need to sell cybersecurity in one place, from educational resources to comprehensive marketing campaigns. Together we can redefine success.

More Partner Resources

Want to learn more about how to navigate the Cybersecurity Sales Journey? Need help nurturing leads or closing the deal? We’ve put together more expert content to answer the question, “How do I sell cybersecurity solutions?”

Cybersecurity may be complex, but with the right sales training resources, selling cybersecurity solutions doesn’t have to be.