“The pandemic made organisations prioritise digital transformation, and the role of cloud services became more important than ever before.” said Girish Gargeshwari, Channel Director, Asia at CrowdStrike in an interaction with CIO Axis.
1. What technology do you think stood out the most during pandemic?
The pandemic made organisations prioritise digital transformation, and the role of cloud services became more important than ever before. Cloud services enabled many organisations around the world to continue to function while employees worked from home. The same types of benefits that many industries garner from using cloud-based services – fast data processing, global access and overall efficiency – are also available for cybersecurity services. Cloud-based security enables a diverse set of endpoints to be managed simultaneously, regardless of physical location, in the blink of an eye. With cyber adversaries looking to take advantage of the upheaval created, cloud-based security services have stood out during the pandemic.
2. How are the key metrics that you foresee for the year 2021 from a cybersecurity point of view? How do the trends such as cloud, artificial intelligence and machine learning have an impact on cybersecurity?
E-criminals have displayed advanced capabilities and increasing sophistication in the tools and tactics being used since the beginning of the pandemic. This year, ransomware attackers will evolve toward the use of a ‘double extortion’ model, where the threat actors encrypt the target’s data and not only demand a ransom for its return, but leverage additional payment incentives to increase pressure on the victim to pay the ransom. Some threat actors will use a more targeted approach and threaten to publicly release and/or auction the data unless the victim pays up. These sophisticated cyber attacks will put enormous stress on the availability of services, with a focus on targeting critical sectors like healthcare and financial services.
Technologies like cloud, AI and machine learning (ML) are having a positive impact on the cybersecurity industry. AI and ML enable capabilities that go far beyond identifying known threats. AI models can determine a file’s maliciousness with no previous knowledge of the file, relying instead on analysis of the file’s innate properties. With sufficient quality data available, AI and ML techniques easily outperform traditional signature-based or indicator of compromise (IOC)-based prevention approaches, which retroactively seek out the artifacts an attacker leaves during a breach.
3. Threat Intelligence is one of the pillars of everything CrowdStrike does. How does Threat Intelligence enable CISOs make better security decisions?
Security is all about visibility, and threat intelligence plays a key role in providing CISOs with better visibility of the threat landscape, including the analysis of cyber adversaries, and their approach and methods. Using this intelligence, CISOs can take pre-emptive actions against potential attacks. Threat intelligence enables an organisation to better understand the capabilities and intentions of cyber adversaries that are targeting an organisation or industry. Staying ahead of today’s ever-evolving adversary groups is critical and can’t be accomplished without effective threat intelligence.
4. What role does the channel play in CrowdStrike’s business? What will be the main keys of your strategy to generate a greater volume of business in 2021?
CrowdStrike’s network of partners is core to our business, and we invest heavily in enablement, training and certification. CrowdStrike’s Elevate Partner Program is integral in driving personal, flexible engagement and services for global partners, while rewarding those who are top performing.
The program is continuously enhanced to attract an elite ecosystem of partners, solution providers, system integrators and managed service providers who are delivering solutions and expertise to stop breaches. We are seeing a significant expansion of our partner program in India as demand for CrowdStrike products continues to increase.
5. How does CrowdStrike stand different from other vendors?
CrowdStrike’s partner strategy follows a “whole-ecosystem” approach based on six paths to partner engagement and profitability. These are channel, technology alliances, MSSPs, OEMs, CrowdStrike Platform, and cloud procurements.
In March 2020, CrowdStrike announced two short-term initiatives to help our partners respond to the challenge of remote working and safeguard their security and business continuity: Burst Licensing, which allows partners to extend their existing licence counts and increase usage by 10% cost-free, and Falcon Prevent for Home Use, a packaged, low-cost version of the CrowdStrike Falcon lightweight agent for partners to distribute to customers and employees to install on their home systems.
The CrowdStrike Elevate Partner Program was developed to help our partners grow their own next-generation endpoint protection business. The combination of our partner’s unique security expertise and CrowdStrike’s differentiated technology and unique partner program maximises growth and mutually increases revenues.