Canalys Forums 2022: Cybersecurity mindshare

Canalys Forums 2022: Cybersecurity mindshare

Canalys analysts give their views on hot topics for the Canalys Forums 2022 in this series of interviews. Here we take a quick look at the primary cybersecurity threats, key technologies, and how partners and vendors are collaborating.


Matthew Ball, Chief Analyst, reveals his insights on the cybersecurity market and the opportunities for vendors and channel partners. Most importantly, he looks at the significant challenges they are facing together, which we will be addressing in our Cybersecurity Expert Hubs at the Canalys Forums.

What do you consider are the primary cybersecurity threats organizations face today?

Ransomware attacks remain the biggest cybersecurity threat for all organizations because of the economic impact from lost operations and the cost of recovery. Attacks continue to escalate, with ransomware groups now extorting entire countries. The government of Costa Rica declared a national emergency in May after 27 of its agencies were hit in a coordinated attack that brought down vital services. Threat actors are exploiting software vulnerabilities, poor patch management, insider threats (malicious and unintentional) and limited integration between vendors, and capitalizing on new attack vectors introduced by digital transformation and hybrid working. But the collapse of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency valuations has forced some to change tactics. Older phishing and social engineering techniques designed to trick victims into transferring money from personal or corporate bank accounts are increasing. More traditional keylogging and browser monitoring malware, spread via malicious attachments in emails, has also risen again.

What are the key trends in the cybersecurity landscape as we head toward 2023?

Cybersecurity budgets are expanding quickly as organizations improve their resiliency by increasing standards across prevention, detection, response and recovery. Regulations and government guidelines are driving this, cyber-insurance policies and the need to secure supply chains and supplier ecosystems. The key challenge, however, is that cybersecurity remains highly complex. Integration, ongoing management, a severe skills shortage, security alert fatigue and a fragmented vendor ecosystem create significant barriers. The leading vendors have adopted platform approaches to try to address them. Platforms consist of a portfolio of tightly integrated products providing greater interoperability and visibility, modularized to expand features via add-on subscriptions, and use automation to simplify operations. These platforms are deployed and delivered from the cloud, enabling scalability and API integration with other platforms as part of vendor ecosystems. Vendors have also made a series of acquisitions to expand their platforms, driving the consolidation of relationships between customers and vendors.

What areas of the cybersecurity market will spark the most significant growth opportunities for vendors and partners in 2023?

New cybersecurity product categories emerge each year to tackle different types of threats. Typically, most just become subsegments of existing ones. But three broad areas currently command a lot of customer interest and dominate sales discussions: Zero Trust, SASE and XDR. Zero Trust is more of a concept than a specific product. It involves authentication, authorization and validation for the security configuration and posture of users and machines before granting access to data and systems. This will become the de facto standard for all cybersecurity. Currently, it is driving a lot of investment into identity and access management solutions. Interest in SASE surged with the shift to hybrid working. SASE combines multiple technologies into a single platform to secure perimeterless IT environments. XDR is designed to simplify and prioritize alerts while accelerating triage within SOCs. It combines threat intelligence and data from endpoints, networks, email, the web and cloud sensor telemetry with security operations in a single platform.

What will the channel most want to hear about from vendors with regards to cybersecurity at the Channels Forums 2022?

The challenge for partners is how to sell more advanced and more expensive solutions, such as SASE and XDR. Each organization has different cybersecurity postures, with products from different vendors. Partners want to hear about the best migration path for their customers. Larger organizations are already starting to deploy these architectures. But they have dedicated teams and executives solely responsible for cybersecurity. Selling to more price-sensitive SMBs is a bigger challenge. Part of the problem is the consistency of defining SASE and XDR, as each vendor talks about them differently. Comparing like-for-like between vendors is impossible and so sales discussions are often confused. Vendors that can optimize training and specialization processes to enable their partners to sell SASE and XDR, or deliver as a managed service, will have the greatest chance of success. This is vital given the vast number of cybersecurity vendors active in the market competing for partner mindshare.

Are you looking forward to attending the hybrid Canalys Forums? What can vendors and partners expect in 2022?

Being at the Canalys Forums is always the highlight of my year. I can’t wait to attend them again in person. Virtual events served a vital purpose over the last two years when travel wasn’t possible. Having a blend of live keynotes and meetings, and access to on-demand content for sessions that you can’t attend combines the best of both worlds. Vendors and partners can always rely on three things when attending Canalys Forums: outstanding content, great meetings and lots of fun. No doubt it will be the same again in 2022.

Expert Hub discussions will take place physically and virtually at the Canalys Forums 2022. They are panels for the channel to discuss the channel and to help advise the vendors on what’s real and what’s not. Attendees can watch, comment and ask questions.

Partners and vendors wanting to secure places at the Canalys Forums should register their interest or contact their Canalys account manager now.