Best practices for a Zero Trust approach 

Sean Campbell, Director Canadian Channels, Fortinet

The need to secure access anytime and everywhere makes integrated, robust solutions like Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) crucial to most security strategies. It’s a competitive marketplace for integrators, cybersecurity consultants and managed security service providers (MSSPs). Differentiation requires a knowledgeable workforce and investments in the technologies best suited to meet customer needs now and in the future to achieve business and revenue goals. 

With ZTNA, partners can help ensure their customers are protected regardless of where they are. There are some best practices to keep in mind when implementing ZTNA and Fortinet has a specific approach to Universal ZTNA that guides customers as they explore zero-trust architectures that converge security and networking. Following this path enables partners to gain the visibility they need to provide comprehensive cybersecurity protection for all users, devices, and applications across all network edges.

Understanding the best practices will help unlock zero-trust benefits, ease transitions from VPNs, and differentiate partners from the crowd. Here’s how to create value using zero-trust capabilities:

Help customers learn 

Implementing zero trust goes beyond just the right products – it is an architectural philosophy. Educating and supporting customers through this process can often create new business opportunities for the channel. Through this process, partners can inform customers how each security technology and service work together to create the overall zero-trust architecture. When partners facilitate understanding and awareness, they can work with customers to find the right solutions to meet their needs.

Bring the right people to the table

All teams have a role to play in implementing a zero-trust approach, as it requires organizations to define roles and relationships and those with knowledge of the technology stack, access, policies, and data. Ensuring the organization from top to bottom understands how zero trust impacts business goals will go a long way towards building support — and increasing goodwill.

Offer integrated solutions 

Build your reputation on solutions that provide visibility and protection across product lines and the network. Outsourced security partners and MSSPs are often the gateways to solutions customers cannot afford or manage internally. Partners can unlock new opportunities by providing an integrated solution like the Fortinet Security Fabric.

As an integrated platform, the Fortinet Security Fabric provides tightly integrated technologies that provide visibility into customers’ environments across all zero-trust architecture pillars to help improve threat detection and response.

Focus on high returns and build trust

Zero trust is a journey; the channel can be a lifeline through implementation. By focusing on the security fundamentals that make the most significant impact, partners can add value while they build customer trust.

Although partners rely on technology, the services a partner can provide are a vital differentiator. New customers might recognize the value of a given technology, leaving the deciding factor between two service providers in their experience and skill set. Cybersecurity consultants can gain customer trust by filling gaps in knowledge with specializations acquired through training and certifications. Ongoing training demonstrates partners are keeping their skills up to date and can provide transparent, objective validation of their capabilities.

Expand to new OT clients 

While trust has historically been the assumption for most industrial control systems (ICS), in an era of OT and IT convergence, more OT organizations are adopting a zero-trust approach. Partners wishing to grow their OT clientele should understand their specific risk and mitigation strategies.

For example, if a system in an OT environment goes down, it could be a costly mistake, resulting in a loss of millions of dollars. In an IT environment, the main concern is infiltration and theft. Partners must think differently for zero trust and risk mitigation with OT customers.

Focus on value to get zero trust right

Adding zero-trust capabilities offers partners a way to introduce value and new services to existing and new clients – but it’s important to approach with suitable offerings. Working through the Fortinet Engage Partner Program enables channels to leverage integrated, high-performing technologies for their customers while accessing technical training, marketing, and sales support to improve their profitability. By differentiating your team through training and Fortinet Partner Specializations, partners can better focus on high business demand areas and grow their visibility as a Specialized Partner within the Fortinet Partner ecosystem.

Sean Campbell is Director of Canadian Channels at Fortinet