With more and more organisations shifting their operations and customer-facing portals to digital channels, the need to protect digital identities and Internet of Things (IoT) networks has become a pressing matter for supporting business continuity, earning customers’ trust, and maintaining compliance.
Consider this staggering fact: in the first half of 2023, there were a whopping 77.9 million malware attacks that targeted IoT devices, recording the highest number of IoT attacks in a six-month period.
With all the security threats that accompany the wide-scale adoption of IoT, channel partners can step in to provide IoT security and identity management solutions to mitigate the risks.
As a channel partner, integrating both IoT security and identity management can drastically improve your value proposition by offering solutions in both areas and providing customers with holistic security for their entire IoT network across all endpoints.
In this article, we explore the benefits of offering comprehensive IoT security and identity management services for channel partners, and how partnering with the right vendor can give you a competitive edge and steady streams of revenue.
The Growing Necessity of Digital Identity Management
Businesses all over the world are increasingly relying on digital communications and interactions. Despite the convenience and growth opportunities this approach brings to the table, it has also made businesses more vulnerable to security threats such as identity theft, fraud, and other forms of cyber-attacks.
This necessitates establishing a trusted digital identity to earn customers’ trust and protect their sensitive data.
For many businesses, managing multiple identities presents numerous challenges and complexities that lead to increases in expenses, hampered productivity, and a negative impact on business growth.
Small to mid-sized organisations lack the IT resources needed to support the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), which leads to complications in resource allocation and increased risk of mismanagement.
Improper identity management can have severe consequences. For instance, an unsecured, expired, or compromised digital identity can negatively impact online trust. It’s vital for organisations to secure their identity keys and certificates to maintain the integrity of their digital identity.
Another concern is audit failure. Improper auditing can expose businesses to unforeseen threats like phishing and ransomware.
As a channel partner, offering flexible and efficient certificate lifecycle management (CLM) solutions to your customers can help them enhance their security posture and maintain a robust digital identity without the overheads.
By automating the entire identity management process, including verification, certificate issuance, and continuous renewal, your customers can focus on growing their business without compromising security, risking compliance violations, or losing customer trust.
Additionally, you can also offer security training and awareness services that help your customers foster a security-minded culture in their respective organisations. Other services include certificate key rotation and threat monitoring and detection.
Why IoT Security is Important
With such a wide-scale IoT proliferation, controlling and securing IoT devices has become a major challenge. With every new IoT device becoming a part of an organisation’s network, it gets harder for the IT team to monitor, control, and protect different endpoints and devices.
Regardless of the availability of IT resources in an organisation, fully relying on the IT team to identify and protect all endpoints can expose the organisation to cyber threats like ransomware.
What makes things more complicated is that many IoT devices aren’t powerful enough to run security software. They don’t give you any logs to monitor either, leaving vulnerabilities and security gaps that cyber-criminals can exploit. Other risk factors include weak passwords, user knowledge gaps, and device mismanagement.
Protecting IoT networks requires profiling every single device on the network and controlling access to it. It also requires monitoring these devices to ensure that none of them are compromised. An incident response strategy must be put into place for fast and effective action in case of a data breach.
As a channel partner, you can offer IoT Device Identity Lifecycle Management solutions to issue digital certificates for new devices on your customers’ network, improve network security design, automate renewals, provide certificate database reporting, and revoke compromised certificates. With an LMS solution, you can also protect OTA updates, facilitate auto-enrolment, and offer cloud-based features and functionality.
Further, you can provide an IoT enrolment service to simplify certificate management and make certificate retrieval faster and more accessible. With a certificate templating engine, you can add custom certificate fields based on the user or device being verified for certificate issuance — all while ensuring that relevant enrolment policies are being met.
Why Offering Both Digital Identity Management and IoT Security Solutions is a Win-Win
Having both identity management and IoT security in your solutions arsenal can be highly rewarding for you and your customers. Here are some of the benefits.
Comprehensive IoT Security
Offering Digital Identity Management and IoT Security solutions for your clients provides them with end-to-end protection that covers their security needs.
Digital Identity Management involves authenticating and controlling access of users and devices in online communications. On the other end of the spectrum, IoT security emphasises protecting endpoints to maintain the security of networks and protect sensitive data.
Identity management and IoT security go hand in hand in providing complete infrastructure protection and eliminating security gaps, both when it comes to your customers’ IoT network and user access control and authentication.
Cross-Selling Opportunities for Digital Identity Management and IoT Security Solutions
When you provide Digital Identity Management and IoT Security solutions, this automatically opens up cross-selling opportunities for your business. Spotting vulnerabilities in your clients’ networks becomes easier, and thus, you can offer additional services to provide more comprehensive security for your clients’ digital infrastructure.
If you’re already doing business with a client and they’re satisfied with the services you offer, they’ll become more willing to benefit from other value-adding services that can improve their security posture, especially if you properly communicate how these services can provide additional protection. This results in more valuable revenue streams and loyal customers who trust you with their businesses’ security.
How to Increase Client Retention
Working with multiple service providers is often not convenient for most clients. First, there’s the trust part — it’s not easy for clients to continuously establish new partnerships and risk compromising their security. There’s also the aspect of having to communicate their requirements and handle the initial friction with multiple vendors.
Clients instead prefer to work with one trusted security partner who knows the ins and outs of their business’s security posture. If a client has been working with a trusted service provider for years, and that partner has been consistent with their service delivery, they’d naturally become inclined to delegate their entire security needs to that partner.
Due to the preferred convenience of working with one security partner, offering identity management and IoT security solutions will directly lead to increased client retention.
How to Get Started as a Channel Partner
As a channel partner, meeting the evolving security needs of your clients is crucial for client retention and establishing trust. By expanding your service portfolio to include both digital identity management and IoT security, you’ll be able to unlock new cross-selling opportunities, offer inclusive security services, increase customer loyalty, and grow your business exponentially.
Click here to enter text. If you’re interested in offering both digital identity management and IoT security services, here’s a step-by-step guide that can help you get started:
- Evaluate Your Current Service Offerings: Assess your entire infrastructure, security knowledge, and the current stream of clients to spot new opportunities.
- Develop Your Team’s Skills: Create robust training programmes to boost your team’s expertise and encourage continuous learning in the domains of identity management and IoT Security.
- Choose a Trusted Partner: Picking a reputable tech partner that understands the market and offers innovative and up-to-date solutions can increase your chances of landing more opportunities with current and prospective clients.
- Create a Well-Rounded Strategy: Draft a comprehensive strategy that provides an overview of your goals, marketing techniques, and target customers while also keeping your partner’s capabilities and needs in mind.
- Launch Test Projects: Start by taking on some small projects to test the waters and assess your team’s strengths and shortcomings, as well as learn from your partner’s experience.
- Nurture Your Existing Clients: Slowly introduce your current clients to your new service offerings and illustrate how they’re vital for their businesses’ security.
Vendor support is crucial to ensure a smooth transition for your organisation. Reputable vendors provide access to cutting-edge tech and comprehensive training resources and materials. They also provide technical support to ensure service availability and higher customer satisfaction rates.
Further, it’s vital that you collaborate with your vendor in marketing campaigns to ensure a consistent tone of voice, leverage co-branded materials, access their existing client database, and deliver the key messaging appropriately to your clients.
Once you’ve cemented your position as a trusted, all-in-one security provider, you’ll be able to create new revenue streams and retain your clients.
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