Thank you for Subscribing to CIO Applications Weekly Brief
Thank you for Subscribing to CIO Applications Weekly Brief
The company got involved with Security when IBM acquired Q1 Labs (QRadar) in 2011. Since then, Alacrinet helped grow their customer base while also expanding its expertise to other areas of IT Security. “We were the fastest growing IBM security partner in 2018 and have maintained our momentum through 2019. That growth is testament to our relationship with clients, being able to tailor our recommendations to their needs, and our expertise with implementing leading security solutions,” the CEO asserts.
Having established themselves as “Digital Curators,” the Alacrinet team listens to clients and leading industry analysts to ensure to deliver solutions using the best technologies in the market. The core of its services comes down to a client-centric approach to delivering best-in-breed technology and providing on-going support. The company looks at everything the client has already invested in and makes it the best it can be before bringing it together with new solutions for a strong security posture.
In a recent interview with CIO Applications, Brian Bouchard shed light on how their solutions help clients broaden their capabilities with Alacrinet’s advanced security strategies.
What are some of the major predicaments existing today in the IBM space?
As we all know, skill shortages is a major challenge for IBM Security customers, and customers across the board. With such a small resource pool, it’s important for customers to implement and utilize the latest solutions that enable efficiency and free their team to focus on the priorities. Compounding the skills shortage challenge, IT teams are dealing with a greater number of complex solutions needed for a strong security posture. In the early days of enterprise security the only thing needed was a firewall. That doesn’t cut it anymore and businesses need multiple solutions that need to be integrated with each other and updated regularly. At Alacrinet, we simplify that complexity by identifying solutions that work well in our customer’s environment and provide on-going services to manage those systems.
What’s more, the cost to the business of a security breach continues to rise. Whether it’s ransomware that interrupts business operations or theft of customer PII (personally identifiable information), the impact on the business is greater than ever.
An analogy that I like to use for the complexity and costs is the security of your home. Having a front door lock (firewall) is a basic first step that everyone does but is no longer enough to deal with the increase in the number—and aggression—of criminals. Valuable assets inside your home (PII, IP, operations, etc. for your business) would near guarantee that perpetrators will be constantly looking different ways in.
At Alacrinet, we simplify that complexity by identifying solutions that work well in our customer’s environment and provide on-going services to manage those systems
Digital assets are worth so much today and hackers know that. Companies with a lot of PII are especially at risk of ransomware—hackers are looking for the soft targets who haven’t secured all their assets (data, endpoints, network, cloud).
With deep skills in security, how does Alacrinet apply knowledge and expertise to help clients solve the demanding challenges of their business?
The complexity of security solutions is a real challenge for the marketplace and that goes hand-in-hand with the lack of a single vendor providing all the necessary products. Many of our clients are ‘IBM shops’ for other things (analytics, portal, etc.) and lean to IBM for security as well. But they quickly learn that IBM doesn’t have the silver bullet that provides everything they need so they have to look beyond IBM and get help from a consultant who knows the other products as well.
IBM has a portfolio of some very advanced solutions in the security marketplace—QRadar, Guardium, Trusteer—and it’s our role as a consultant to know those products as well as the security solutions that IBM doesn’t have in their portfolio. We’ve evaluated all the leading solutions, based on industry analyst reviews, ease of integration, and product overlap, and hand-pick the best options that fit best with our clients’ existing environment and security strategy. With years of experience implementing and tuning Gartner Magic Quadrant-leading solutions, our team has the technical skills to find the right solution for each client.
What’s more, the deep skills in security that our team has developed have driven our success in managed services. By offering custom hybrid options, clients can rely on our team to handle the on-going updates and management that is needed after the initial project implementation.
Please elaborate on how IBM QRadar strengthens security, and the role that Alacrinet plays.
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is the backbone of a strong security posture. IBM QRadar is a leading SIEM by multiple independent analyst firms. It uses an advanced Sense Analytics engine to normalize and correlate your log events and network data to identify security offenses requiring investigation.
Alacrinet’s role as consultant goes beyond simply recommending a SIEM, we teach customers about why QRadar is one of the leading solutions in the SIEM space and how it will impact them. Throughout the implementation process we also transfer knowledge to client teams who will be working with the SIEM so that they can effectively respond to critical threats.
In early 2018, the CISO at large healthcare provider in Texas was very frustrated with their existing QRadar implementation and ready to remove it completely and start over with a competing solution. This would have a significant impact in terms of both time and money but the CISO believed it to be the only solution available. However, the Alacrinet team was able to get involved before that happened and propose a scope of work with ways to improve the QRadar implementation without starting over. The Alacrinet team proceeded with tuning their SIEM environment and built a relationship of trust with the CISO and his team.
What does the future hold for your organization?
We have been providing professional services to address complex challenges for many years. This year, we’ve expanded on that expertise to offer Managed Security Services. We’ve seen a continuous desire from the market for managed services, stemming from the challenges that IT teams face in terms of complexity and lack of skills in the marketplace. Almost every one of our clients wants to have a discussion around managed services for security. But what they aren’t looking for is the one-size-fits-all approach that some MSSPs offer. Our customers have a large variety of ways that they want to approach managed security based on their budget, current personal situation, and desired level of service. With our intimate position in this marketplace and consultative approach, we added MSSP that is really tailored to each client’s needs, providing a number of alternatives from 9-5 augmentation all the way to a 24x7x365.