Hello! Today’s “Voice of the Partner” story is written by Prashanth Subramanian, Manikandan Rajagopal, and Balaji Ganesan of Quadra. Quadra has been a global Partner of the Year award winner/finalist for over 15 years. In this blog they explain how they have built their security practice by helping customers adopt identity solutions.
Focus on identity to build your security consulting practice
By Prashanth Subramanian, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Manikandan Rajagopal, Lead - Global Services Delivery, Balaji Ganesan, Manager - Customer Success Team
For companies in the Microsoft Partner Network, building a successful security business hinges on bringing value to customers, aligning to Microsoft priorities, and offering a differentiated service. Every company has its own way of achieving these goals. At Quadra we focus on connecting technology to business outcomes.
Quadra is headquartered in India and has been a Microsoft partner since 2002 and gold-certified since 2005. Today, Quadra has 10 Gold Competencies. We provide cloud solutions with a focus on Modern Work and a have a fast-growing cloud platform practice. In each of the last 15 years, we have been a finalist or winner of the global Partner of the Year award, a testimony to our ability to stay ahead of the curve with changing technology trends over two decades. In this blog post we’ll describe the approach we’ve taken to build a thriving security practice.
Deliver value to your customers
Our approach to technology consulting starts with delivering a great customer experience. Quadra employees are empowered to make decisions that will improve relationships with customers. However, it doesn’t end with customer service. We believe, that to deliver value, we need to understand the customer’s business and what they are trying to accomplish.
When we engage with a customer, we go beyond the IT department. We have conversations with marketing, finance, human resources, and other departments. These discussions allow us to tie technology decisions to business goals. For example, organizations invest in Microsoft 365 because they need to accomplish a goal, such as securing and governing access or enabling remote workers to access all their apps with a single identity. By understanding the desired outcome, we make better recommendations, and deliver better deployments that deliver real business outcomes.
Align to Microsoft strategy
The cybersecurity landscape is incredibly complex. Firewalls used to the be the primary method for safeguarding company assets, but cloud apps and mobile devices have made the network perimeter obsolete. To protect an increasing number of endpoints, many companies invest in distinct solutions for each security problem. These products produce their own logs and security alerts and are difficult to integrate. It’s impossible to get a 360-degree view of the environment.
What these businesses really need is a holistic solution that puts identity at the center. As cloud and mobile devices have expanded the attack surface, identity has become the new security control plane. Security in Microsoft 365 is identity-driven and addresses the security challenges of today and tomorrow across users, devices, apps, data, and platforms. Powered by the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, Microsoft 365 synthesizes massive amounts of threat intelligence and security signals from across Microsoft products, services, and partners to identify and mitigate cyberthreats.
Microsoft 365 starts by protecting identities with advanced risk-based Conditional Access present in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). Azure AD capabilities like multi-factor authentication (MFA) and Conditional Access policies make it much more difficult for bad actors to get in. If an adversary does compromise an account, Azure AD works with other Microsoft solutions to elevate threats or automatically take necessary action. Microsoft 365 solutions can encrypt a document, prevent access to a cloud app, enforce a password reset, or block access in real time, among other threat responses. We don’t see any other vendors who are doing this as well as Microsoft, which is why we are building our security services practice exclusively on Microsoft 365 security solutions.
Differentiate your offering
Beyond integrated security solutions, customers also need a simplified view of their environment with actionable insights. We built Threat Doctor to help customers visualize current security vulnerabilities and show how Microsoft 365 can help mitigate them.
Threat Doctor uncovers real time threats, identifies the most vulnerable users and data, and recommends actions to better secure the environment. It does this via an integration with the Intelligent Security Graph and MISP, an open source threat intelligence platform. We leverage Intelligent Security Graph signals and automation capabilities exposed through the Microsoft Security Graph API. When we deploy Threat Doctor, it installs a Microsoft 365 E5 trial and uses our machine learning algorithm to correlate data from the customer’s environment with threat indicators from MISP and the Intelligent Security Graph.
Once a customer has deployed Microsoft 365, we offer managed security services through the Threat Doctor portal. The portal provides curated and actionable insights on the customer’s security landscape to help them better defend against security threats. Our customers get the added peace of mind of knowing that they have deployed the best possible security solutions, while they are also being managed and monitored by experts.
A great example of how we used Threat Doctor to help a customer, support Microsoft, and grow our business is our work with a global steel company headquartered in India. The company is the world’s second most geographically diversified steel producer and has a commercial presence in over 50 countries with employees across five continents. When they engaged us, they had several security products implemented, but they didn’t have time or the tools to interpret the logs and gain a holistic view of their security landscape. We deployed Threat Doctor, which gave them a simplified dashboard that helped them identify identity-based risks, such as sign in from an unusual location or anonymous IP. Meaningful insights convinced them that they needed a comprehensive security suite, which helped us close the sale.
Benefit from Microsoft’s commitment to partners
We are betting big on the Microsoft stack because of its comprehensive identity-driven security capabilities. Our ability to leverage the Microsoft Graph API to access integrated data and intelligence from Microsoft products and services allows us to provide a differentiated solution to our customers.
As a Microsoft partner we receive information and resources that inform how we invest in our business. We understand what is coming next. When we have an idea for a new solution or capability, Microsoft helps us make it better.
Quadra’s story is a great example of how companies can bundle their own IP with Microsoft solutions to provide real value to their customers. As you look for ways to improve your security practice, keep in mind this great advice from Quadra:
Deliver value to your customers
Identify where your strategy overlaps with Microsoft and focus on those programs