Interview: Geoff Bibby On Improving Cyber Resilience Through Consolidation, Channel-Focused Security, And OpenText’s Acquisition Of Micro Focus
OpenText Cybersecurity’s Geoff Bibby discusses how consolidating security tools can improve cyber resilience, how cybersecurity providers are pivoting to provide more unified tool sets, and the benefits of a channel-focused approach to cybersecurity.
The cybersecurity industry has been suffering from a skills shortage for a number of years. This skills gap shows little sign of narrowing. In the face of this, many organizations are cross-training their existing talent. By empowering employees that don’t necessarily have a security background to broaden their skillsets, they can fill vital gaps in their security team. But for some businesses—particularly SMBs that don’t have extensive in-house technical resource—cross-training and upskilling can only take them so far. Because of this, many small- and mid-sized organizations are outsourcing their security to MSPs.
“With the level of complexity that security presents today, turning to somebody who has expertise is a really big trend. It’s challenging for a small business to be able to go hire somebody who has enough breadth to be able to really offer all the protection,” says Geoff Bibby, SVP of Marketing and Strategy at OpenText Cybersecurity.
Geoff joined OpenText Cybersecurity in 2021 with over 20 years of experience in the cyber space, having previously held positions at Zix, Entrust, and Bioscrypt. In his current role, Geoff develops and executes marketing strategies, as well as managing and motivating OpenText Cybersecurity’s marketing teams.
In an exclusive interview with Expert Insights at RSAC 2023, Geoff discusses OpenText Cybersecurity’s most recent acquisitions, how consolidating security tools can improve cyber resilience, how cybersecurity providers are pivoting to provide more unified tool sets, and the benefits of a channel-focused approach to cybersecurity.
You can listen to our full conversation with Geoff on the Expert Insights Podcast.
Multi-Layered Attacks Require Multi-Layered Security
Cybercriminals don’t stop after one attempt. When it comes to particularly lucrative targets, attackers will target multiple areas of the network until they find a vulnerability to exploit or a backdoor to enter through. Because of this, it’s critical that organizations take a layered approach to security. After all, you could have the strongest email security solution on the market to prevent credential theft via phishing but, without a strong user authentication solution in place, a hacker could gain access to a user’s account simply by using brute force.
OpenText Cybersecurity offers a very wide portfolio of solutions—particularly cybersecurity, threat intelligence and data management tools—in order to help organizations cover all their bases when it comes to security.
“We can provide solutions across the whole spectrum of security,” says Geoff. “And whether it’s [protecting] the way apps are developed, like the code that is written, we offer a solution called Fortify; then all the way to if you did happen to have a breach. On the other end of the spectrum, we offer recovery solutions that help get you back up and running.”
“It’s truly from the moment of inception to the moment of recovery.”
“Smarter Security Is Simplified Security”
Unfortunately, it can be difficult for organizations—particularly SMBs—to manage different solutions across multiple layers. But there are ways for businesses to make this task easier, says Geoff. One way is by choosing a security vendor that offers multiple products that can all be managed via a single platform.
“We want to provide smarter security, but to [OpenText], smarter security is simplified security,” he says. “What we provide is a platform called Secure Cloud that our partners can access. From there, they can do a whole host of things.”
“If [our partners are] using Google and they want to switch to consuming Microsoft services, they can get that from us. Then, once they access Secure Cloud to consume something like Microsoft’s suite of services, we add additional layers of protection.”
“All of that is native to Secure Cloud. […] And it’s very, very simple with one consolidated bill. It’s very easy to deploy. And that’s just where we’re going to keep going.”
As well as helping improve cyber resilience, using a unified platform (or multiple tools from one provider) can help to save costs, which makes it an attractive option for a lot of smaller businesses. So, as more small- to mid-sized organizations look to unify and consolidate their security tools, we can expect more security vendors to expand their portfolios—both through development and acquisition.
“[OpenText feels] that it’s going to be important to continue to add additional elements to our service and simplify it for our partners,” says Geoff. “They don’t have to go anywhere, because they know that, whatever they need, [our Secure Cloud] offering will offer them that.”
The Benefits Of A Channel-Focused Approach
Some cybersecurity providers enable their customers to buy their products and services from them directly, others require customers to purchase products via a partner or security reseller. There are several of benefits to using a partner programme, for both the vendor and the customer, says Geoff—the main one being that partners are often able to build a closer relationship with customers.
“Our partners are amazing. And […] oftentimes, they’re regional. So, they typically can foster and develop an even stronger relationship with the customers,” he explains. “As you can imagine, the trust is everything when you’re placing trust in the partner to deliver security services. You know, it’s powerful to be able to know that it’s a local supplier.”
“So, level of support is phenomenal; long-term, deep relationships are typically part of what defines our partners. That’s a huge part of why we invest a lot of time and attention in our partner community.”
The Future Holds Unification And Consolidation
Looking towards the future, OpenText Cybersecurity plans to continue supporting their channel partners by expanding and consolidating their product portfolio to enable their partners to benefit from a unified security offering.
“OpenText’s innovation will take many forms. But we’ll take some of the different brands and security assets we have and we’ll look for natural pairings that complement one another to be able to bring those to market,” Geoff says.
One of the company’s most recent acquisitions, closed on February 1st of this year, was that of Micro Focus and CyberRes.
“OpenText and Micro Focus were very overlapping in many of the markets that they played in,” says Geoff. “[Micro Focus] had been not at all unlike OpenText, in that they had been acquisitive in cybersecurity, acquiring the assets of ArcSight, Fortify, NetIQ, and Voltage, as well as another brand in there called Interset. So, some really prestigious enterprise brands and, with that, an incredibly impressive array of both talent and expertise, […] as well as very strong partner relationships, and strong customer bases. So now, that’s all under one overall story, which is what we described as OpenText Cybersecurity.”
“So, I’ll give an example of how Voltage connected with some of the OpenText content stores. It doesn’t have to just be an OpenText content store—it could be any content store—but Voltage paired with that […] is a powerful example of innovation that we’re working on right now. And then we’ll just have more of that type of pairing that we have the luxury being able to do, because we have so many different assets.”
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