BT names 15 key security partners

Martyn Warwick
By Martyn Warwick

Aug 27, 2020

© BT

© BT

  • Like Ancient Gaul - they are divided into three parts
  • Fortinet, McAfee and Palo Alto Networks are "Critical"
  • Cisco, IBM and Microsoft are "Strategic"
  • Check Point, CrowdStrike, F5, Forescout, Netscout, Okta, Qualys, Skybox and Zscaler are "Ecosystem"

As rumours of an impending hostile taker-over bid for BT, the UK's incumbent telco, continue to swirl, the carrier has announced that it has completed a comprehensive review of the totality of the global security ecosystem and a "re-appraisal" of its security suppliers. Henceforth, BT Security will be supplied by a "leaner set of partners" (as in "yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look") who will support a "harmonised portfolio of solutions". In other words, BT customers will have less choice than they have presently but will be able to pick and mix from an approved shortlist of refined and vetted suppliers.

The rationale behind the move is that BT's customers are having difficulties finding their way around "today's complex security landscape" because there are just so many suppliers and products on the market - and this can result in the adoption of multiple overlapping systems. So, to help steady customer compasses as they swing wildly around the multi-pointed rose of potential security solutions, BT has compiled a list of the security market's leading suppliers from which a harmonised portfolio of specific solutions can be chosen. It is expected that by choosing from a comparatively short menu of products and solutions BT customers will find it easier to manage their security regimes while avoiding duplication of systems thus lowering costs and ensuring guaranteed high levels of network protection.

BT says it compiled the menu following detailed evaluation of the respective capabilities of security solutions available from a very wide gamut of vendors and providers of security control and threat management technologies. The final selection has Fortinet, McAfee and Palo Alto Networks as BT Security's "Critical Partners" while Cisco, IBM and Microsoft are classified as "Strategic Partners".

"Critical Partners" will provide a range of services and products that will be incorporated into BT Security’s global portfolio, as well as "providing holistic support to its commercial and operational activities." BT Security will work with them to develop a roadmap of security solutions which will continue to reflect evolving customer demands and integrate the latest developments in security automation.

John Maddison, Executive Vice President of Products and Chief Marketing Officer at Fortinet, commented, "Digital innovation is disrupting all industries, markets, and segments, leading to increased risk as cyber threats take advantage of this disruption. To protect against known advanced threats as well as unknown sophisticated attacks, Fortinet enables organisations to apply security anywhere and protect all edges – including WAN, cloud, data centre, endpoint, identity, and home - while reducing the number of required products to save costs and remove complexity. We’re proud to partner with BT Security to help customers address the most critical security challenges and protect data across the entire digital infrastructure."

Lynn Doherty, Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at McAfee, said, "We’re proud to partner with BT to fight against cybercrime and accelerate new business environments for our customers as they look for more solution integrations, deeper engagement and faster modernisation efforts. Together through our strategic service provider partners, like BT, McAfee is able to deliver world class security services that enable organisations to evolve their defences into areas like Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and Extended Detection and Response (XDR)."

Alex Zinin, VP, Global Service Provider Business at Palo Alto Networks, added, "We’ve been working closely with BT Security for several years to bring innovative cybersecurity solutions to our joint customers. We are honoured to be selected as one of their critical partners to continue this close collaboration, in recognition of the breadth of our security capabilities across multiple market segments. This comes at a time when it’s never been more essential for communications and security to be closely aligned to help all organisations with staff working remotely. We look forward to working together as we strive to make each day safer and more secure than the one before.”

Kevin Brown, Managing Director of BT Security, rounded off the mutual panegyric with, "Our new security partner ecosystem showcases the benefits of BT Security as a Managed Security Services Provider. We’re able to use our deep experience and insight of the security ecosystem to help our customers navigate what can be an incredibly confusing market. We’re also ensuring that BT Security customers will benefit from working with the best suppliers from across the security industry."

The categorisation of Cisco, IBM and Microsoft as "Strategic Partners" is a recognition not only of their relationship with BT Security but also their ongoing involvement across the entirety to the BT Group.

Meanwhile, the final nine ‘Ecosystem Partners’, Check Point, CrowdStrike, F5, Forescout, Netscout, Okta, Qualys, Skybox and Zscaler are included in the list because of their proven "technology capabilities".

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