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Microsoft Security

How Microsoft Security partners are helping customers do more with less

There has never been a greater demand for specialized cybersecurity expertise—or a greater opportunity for our partners to support our customers with new services and solutions. Over the last year, the permanent shift to hybrid work has empowered businesses to be remote and mobile. Increased adoption of public and private clouds has unlocked innovation, agility, and scale. At the same time, ransomware grew 105 percent over the past year and continues to become more sophisticated.1 The global cybersecurity talent shortage is now 2.72 million, and economic uncertainty has put the spotlight on extracting the highest possible return on investments.2

This week, as we join our partners at Microsoft Inspire, much of our conversation is focused on how, together, we can help our customers prioritize their security initiatives while getting the most out of the solutions they already have.

Security services are a critical need for the year ahead

Every year I am so energized by the expertise and creativity of our partners. Much of what we learn comes from them, so we commissioned a Total Economic Impact™ from Forrester Consulting to better understand the high-level trends driving their security, compliance, and identity opportunities. It’s incredible to see that the Microsoft Security partner opportunity grew 21 percent year-over-year across the board in Microsoft 365 security, cloud security, compliance, and identity:

Microsoft Security partners are expanding their existing offerings and creating new offerings in all these areas, packaging their unique experience, expertise, and IP for effective and efficient service delivery. Security deployment, advisory, solutions development, and managed services are needed now more than ever. In fact, within the USD247 billion cybersecurity market, security services spending is projected to reach USD77 billion by the end of 2022.3

Optimization through consolidation

Given the breadth of challenges our customers are facing, and recent economic headwinds, many organizations are looking to consolidate their security portfolios to optimize costs and reduce complexity. In fact, 78 percent of chief information security officers (CISOs) have 16 or more tools in their cybersecurity vendor portfolio, and according to Gartner®, “most organizations recognize vendor consolidation as an avenue for more efficient security, with 80 [percent] executing or interested in a strategy for this.”4

Microsoft integrates more than 50 different categories across security, compliance, identity, device management, and privacy—and most customers save 60 percent on average by leveraging Microsoft’s comprehensive security solutions compared to a multi-vendor strategy. All Microsoft Security product families work together as one comprehensive solution across clouds and across platforms, helping customers to reduce tool sprawl, maximize value out of what they already have, and reduce complexity. With recent announcements of Microsoft Entra and Microsoft Purview, we’ve also aligned our product portfolio with how our customers view the totality of their security challenges.

Radar chart listing six Microsoft product lines: Microsoft Defender, Microsoft Sentinel, Microsoft Entra, Microsoft Purview, Microsoft Priva, and Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

Consolidation isn’t just about tools—the lines between security workloads are blurring as well. Virtually every customer scenario includes elements of secure infrastructure, threat detection and response, identity management and secure access, compliance, and privacy—in fact, 90 percent of the Fortune 100 companies use four or more of these solutions. Our partners agree, and many are moving beyond their core specialty to provide a wider range of services to customers, creating new revenue streams and expanding their expertise as a result.

Maximizing the value of current investments

Assisting customers to deploy and fully leverage products they already own is one of the strongest ways our partners can deliver customer value. This week, Microsoft is announcing an entirely new partner investment to help partners drive customer success and product usage. Starting October 1, 2022, partners who help customers deploy their untapped security capabilities within Microsoft 365 E5 and Microsoft Azure will be eligible for up to USD25,000 per account. Microsoft is excited to provide this co-investment to ensure partners remain competitive in their offerings.

Once security products have been deployed, customers often need assistance analyzing and triaging security data to monitor their ecosystem. Microsoft is seeing a surge in organizations looking for a trusted managed detection and response (MDR) partner to help offload time-consuming work and augment their existing in-house security teams. Gartner estimates that 50 percent of organizations will be using MDR services by 2025, and with more than 785,000 customers currently using Microsoft’s advanced security products, the partner opportunity is tremendous. To meet this need, Microsoft has recently announced investments in our managed XDR partner community, including working with them to verify their XDR solutions for use with Microsoft products. Partners with a verified XDR service will have increased access to co-marketing funding to support their business and direct integration with Microsoft field sellers through co-sell opportunities. Partners can learn more about investing in managed XDR partner success.

At Microsoft, we are continually looking for ways to deliver more value with our solutions—and to make it easier for our partners to do the same. For example:

Recognizing our partners of the year

Microsoft recently announced a simplified and more flexible way to be identified as a Microsoft Security Solution Provider. If you’ve historically been a silver or gold security partner or Enterprise Mobility Management partner, you now have the opportunity this coming year to be recognized through the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCPP) as a security solution partner. 

Once identified, Microsoft offers a wide variety of co-marketing opportunities you can take advantage of in your own programs and in collaboration with Microsoft to differentiate your business, not the least of which is the opportunity to be recognized by Microsoft as the Security or Compliance partner of the year.

I’d like to congratulate Ernst and Young as the 2022 Security Partner of the Year in recognition of the use of the Zero Trust framework that fully leverages Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) and Microsoft Azure Key Vault. I’d also like to recognize Edgile as the 2022 Compliance Partner of the Year for their integration of a comprehensive security framework that extends the capabilities of enterprises to also measure the maturity of their data governance. I want to congratulate these partners for their incredible work, as well as all the winners of the 2022 Microsoft Security Excellence Awards. I also want to express my gratitude to our entire partner community for all you do to advance our shared mission of security and to make the world a safer place.

Top takeaways for our partners

Microsoft partners have an amazing opportunity to showcase their security proficiency, drive new growth, and create real-world impact. We invite all our partners to download our commissioned Forrester report to spur ideas on how to differentiate and expand their business. I’ll close with a few ideas:

Be sure to check out our sessions at Microsoft Inspire that go deeper into these topics as well:

To learn more about Microsoft Security solutions, visit our website. Bookmark the Security blog to keep up with our expert coverage on security matters. Also, follow us at @MSFTSecurity for the latest news and updates on cybersecurity.

1Report: Pretty much every type of cyberattack increased in 2021, Brandon Vigliarolo. February 17, 2022.

2(ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study, (ISC)². 2021.

3Worldwide information security services spending from 2017 to 2022, Justina Alexandra Sava. April 27, 2022.

4Smarter with Gartner, The Top 8 Security and Risk Trends We’re Watching, November 15, 2021.

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.