Simplicity, Affordability, and Reliability Are Keys to Acronis’s Cyber Protection Strategy
The sweeping set of cyber protection products Acronis showcased today at its Global Cyber Summit event in Miami are the most concrete manifestation to date of a vision that has animated Serguei Beloussov, the company’s founder, since shortly after he became CEO as well six years ago. Bringing that vision to life, however, has taken longer than he anticipated.
“I knew what I wanted to do, and I thought that in the beginning of 2017 that I would have it, but I will have it at the beginning of 2020,” he told ChannelPro today.
The longer than expected wait, Beloussov continues, reflects the magnitude of the challenges entailed in safeguarding edge and endpoint workloads, the breadth of functionality needed to tackle those challenges, and the massive amounts of labor-intensive backend integration required to build that functionality.
“It’s tedious work to do this business,” Beloussov says.
The specific use case the new cyber protection offerings are designed to address is one that has only come into being in the last few years, he continues, with the proliferation of mobile endpoints and Internet of Things devices that reside outside the safety of the network perimeter.
“If you control the perimeter and you control the network, then inside the perimeter and inside the network it’s really relatively secure,” Beloussov observes. “It’s kind of like you’re in a castle.”
Edge and endpoint security are a different scenario altogether. “In our world, we live in an unsecure network,” Beloussov says.
The overarching goal behind the three offerings Acronis unveiled today—a security solution named Acronis Cyber Protect, an accompanying software-defined storage and networking system called Acronis Cyber Infrastructure, and an underlying set of enabling technologies, APIs, and development resources named Acronis Cyber Platform—is to provide a comprehensive answer to the five requirements of data protection for workloads that rely on unsecure networks. Acronis shorthands those as SAPAS, which stands for safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security. Solutions with backup functionality alone, Beloussov asserts, leave critical information exposed to theft and manipulation.
“Traditional backup is dead,” he told Global Cyber Summit attendees in a keynote presentation this morning. “Backups are not protected, primary data is not protected, the agents are not protected, there is downtime after disaster, and there is no data authenticity.”
Businesses can cobble together a collection of BDR and security solutions on their own, he adds, but at present no one vendor supports both functions as comprehensively as Acronis does.
“This market is extremely fragmented,” Beloussov told his audience. “The only complete solution, especially for edge and endpoint, is coming from Acronis.”
Importantly, he later added in a conversation with ChannelPro, that solution is a single product with a single underlying code base, common user interface, and shared management plane that’s sold and deployed as a single bundle, all of which makes it simple for partners to deliver and their customers to use. Simplicity, Beloussov emphasizes, is a critical ingredient in edge and endpoint security, along with affordability and reliability.
“It has to be extremely easy, extremely cost efficient, and it has to work,” he says.
Today’s product debuts are a significant milestone for Acronis in its journey from backup alone to cyber protection. Earlier steps include the addition of ransomware protection and blockchain-based data validation technology to the company’s backup software some three and a half years ago. Launching a true cyber protection platform is a major step forward in that journey, Beloussov says, but not its end. Indeed, he adds, invoking Winston Churchill, it is at best the end of the beginning.
“Maybe it’s not even the end of the beginning, but sort of the beginning of the beginning,” he continues. “We have a lot to do.”
The ChannelPro Network is dedicated to providing IT consultants, VARs and MSPs who serve the IT needs of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) the news, insights, resources and best practices necessary to help them grow their businesses and better serve their SMB customers.