Brennan IT's security play pays off

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Brennan IT's security play pays off
Daniel Hayes (Brennan IT)

Managed services provider Brennan IT has been one of many Australian IT services firms that have ramped up their investments in cybersecurity over recent years, working up to become a tier one provider.

The company was recently awarded by vendor partner AT&T Cybersecurity as its New Partner of the Year in its 2022 global partner awards, while Fortinet also named the company its Australian Managed Security Service Provider Partner of the Year.

Brennan IT head of cybersecurity Daniel Hayes told CRN that the honours were in recognition of the company’s investments in people, technology and automation.

“[The investments] allow us to continue with confidence taking our customers down the path of increased security maturity,” Hayes said.

The company’s security operations centre (SOC) was front and centre of the win from AT&T, which also secured expanded contracts for Brennan IT and new customers from sectors including health, finance and not-for-profit.

Hayes explained the SOC was really a method to provide business outcomes to customers rather than a specific physical facility, and a way to reduce a customer’s risk and increase certainty and safety.

“We've partnered very strategically with two or three key vendors to get us to work to a certain point, to build scale and build capability and be able to lead the conversation with our customers,” he said.

Since the pivot to managed security coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, Hayes said it didn’t make a lot of sense for Brennan IT to invest in a physical SOC location.

“We’ve built ourselves what we call a ‘distributed SOC’, which is really a combination of people, technology and automation to provide the right outcomes to our customers without needing to seek investment in a physical location, which these days is likely to be quite underutilised,” Hayes added.

In Brennan IT’s 20-plus years, the company has specialised in managed services and network services delivered in a secure manner, so the pivot to managed security services was a deliberate choice to step up.

“It's really about taking what we know is a really good secure set of managed services out of the box and providing a level on top of that with dedicated security resources, dedicated people and new technology to take it to the point where we know that it's important to bring our customers on an enhanced security maturity journey,” Hayes said.

“So we opted to get ahead of that and really be able to take them with us down that path. That strategy was being formed over the last few years, and since I joined the organisation back in January 2021, it's been my key focus to really take that dedicated security practice to the next level.”

With personnel, Brennan has also brought in 20 dedicated cybersecurity specialists on top of some 80 to 90 security experts the company already had across the business.

Internally, the cybersecurity investments have enabled Brennan IT to have security conversations in more than just a single threaded fashion.

“We can now address security across a business technology stack with one person to cover the breadth of the services rather than having an Azure person to talk about Azure security and a networking person to talk about network security,” Hayes said.

“We can now address the entire conversation with one individual. which lets our experts focus more deeply in their areas of expertise, while they're supported by a security specialist on top.

“I would say [our security investments] have enhanced Brennan's security capability broadly as well as deeply.”

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