Sophos partner LOOKUP has scored a managed security gig with Kristallis Accounting, and the deal highlights a clever long-term approach to security advice and engagement.
Kristallis Accounting’s principal Andrew Kristallis and ten staff, some of them offshore, mostly service small businesses - around 1,000 of them.
Kristallis himself is well-educated on security matters. He knows that the data his firm holds is confidential and worthy of protection, and is aware that he's at risk.
“I've always heard stories about someone who clicked on the wrong thing,” he told CRN. “One friend had to buy Bitcoins or something to get their data back. I'm actually almost surprised we never had a problem.”
The seeds for those concerns came not just from conversations and media - the fact that some of his staff are offshore also weighed on Kristallis, and even on some of his staff who suggested revisiting security.
Kristallis Accounting has worked with Sydney MSP LOOKUP Technology Solutions for a number of years, so turned to the company for advice.
“We're always talking strategically about technology,” LOOKUP CEO Peter Kantarelis told CRN, who considers this engagement and nurturing an ongoing "farming" effort.
“For Andrew, and for other customers as well, it gets to a point when they're listening.” Sometimes it takes new of misfortune befalling a peer to get the customer ready to deal.
“Customers have other priorities,” Kantarelis said. “They don't want to sit there and talk for hours and hours and hours. But they do enjoy that talk from time to time.”
Kantarelis makes sure, however, to keep a security conversation bubbling.
“We definitely push the issue. We have security business reviews around learnings and teaching and we try and invite people over for ‘lunch and learns’ and get the vendors involved in and education process.”
Those efforts, plus Andrew Kristallis’ own security-conscious thinking, saw Kristallis turn to LOOKUP for a security refresh.
LOOKUP is a Sophos partner, so recommended the vendor’s products for endpoint, network and phishing protection. The MSP also segmented networks and performed other work so that data is safe whether it is used in Australia or offshore, and in dedicated or shared offices.
LOOKUP manages and monitors the lot as a managed service, and Andrew Kristallis is happy to pay monthly.
“I feel I can move now,” Kristallis told CRN. “It's just like what we say to our accounting clients - ‘ we hope working with us means you sleep well at night’.”