Key hire as Ingram Micro builds cybersecurity practice


As it takes steps to create a dedicated cybersecurity practice, Ingram Micro has appointed Rod Lazarus to the position of General Manager of Cybersecurity. Tasked with leading and building the practice, Lazarus joins Ingram Micro from Cisco Systems, where he spent nearly 5 years as Head of Cyber Security Services and brings with him more than 17 years’ experience in senior cybersecurity positions at both the vendors and reseller levels.

Brett Armstrong, Ingram Micro Head of Advanced Solutions, points to sustained demand for cybersecurity solutions, particularly as businesses across Australia rapidly pivot to the cloud. “End users clearly must ramp up their security posture with no respite in the volume and frequency of attacks. A decade ago, we had siloes of information and big walls to keep attackers out. Today, data and applications are shifting into the cloud, with a major acceleration through the COVID pandemic,” he says.

“That means a considerably expanded threat surface, and along with the shift, we’ve also seen the emergence of new vendors and solutions which resellers need to take cognizance of.”

Armstrong says Lazarus takes responsibility for ‘all things security’ and will build a cohesive team in support of resellers, empowering them to build and deliver optimal, integrated solutions for businesses across Australia.

Ingram Micro signalled its intention to build a dedicated cybersecurity team late in 2020. The distributor is putting in place measures in support of channel partners moving beyond volume sales of standard cybersecurity products such as firewall and endpoint protection, and instead delivering custom solutions to meet the specific needs of end users. “These are consultative sales where more value is added by the reseller to the end user, and includes aspects such as solution architecture, penetration and vulnerability testing, and more,” says Armstrong.

With 2019 Government estimates putting the cost of cybersecurity incidents to Australian businesses at $29 billion each year, Lazarus says the necessity for effective mitigation is clear. “Cybersecurity is on the agenda of just about every organisation owing to recognition of the clear and present threats. Already, we’ve seen a surge in demand from resellers. Now, Ingram Micro is working to empower the channel with cohesive solutions to help protect their customers.”

He has strong advice for all resellers: “If you’re not talking security as part of every customer engagement, you’re not having the right conversation.”

While Armstrong notes that Ingram Micro has offered cybersecurity skills through its distributorship of multiple vendors in the space, he says the expertise has been dispersed. “Under Rod’s leadership, we’re creating a focused team which will draw on our Singapore Centre of Excellence, and work across vendors for the creation of effective Go To Market strategies as well as scalable and repeatable services for rapid delivery to end users.”

He confirms that Ingram Micro will be making additional hires soon, including solution architects, security consultants, product managers and deep domain sales experts.

“The result of the cybersecurity team is that partners can provide quality security solutions with confidence, which put end user interests at the centre. With Rod’s proven capability in creating and leading teams, our resellers can look forward to accessing in-demand solutions to rapidly address customer demand,” Armstrong concludes.