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Hybrid working is massive opportunity for nimble MSPs says IntraLAN CEO

The changing nature of work will be a major opportunity for managed service providers (MSPs), as organisations begin planning a return to the office. As enterprise-sized organisations reassess their real estate footprint, there are opportunities for nimble MSPs to cater to smaller satellite offices.

“Hybrid working is here to stay,” said Andy Horn, CEO, IntraLAN.

“There are so many ‘Googles’, and ‘Amazons’ saying that [staff] can work from home [and] we are not going back to the way it was. I see that as a big opportunity for MSPs. We can scale up to sell to what was a large enterprise, but it won’t have 10,000 people in a big HQ. [They] are going to have smaller regionally offices, so it makes sense to have an agile MSP in there,” he predicted.

Offering expanded security services is one area that many MSPs have focused on, partly in response to the initial COVID-inspired dash to remote working and then to support the long-term hybrid working environment.

“CISOs had built this fantastic fortress [infrastructure], and everything was safe and secure, and then everybody left the fort and worked from home [and] they broke all the policies and procedures,” said Horn.

To expand its own security offering, IntraLAN has signed up with Israeli-vendor, Zero Networks, for its zero trust Access Orchestrator. The software restricts access of every network device to only what the user needs, and in doing so eliminates unauthorised lateral movement and internal attack vectors.

Until recently, the idea of zero trust networks went against the traditional ‘open’ nature of network design, where devices are automatically trusted, and network permissions freely granted.

“But the issue is… do you need to give ubiquitous access to all staff, to all systems in the [office] and remotely? And no – you don’t,” said Horn.

“If you look at all the applications that a user has in a company, the access and the permissions are way too high. [As] we move forward, ‘just in time’ is going to be the way forward,” he added.

The MSP also signed a deal with Dark Trace for its AI-based anomaly detection software.

IntraLAN is pitching other services to its corporate clients, including Work IT - a separate broadband connection at home for the business. With more people working from remotely long-term, there will a greater need for “suitable business technology at home”, said Horn. “It makes sense to have a separate connection at home for work,” he added.