Bechtle's IT security division manager, Charles Kionga, founded the BISS Competence Center at the Neckarsulm Systems Integrator back in 2000 with only three employees. The goal? The sustainable bundling of security-specific competencies and the support of all Bechtle IT systems integrators in accordance with the principle of our dispersed yet closely linked organisation. “Our customers were requesting technical specialists more and more frequently and it simply was no longer possible to position projects in the market without first considering security aspects,” explains Charles Kionga. His team is now made up of 30 employees and the Competence Center now offers a variety of Manged Services in addition to expert knowledge in numerous projects. BISS monitors, for example, the functionality of customers’ security infrastructure and provides necessary support—all from our own Global Networking Operations Center (GNOC).
The group of security and networking specialists is almost unique in the market. The crack team cover more than 90 different competencies and hold about 300 certifications and belong to the ten best security teams in Germany according to Experton Group analysts. “In the very heterogeneous field of suppliers, we have selected a core portfolio of around 15 vendors based on strict quality criteria. We build long-term relationships, ensuring that we are on an equal footing, enabling a successful transfer of knowledge and experience," explains Charles Kionga. BISS’s image of itself being a knowledge community underscores the focus on training and further education within the team and the targeted promotion of young talent. Trainees and dual students undergo intensive training and build up their skills in order to be able to join the team as specialists in the future, proving their diverse and constantly developed know-how in standard projects as well as in exceptional situations.
“We form teams of experts from various disciplines to cope with all situations and incidents”, says Charles Kionga. “Let’s take the example of the Meltdown and Spectre chip security flaws that were publicised at the beginning of the year: To start with, we were flooded with information, which we checked and consolidated before developing a course of action for our customers. Through our Bechtle blog and the Bechtle website, we have also made our findings available to the public and have been continuously evaluating vendors' new developments and measures.
The dynamic IT industry is developing on a daily basis as are the dangers and threat scenarios for companies and institutions. The “secure” world comes apart at the seams when growing requirements for stable, integrated IT systems and the resources available for them diverge. “More than ever, companies need comprehensive advice and a clear strategy on what IT security means to them and who guarantees it,” suggests Charles Kionga. This is all the more true as the cloud is establishing itself as the solution of choice for the flexible provision of IT services.
“We have developed reference architectures to show customers how to work with the hybrid cloud. It is a migration process in which we integrate cloud services into a secure overall solution”, says Charles Kionga. Cloud services are now almost a matter of course, due in part the use of Office 365 and other cloud-based applications. Topics such as identity protection and the prevention of data breaches (Data Loss Prevention) are rapidly gaining in importance. Charles Kionga is convinced that the security of corporate data in the cloud will become a central issue in the future. Applications and functions that are mapped in software logic come to the fore instead of hardware platforms. Administration of the hardware layer is no longer in the hands of the company using it, but is carried out by the cloud service provider. This is why a comprehensive security concept is absolutely essential to reliably protect company data from unauthorised access.
Bechtle update editorial team
Published on Jun 29, 2018.