Channel Needs Security Grooming

Nabil Souli- CEO of managed security vendor BIqube says that SME’s across the UK are increasingly incorporating the Internet into their daily operations, and the current trend is adopting cheaper, high-speed ADSL over previously preferred private lines.

“However, economies do come at price. Internet security still isn’t 100% bullet-proof, leaving businesses of any size vulnerable to information leaks and targeted attacks.

There is an essential need for SMEs to arm themselves with more than just simple malware software and high street security solutions. These offerings are not robust enough to protect SMEs, which too often entrust their networks to non-business grade consumer offerings. This is true for any small and medium-sized business. It’s not just banks or insurance companies that need robust security options. Retail companies that are interconnecting shops with open high-speed technologies would do well to set up a global VPN to encrypt it’s traffic – or risk exposing sensitive information like billing or employee data.”

In response to challenges implying that vendors are ignoring the channel as a route to market for their solutions Souli says, “Most IT security vendors take the view that “off the shelf” offerings strike the right balance for SMEs looking for uncomplicated and cost-effective solutions. However, this approach misses an important opportunity to provide a solution that will help the end user as their business grows. UBIqube believes SMEs need scalable, agnostic solutions – and not a box solution that they are left to manage.

The biggest challenge is grooming the channel to think about security related services as strategic, sophisticated offerings that are key to the success of SMEs.

Security experts within the channel are few and far between. Often, the channel prefers to stay close to mass market solutions and avoid the perceived complexities of security related technologies. Accentuating the need to relieve customers from managing their own security is key to changing this current view – leaving SMEs to focus instead on their core business.

In other terms the channel needs to provide end users with turn key management and reporting services for such complex devices. This is where most vendor’s strategies (or lack thereof) are failing. The channel is not equipped to ramp up services to a Managed Security Services (MSS) level. Until they are, the replacement rate of traditional routers or firewalls with more sophisticated security-heavy devices (e.g. Unified Threat Management solutions) will remain slow, despite such a large addressable market.”

Souli concludes, “Managed security services can reap higher margins because of their percieved value to companies. Once resellers realise they can rely on managed security services to drive additional value and court greater customer loyalty, the days of off the shelf security boxes stamped ‘made in Taiwan’ will be long gone.