Jakub JirsÃ¡k - stock.adobe.com
WatchGuard’s channel can expect the security player to take the position it took in the second half of 2021 to be the focus going into the new year, with WatchGuard looking to partners to take advantage of its ongoing push into the cloud.
The decision by the firm to acquire Panda in 2020 gave it the opportunity to add more depth to its portfolio and more scope to its cloud options, and those efforts have continued with the firm promoting its ability to deliver a unified platform.
“The minute we made the acquisition, we started in the background with our project to make sure that we could put everything into cloud, [delivering] a unified platform” said Jonathan Whitely, regional vice-president of Northern Europe at WatchGuard.
“We’ve now launched WatchGuard unified security platform, and to be able to deliver it successfully to our managed service partner community is absolutely essential,” he added.
WatchGuard has been courting managed service providers (MSPs) for a while, with Whitely saying there is an expectation that more MSPs will seek out WatchGuard to cover their security portfolio needs.
He added that the shift to hybrid working had played into the hands of those partners able to offer cloud-based protection because of the flexibility it provides.
“If you look at the typical infrastructure somebody had to provide security for five years ago, you had some external workers, you had a relatively simple structure...it was pretty basic compared to what it is now, where we have a lot of companies using external contractors a lot more than they might have done in the past,” he said.
He added that as well as covering numerous locations, there were also issues with devices. “There are all different things that people access in the company resources [like an] iPhone, laptop or a fixed desk,” he said.
“That’s the kind of the level of complexity that organisations now have to promote security on, which means that unless you can have a unified approach, it’s really difficult to see how you can have a security strategy that’s going to protect the company and all the employees and people.”
Security was the top concern for users in 2021, and that situation is unlikely to change, with Whitley noting that customers continue to invest in data protection.
“The ability to secure [all sources of data] is equally important. One of the things we’ve seen throughout 2021 has been a massive increase in the amount of ransomware...the bad actors are taking advantage of the way people work, and as the kind of environment gets more complex, it becomes much more difficult for smaller businesses,” he said.