Simplicity does not mean going it alone in the security market

Customers want simplicity but when it comes to security that does not mean they can do without expert help from the channel

A lot of focus in the industry is to try and make life easier for customers and great efforts have been made to simplify technology.

Across all product areas the dream is to to try and provide a solution that is easy to manage and gives the customer a decent experience as well as technology that delivers an end result.

But the simplicity only goes so far and the idea that the logical conclusion is that the channel can set things up for the user and then exit stage left is one that is not going to happen.

At a recent security roundtable organised by MicroScope, the question was asked around whether or not customers would try to increase automation and try to reduce their reliance on not just partners but perhaps even their own IT departments.

With the growth in the power of line of business department heads and millennials buying in different ways there is a danger that some might think they can do it all without support by just subscribing to a cloud service or two.

“Companies have to wake up to the fact that their data is  critical to their businesses and  unless they secure it adequately based on security layers then they cannot mitigate against the known incidents. You have to keep on your toes because the hackers will evolve their attacks,” said Kevin Bailey, vice president market strategy at Clearswift.

“You can only plan for what you know and smart people may look into the future and hypothesise but most companies will aim to do what they can today for things that are known,” he added.

There was widespread agreement among the assembled vendors that what is starting to happen is a consolidation of technology by the customer to try and make life easier and this was also a feature of the security market.

For the security channel the opportunity that is emerging is around being able to consolidate across the business and react to the increasing number of threats without adding complexity.

“We have all talked about consolidation before. It has previously been about putting more on a single device and reducing the cost of delivering it. This is valid, but consolidation discussions now consider multiple point solutions as well. The value can be found in integrating them so they are more effective at identifying and remediating against the threats that are out there,” said Stuart Taylor, SI Partner Manager at Intel Security.

“Our partners take that forward by planning business transformation projects. If you look at many large organisations, they have already deployed solutions and are not necessarily going to change the plethora of solutions they work with overnight. We have to work with channel organisations which understand that process and have the relationships in place with those customers to be able to work through the client transformation,” he added.

Adam Bradley, sales director UK and Ireland Sophos, said that it had also noticed that the customer was demanding something different and wanted a more encompassing capability rather than using numerous point products to try and get a result.

He added that where things were also changing was in the speed of information with customers now looking for the channel to provide real-time proactive security.

The did provide an opportunity for partners, if they were able to respond to the need for more proactive security that pulled information from across the entire business.

“This is a partner play. Today, we observe that very few organisations are taking a proactive security approach. They know that they have to pay attention to security, but often times they want all the intelligence and the information, without understanding what do with it, how to react to it, and if they have the policies and teams in place to make the best use of it,” said Jamie Andrews, head of European channels at Lookout.

“If you have a partner that can scale it across the organisation – and make good use of it – then you have a serious proposition,” he added.

The need to be able to offer a proposition that is both proactive and company wide is going to become even more vital with the emergence of the Internet of Things. As more devices connect to the corporate network the need to be able to deal with that complexity in a simple way will be even more of a user demand.

As things stand the emphasis on most of the current IoT solutions is on data gathering or being life enhancing rather than on making sure the solution is secure. The vulnerabilities that emerge from IoT products and services should also provide even more reasons for customers to talk to channel security experts.

The full transcript of the roundtable will be published in the August ezine​

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