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Check Point boss signals channel opportunity to plug skills gap

The UK head of Check Point has highlighted the role that the channel can play in helping customers that can't afford skilled security staff

The security channel will play a crucial role in helping growing numbers of customers keep their data safe as the skills crisis in the sector continues to bite, according to the boss of one of the leading vendors in the market.

There have been warnings from various sources that of all the areas of IT that are struggling to find skilled staff the security space is one where the problem is most acute.

Earlier this year NTT Com Security issued its latest version of its risk report one of the themes that it picked up on was the difficulty that some customers were having protecting themselves without being able to lean on in-house expertise. That was followed last month by the Commons Public Accounts Committee highlighted the security skills issue and a choatic approach from the government as some of the problems that are still waiting to be solved.

As a result there are numerous customers who have made the decision to turn to the channel for help rather than try to compete for the expensive candidates that are out in the jobs market.

Nick Lowe, UK & Ireland managing director at Check Point, is at his second stint at the vendor and has returned at a time when customers are calling out for an easier approach to manage their security applications.

Vendors like Check Point have gone a long way to making it easier for customers to get a single view of their operations through management tools but the channel still has a vital role to play.

"If you are a very large enterprise you can afford to go and buy security staff," but he added that the vast majority would find hiring specialists a luxury.

"Partners are deploying these technologies and they are managing more and more," but Lowe is keenly aware that as a vendor it has a role to play in making sure the channel can take on that workload. "our responsibility to our partners is to make sure they can differentiate themselves and for those that are spending tens of hours on training we can make it profitable."

Check Point is using certifications to encourage the development of skills and a robust deal registration system to make sure those that make the efforts are rewarded.

As well as the skills issue the other observation Lowe has made on his return to Check Point is that the industry is just at the start of dealing with the IoT explosion.

With many users still dealing with mobility, the last BYOD trend, the threat of more devices connecting to the network is going to put more pressure on customers.

"From the channel side the scope is enormous," said Lowe who paints a picture of security becoming a layer that is served by partners and easier for the customer to manage.

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