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SME market turning to channel to solve security headaches

With the need to be compliant with GDPR coming more SMEs are looking to get themselves better protected in the experience of FireEye

GDPR might be a major concern for the larger companies trying to make sure they are compliant but it is also driving activity in the SME market.

The plethora of headlines about data breaches and the looming changes in compliance rules have been driving companies of all sizes towards the channel to seek advice about how to protect their data.

One of those that has seen the business from smaller customers via its channel partners increasing has been FireEye and its EMEA channel head Jon Kane said that the opportunities continued to emerge as users tried to protect themselves from cyber attacks.

"Customers see the risk and the risk to them could be even greater to them than some of the large enterprises because the risks of a fine could see the company folding. We have seen a big shift there," he said.

The change in the market is also having an impact on the channel and is widening the number of partners that can work with a security vendor like FireEye.

"We are finding that it is not just some of the key resellers that we were working with three years ago but it is now some of the smaller outfits because customers are coming to them because cybersecurity is an issue, when before it was not seen as much as an SME or mid market issue," he added.

Kane said that some of the verticals that were used to compliance, like finance and public government, continued to focus on keeping on top of legislation but other firms were also now having to pay attention if they wanted to remain attractive in the supply chain.

"What I have noticed in the last year is that some of the customers we are talking to might not see GDPR as their problem as such but it means that anyone they are dealing with, partners and vendors, are requiring that compliance," he said.

"That's where we are noticing a lot of SMBs and the mid market are saying that they have no choice because they want to compete and it can't be a block," he added.

Research late last year from KPMG found that regardless of Brexit the changes that would be ushered in with GDPR data protection regulations would, "fundamentally alter the way we live, work and interact with technology, organisations and each other".

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