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WatchGuard boss talks of higher SME awareness and MSSP growth

The WannaCry ransomware attack has come at a time when more SMEs are accepting the need for better security and more are choosing to get it via the managed services option

If you are going to hold a partner conference discussing the latest trends and products available in the security market then a few days after the WannaCry ransomware attack is quite interesting timing.

What the high profile ransomware attack showed last Friday was that this type of attack is serious and widespread and for vendors like WatchGuard it only underlined just how vulnerable some of its key target SME audience are to threats.

Prakash Panjwani, CEO of WatchGuard, said that the attitude now of SMEs towards security was one of much greater awareness and they needed enterprise grade protection.

"One thing the last few years have proved to us is that our focus was correct because all those threats that for years were only at the high end of the market are now everywhere. For us that focus of bringing enterprise grade security solutions in a way SMEs can consume it is our focus," he said.

He added that customers needed multiple layers of defences and just relying on an anti virus and firewall strategy was no longer anywhere near enough.

"Partners have allowed us to grow and scale across the industry and with SMEs you are not going to reach everyone without that so that strategy is paying off," he added.

"What has happened over the past few days is gut wrenching but it has validated the need for that multiple layer of security," he said.

He said that customers were being more proactive about security but there was still some way to go. The old beliefs that small firms would not be targets was still a myth that some clung onto.

"Awareness is generally increasing and we get it and our partners get it but the general industry tends to talk about the larger breaches but it is getting out there more," said Panjwani.

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