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Opportunity knocks: Answer the door to managed next generation firewalls

SMEs are looking for data protection and Jason Howells, Director of EMEA at Barracuda MSP, argues the channel needs to include it in their security pitches

We understand that keeping up with security requirements can prove stressful, especially with increasingly sophisticated attackers breathing down you and your customers’ necks.

However, according to a new report by 2112 Group on behalf of Barracuda MSP, entitled The State of European Managed Services, many of you are still just offering a basic level of security services. With the rise of ransomware, and new data legislation right around the corner, never has there been a better time for you to offer a more robust security solution for your customers.

New and Improved

We found 20 per cent of European solution providers are now offering some form of managed security services. More significantly, another quarter are planning to add security services within the next 12 months, and 37 per cent are exploring security as an expansion option. Conversely, less than one in five solution providers have no plans to offer security services.

Despite this, our findings revealed only a small number of service providers are offering comprehensive suites of security technologies; most appear to provide point solutions that are tangential to their core managed services or product offerings, and remain largely focused on addressing only immediate needs. Solution providers don’t seem eager to create end-to-end security services that address a multitude of technologies and threat mitigation needs, which could be proving a missed opportunity.

Traditionally legacy firewalls were introduced to help prevent basic virus and web directors, which were admittedly annoying, but not necessarily harmful, unlike ransomware. And while they can offer some protection, the reality is that advanced threats can still sneak through.

Partnering with a vendor, like Barracuda MSP for example, to offer managed next-generation firewalls would allow you and your customers to replace legacy systems without retraining technicians, whilst expanding existing security services with Advanced Threat Protection. Working with the right vendor partner could also mean you gain access to a dedicated team that will provide 24/7 monitoring, management and maintenance for your firewall proposition, providing a near zero touch service, all for a fixed monthly price.


Spend money to save money

Unsurprisingly, SMBs are very focused on how much money they’re spending. However, managed next-generation firewalls also have a better reporting system that can help you demonstrate the value of a more advanced solution.

If you can show a customer that their new firewall has blocked X number of attacks in the first month, that’s a powerful way to highlight the overall value of the solution. Not only will a more robust solution help you save time and money by not having to recover data as often, but it can help show customers all the potential threats they’re safeguarded against, making your life much easier.

According to a separate survey we conducted earlier this year, 92% of businesses are concerned by the thought of ransomware attacking their organisation. It would seem like these fears are well founded – nearly half, or 47% of respondents had been a victim of ransomware themselves. Of those ransomware victims, 59% were not able to identify the source of attack.

We get that a more comprehensive security solution may come with a bigger price tag, but in the long run it could save your customers from having to pay hefty ransoms down the road, or deal with costly downtime that could be caused by a breach. It’s estimated that last year alone, ransomware scams cost victims nearly $1 billion worldwide and of course, being proactive in seeking a more robust security solution could also prevent future penalties for any data non-compliance.

Managed next-generation firewalls can give customers a robust layer of protection to prevent an attack from happening. With SMB’s beginning to strengthen their security infrastructures you must ensure you’re offering the right services that they require or risk getting left behind.

The author Jason Howells, is Director of EMEA at Barracuda MSP

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