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Exclusive: ‘Handholding’ required in un-secure world

In the constantly changing world of technology, one area remains constant: the need for security. Heather Wright gets some expert views.

With security scares reaching as far as the International Space Station, 2013 was a year of ‘very high profile security breaches’. The bad news?

IDC’s Vern Hue, senior market analyst, predicts 2014 will see a similar trend with malicious actions continuing to hit organisations for a variety of reasons.

For end-users that might be bad news. But for the reseller channel, it could also be good news.

Juraj Malcho, Eset chief research officer, says consumers and enterprise don’t understand security issues or the available solutions – and nor do they really want to.

“They don’t care to have an anti- virus product; they just want to be safe,” he says.

“The world’s current IT technology and its implementation is not easily understandable by the masses, therefore it’s hard for many companies to assess the risk, especially when for most technology is critical to success, but not a core business to them.”

Adds Patrick Devlin, Watchguard ANZ regional director: “More than ever, security is critical to every product sale. Most electronics are connected to a network and many to the internet. This means that businesses that might not have considered security in the past need to be playing in this space.

“Consider the example of a managed print services company. Most printers are internet accessible. What if someone were to connect and go print crazy? Who covers the costs?

“Security resellers tend to be trusted advisers to their customers. These resellers tend to sell much more than just security and are much more likely to be awarded large contracts for PC or laptop supply that might otherwise have simply gone to the lowest cost partner.”

Devlin says security services are becoming a more essential part of a systems integrator’s portfolio than ever. “In years past, our resellers were mostly boutique security providers. In today’s New Zealand IT marketplace, a reseller can’t afford not to have a security offering.”

Internationally, IDC put the total security market for 2012 at US$37.7 billion. Hue says the New Zealand market was NZ$83.6 million, but points out this only takes into account security software as appliances aren't tracked locally.

Within software, IDC tracks endpoint, network, web and messaging security, along with identity and access management and security vulnerability management.

The international figures also include unified threat management appliances, firewalls, VPN and intrusion detection and prevention markets. Professional and managed services are not included in the figures.

Hue says cloud, social media, big data and security are beginning to impact organisations in New Zealand and how they interact with resellers.

“While nothing has changed in the way resellers act as the frontline in understanding customer needs and owning the customer engagement in many cases, the introduction of the aforementioned technologies, and in particular security solutions which are growing in complexity, will require more support and value- added services from the channel.

“Organisations will require a lot of handholding here as they transition into more complex solutions and they will look for the guidance from high-end VARs, SIs and cloud providers,” Hue adds.

To read Part 2 of this exclusive interview for The Channel - check back to on Thursday...