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Fortinet NZ: Secure wireless internet offers big opportunities

01 Sep 2014

Building secure networks is becoming a major revenue stream for forwardthinking resellers, says Scott Cowan, Fortinet New Zealand and Pacific Islands channel director.

Everyone has a smartphone. Everyone wants to use it for both business and personal applications.

However, not every business has the technical capabilities in-house to secure their Wi-Fi networks and keep business and personal separate, but equal. As a result, business people can’t use their smartphones for work or, if they do, they are using them in an unsafe manner.

Either way, there is a tremendous opportunity for New Zealand resellers to step up and help businesses harness the smartphone revolution by offering secure Wi-Fi solutions and services that support BYOD. The market is moving faster than ever and resellers need to keep current with the latest threats, risks and remedies.

The most obvious strategy for resellers is to specialise in specific solutions and vendors who are investing resources into staying ahead of the security curve.

Operating systems: The heart of the secure network

Interoperability is the catchword when it comes to securing today’s wireless and wired networks. In most cases, interoperability is based on dedicated operating systems optimised to secure all components on the network.

With a secure operating system as a backbone, resellers have a clear pathway for adding individual components - such as appliances for identity management or virtual private networking - onto the client’s network, be it wireless, wired or hybrid. Wi-Fi is just one area where a secure infrastructure has advantages.

With a security-centric infrastructure, resellers can harden their clients' networks, regardless of where the components are physically located. Resellers who adopt the secure operating system model can then offer solutions to secure every node, pipeline and user attached to the network.

Security-centric infrastructure

Once clients have standardised their network on a security-centric infrastructure, resellers can easily add individual components - access points, firewalls, intrusion detection and more - that operate under a single operating system.

But streamlined installation is only the start in a secure infrastructure. Managing the secured network is also easier - all of the individual components can all be controlled, updated and monitored from a central console.

Indeed, resellers can perform all of the management and support functions remotely as a managed service. Building secure networks is fast becoming a major revenue stream for forward-thinking resellers.

With emerging technologies such as network segmentation gateways, zero trust networks and securitycentric infrastructure, resellers who truly understand the dynamics of network security can offer more services - both in premises and in the cloud - to clients.

Most businesses don’t want the added responsibilities of maintaining their increasingly complex networks. They are looking to partner with resellers who offer more than just hardware and software sales.

Offering managed services for secure networking gives specialist resellers a competitive advantage. The opportunity is there - and security-orientated resellers are taking up the challenge.