Feature

In-depth: Security market responds to month of hacks and breaches


The question of security has been grabbing the headlines almost daily in the last few weeks. From the RSA server breach to the leaking of customer data at Play.com, Trip Advisor and a host of others embroiled in the Epsilon leak the question of securing data is big news, writes Amro Gebreel.

That's rather handy given the fact that later this month the industry gets a chance to tell customers just how it has the answers to the problems at the InfoSec show in London.

Most customers heading to the show will be aware thanks to the latest McAfee and Symantec market surveys that the world is one that is not only full of threats but has a few key features that are worth mentioning.

Firstly, targeted attacks are on the rise and much greater vigilance is required; secondly, social networks are now being used extensively to lure people into scams via shortened links; mobile working is causing plenty of people headaches and all of this is happening at an exponential rate.

But helping customers deal with security is not just about chucking a load of products at the problem but crucially, against a back ground of consolidation, to help them manage their defences.

"We have seen a sea change in the level of threat over the past year, or so with a huge increase in the number of sophisticated and targeted attacks, and an increasing trend of mobile working as users connect from home and on the road," says Ciaran Rafferty, vice president UK &Ireland at Sophos.

"The economic situation, with cutbacks in manpower and resources in all sectors, coupled with the increasing complexity of the threats means that customers are looking for vendors that can offer them products that work to an increasingly high standard to cover all bases and reduce their attack surface, but also deliver real efficiency and cost savings," he adds.

That challenge is one that is being addressed across the industry as customers want affordable products but ones that can meet that demand with a high level of sophistication.

Jamie Peacre, UK & Ireland regional sales manager at WatchGuard Technologies, sums up the way that the current market has helped it deliver a strong fourth quarter set of numbers.

"Demand continues to fuelled by a common business need - to have affordable and effective security solutions to prevent a myriad of threats, such as spam, viruses, malware, spyware, as well as to protect against rogue applications, hackers and identity thieves. The list goes on," he says.

"Resellers who can cover all bases with multi-function, integrated and easy to manage solutions, combined with selective cloud services only where it makes sense, will have the edge in 2011," he adds.

Not only do products have to be simple to manage but complex in capability but increasingly the mission customers are giving resellers is to help them secure an ever more mobile workforce.

The consumerisation of IT is also feeding through to the workplace forcing firms to look to their channel partners to help them manage a myriad of platforms and devices securely.

As employees are frequently using their own personal devices to try connecting to the corporate network, it is likely that the device is unknown, unsecure and potentially unsupported by their IT function," says Nigel Seddon, regional sales director for Northern Europe at LANDesk.

With the rapidly expanding use of Cloud computing, unauthorised devices such as Smartphones, iPhones and such can also be a conduit through which malware of varying nature could reach that same network...More so now than ever is imperative that resellers recommend the right tools and products to ensure that their customers are always protected against threats," he adds.


A full version of this feature, including additional comments, appears in the next issue of MicroScope.

InfoSec takes place at Earl's Court London from 19.21 April.


This was first published in April 2011

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