IT channel security practices will balance products, processes and skills

A comprehensive security offering is quickly moving from simple product installation to an ongoing process.

IT channel companies that highlight processes and education along with the products they stock will be well positioned to seize new opportunities in the increasingly complex world of enterprise security, according to CompTIA.

channel partners

“Cybersecurity has been a concern and a priority for businesses for some time, but new technology models and a greater reliance on technology are driving changes on how companies approach security, resulting in a field rich with opportunities,” said Seth Robinson, senior director, technology analysis, CompTIA.

“Channel partners, MSPs and managed security services providers with the right expertise and resources will be well positioned to engage their customers and prospects in an ongoing conversation about where security fits in to their needs and goals.”

Security products alone aren’t enough, Robinson contends. New processes – risk analysis, compliance management and cloud provider evaluation – must be part of the security mix. Education of end users – the weakest link in the security chain – also requires greater emphasis.

From the product perspective, a modern approach to security will require a broad mix of tools. Standard security measures tools such as firewalls and antivirus software will be supplemented with new tools such as data loss prevention and identity and access management solutions.

CompTIA survey data suggests that channel companies with existing security practices offer a broad portfolio of products, led by standard firewall and antivirus solutions. More advanced technologies appear farther down the list. The nature of their offerings may range from active installations to awareness of tools that customers may eventually request.

Overall, 38 percent of the companies surveyed say that firewalls are their biggest seller, while 20 percent of firms place antivirus at the top of their best-seller list. By comparison, only 9 percent of companies report that security information and event management solutions are their biggest revenue producer.

Channel partners overwhelmingly rely on the reputation and strength of the vendor products they sell when making a sale, according to the CompTIA study. Just one in 10 firms rely primarily on the strength of their own services or innovation.

“Good marketing certainly requires strong products, but for channel partners to successfully build their own brand they must identify and highlight the unique strengths they possess to solve business problems and help customers overcome obstacles to success,” Robinson said.

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