What resellers think about threats to customers

A new survey, designed to capture the reseller’s perspective on customer cyber threat concerns and their overall understanding of the firewall market, examined the views of more than 1,400 WatchGuard partner organizations across the globe.

resellers think

What threats do resellers think customers are most concerned about?

According to the survey, 83 percent of resellers believe that ransomware will be their customers’ largest concern this year. In addition, 16 percent believe the majority of their customers would pay a ransom, and 65 percent believe at least some of their customers would pay. This willingness (or necessity) to pay, coupled with the increasing threat of ransomware, could prove costly for businesses in the coming year.

“The proliferation of ransomware reached epidemic proportions in 2016, so it makes sense that resellers are forecasting it as the top threat next year,” said Corey Nachreiner, CTO at WatchGuard. “On top of cyber extortion, security customers are hearing about tons of other new attacks and threat vectors each day, and they’re wondering how best to protect themselves.”

Do resellers think customers have the proper resources in place to manage incoming alerts?

About 45 percent of reseller respondents believe that less than half their customers have the proper resources in place to adequately manage incoming security alerts. Many SMBs simply don’t have the time or personnel necessary to focus on the management of network security solutions and the mitigation of growing cyber threats. As a matter of fact, only 5 percent of surveyed resellers believe all their customers have these resources in place, while 7 percent believe none of them do at all. This suggests that while many customers do have solutions in place, there is still significant room for improvement.

Do resellers think they understand the difference between UTM and NGFW?

Of the total surveyed partner organizations, 63 percent do not think the majority of their customers understand the difference between Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances and Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW). Nearly 80 percent do not think their customers care about the difference between the two appliance categories at all – and only want to know that their business is protected by the latest threat prevention solutions.

This suggests that security customers are trusting channel resellers and managed security service providers to make informed recommendations about security appliances and strategies. Over the course of the last two years, nearly 75 percent of reseller respondents’ organizations have seen the most growth in UTM appliance sales, while only around a quarter have seen the most sales growth in NGFW appliances.

“This survey further validates the importance of the reseller and service provider community for SMBs dealing with cyber security. Organizations rely heavily on the expertise of these channel partners to provide guidance that keeps employees and customers safe from the evolving threat landscape,” said Nachreiner. “For customers, it seems that the realistic impact or outcome is of more importance than the classification of threats or security solutions.”