Data security is a C-level problem, says Websense

Data security is a C-level problem, says Websense

Vendor's country manager talks key threats, partner growth and the appointment of Simone Neunz

Organisations and analysts frequently point to internal threats to data security as being the highest concern.

“From a data security perspective the biggest threat traditionally was viewed as the employees doing something deliberately or inadvertently,” says Gerry Tucker, ANZ country manager for Websense. “That’s still a risk that needs to be covered. But the malware landscape is changing that view as well.”

Websense wants to build its business in New Zealand with the idea that resellers can add services on top of its data protection solutions. As network infrastructure grows in complexity with cloud computing and mobility, so have malware attacks, to the degree that, from Websense’s perspective, the conversation about data protection is now between the reseller and the C-level executive.

“If you look at the market a few years ago, firewalls, filtering, they were easy to deploy,” Tucker says. “Data security is now about a business process and in order to have a successful project, you have to talk to the IT department and the business owners, because IT facilitates the solution, but it doesn’t own the business process.”

“Traditional solutions are set for gap,” Tucker adds. “Data security, because it’s business process based, and the processes change rapidly, there is from a partner perspective the opportunity to not just sell the solution but to provide different services for the lifetime of that product.

Tucker suggests this includes, generally, maintenance of both the technology and the policies an organisation sets up to secure data.

“The successful ones in the channel are those looking to wrap services around solutions to provide a more comprehensive offering,” he says. “These can include risk and audit, or using the solution to do an initial assessment. That’s the first step, usually. Then there is the design and implementation of the solutions, and there’s the constant maintenance because it’s always changing. Most organisations, frankly, don’t know what’s happening with their data. A healthy dose of paranoia is not a bad thing.”

Websense currently works with more than 15 resellers in New Zealand, supported by 40 technical, sales and channel-specific staffers, mostly from Australia.

The vendor in May appointed Simone Neunz as the company’s territory manager for New Zealand, working out of Auckland. The appointment was made in anticipation of growing demand, according to Tucker.

The company says Websense solutions scale from SMB to enterprise, and for some companies, data can be the most valuable property.

Websense’s Triton platform pulls data on threats to an organisation's web, email, mobile solutions and cloud, in a single interface for view and management. Tucker and Neunz emphasise the product focuses on the data itself, and not the device or endpoint. The solution includes a threat-seeking feature to uncover malware attacks, which Tucker says the company classifies in seven stages, from malware reconnaissance collection, to luring the activation of the malware, to ultimately a full flow of data out of the organisation.

Tucker says there aren’t any specific target numbers for the number of new resellers it wants to bring on board, emphasizing “quality over quantity.” He says, however, tradition system integrators with a focus on storage and infrastructure that may want to add a layer of security for customers.

“What we’re driving towards here is finding a small group of additional partners that have that understanding of a service based solution, not just a product you sell and walk away from, because customers are looking for support on an ongoing basis,” Tucker says. “From the end user perspective, they’re saying they want a more complete offering, not just a product, but a solution.”

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