Echoed by Chris Barton, Regional Alliance Manager, FireEye, board members in New Zealand are now looking across the Pacific at their American counterparts thinking, “I don’t want that to happen to me.”
“Executives don’t want to be responsible for outages and down-time, or reputation and brand loss,” he observes. “They simply can’t afford to let it happen on their watch which is why the industry has seen an increase in spend and focus because those top security decisions are not being made a board level.”
During the past 18 months alone, Sony, Target, JP Morgan have all fallen victim to significant breaches, breaches which have plastered the company logo across every newspaper and bulletin on the planet, causing significant humiliation for those at the top.
“Yes it’s embarrassing,” adds John-Paul Sikking, Head of Security, Cisco, “but your business isn’t going to necessarily fold.
“I know a company that was hit badly by cryptolocker, it had to trace back seven years to find a known good backup implementation. Seven years? Who cares? Just pack up the shop because you’re toast.
“That company now has no relevant records that they can restore so they might as well start over.”
Cryptolocker, as Sikking explains, prevents businesses from operating, and that’s the key.
“Look at Sony,” he adds, “It is going as well as ever, and Target isn’t too far behind. If you’re a bricks and mortar organisation and you lose credit card information, yes it’s very embarrassing and bad for your customers but your recovery depends on how you react.
“If you react well, work closely with your customers then yes, you can survive.”
During a long career within the security industry, Sikking recalls conversations from a decade ago, when he would ask businesses, “What about your reputational risk?”
“It’s still prevalent today but not as important,” he adds.
As the conversation and the business requirements around security change, the role of the managed security service provider - in providing outsourced monitoring and management of security devices and systems - perhaps, is also changing.
Widely acknowledged as the crucial link in the channel community, Kiwi partners in the new age of security are faced with multiple solutions and vendor pitches, yet must consolidate masses of information into one single product, utilising all ends of the security spectrum.
“To be truthful vendors are just pieces of the security puzzle,” adds Shane Varcoe, Channel Account Manager, Webroot.
Fresh from linking up with Kiwi distributor Exeed in New Zealand, Varcoe believes that local partners and service providers are the gel required to mould together a solution and approach that works best for the customer.
“Webroot’s role is around partner enablement and educating the distributor and the channel market bout our solutions and their capabilities, in a way that best fits the equation for the customer,” he adds. “But in the industry there are so many players, with new ones also coming in, with new bells and whistles and it can be confusing for partners.”
“It can be very difficult for resellers when attempting to present the bigger picture to customers,” adds Steve Woodward, Services & Solutions Manager, Westcon Group New Zealand.
Speaking from the distributor side of the equation, Woodward believes partners are looking for the complete vendor, the vendor who provides a complete end-to-end solution.
“Does this vendor exist?” he asks, “I don’t know. But partners are increasingly wanting a one touch approach, a vendor that can provide them with everything.
“As a distributor we provide support and direction but that’s not always easy for distributors given they support many vendors across the same industry.”
For Barton, in utilising his vast experience in the security space and past three years at FireEye, amidst such confusion, presents an opportunity for partners to shine.
In his role as a Senior Solutions Consultant at Network Pro, Wayne Ridgway specialises in network security, disaster recovery and business continuity.
Through his eyes however, “security is a market that can’t be treated like this month’s new printer or laptop.”
As an experienced security partner in the New Zealand industry, Ridgway believes that “if you’re having this type of conversation with your customer then you’ve missed the mark completely.”