Opinion

Betting on education

Richard Brown, Director EMEA Channels and Alliances, Arbor Networks, urges resellers to enhance their skillset to be the preferred partners to customers.Education

Today’s storage and virtualisation landscape is very competitive and as a result, when the media reports on a high profile cyber-attack, such as Ashley Madison or Mumsnet, many resellers are quick to jump on the ‘security bandwagon’ to try and offer something different to their customers.

arbor
Richard Brown, Arbor Networks

However, by adapting their services to capitalise on the headlines, many resellers claim to protect businesses from threats such as DDoS attacks, when in fact they are not trained and do not have the skill sets to provide the right security. Instead, by only selling a firewall or advanced threat protection solution as a bolt-on, many customers think they are benefitting from expert advice when they are in fact still exposed.

The truth is that there are very few who can give complete holistic advice to the customer and this is one of reasons we continue to see so many high and damaging profile attacks. A bolt-on may look like it solves the problem on paper, but in the field it doesn’t come close. Organisations can no longer avoid referring back to the same proof point in quick succession to buy products that are not right for their business.

Resellers are not getting the right training they need to sell the correct security protection and need to gain a better understanding of the real threats facing businesses today. To rectify this, resellers need to work with vendors who have experience and expertise so they can understand the types of threats affecting organisations. Resellers also need to make sure that their customers understand that they will be breached and have countermeasures in place to deal with it quickly. Everyone can be a victim – no organisation is invulnerable.

Resellers also need to work with vendors who can teach security across many different areas, such as advanced threats and DDoS, rather than provide a technical product pitch that they may not understand. Resellers who understand security know that customers can’t just sit a two or three day course and become certified. They need to work with vendors after the training and constantly make sure they keep up-to-date.

Better education is vital in today’s channel environment because the threats we are seeing today are more complicated than many people realise. If a reseller misconfigures a storage array or VM device, customers will lose service for a while. But, if resellers get security wrong, end-users can lose a lot more, such as customers of their core business, reputation and financial costs. Resellers need experience and the only way to get that is by working closely with security partners who have the time, understanding, experience and appropriate resources to offer.

In today’s threat landscape, resellers can no longer afford to be complacent when it comes to security training. By understanding what solutions are required to handle the attacks of today and ensuring that they are working with the right partners, resellers will be able to provide the best possible service to their customers.

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