While security is at the top of most companies' agendas, the headlines continue to report sky-high numbers of security incidents.
The National High-Tech Crime Unit recently revealed that UK businesses are experiencing an average of three security-related attacks a month, and that in only the past 12 months, 97 per cent had suffered virus attacks.
But it's not just viruses that are a threat.
Industry analyst Aberdeen Group focuses on IT buyers looking for new capabilities to stem the flood of unwanted emails. It's clear that there is a healthy security market here.
However, the question for resellers is: how can you make the most of this market while protecting shrinking margins and ensuring you keep customers happy with excellent service?
The simple fact is that your customers will never be totally secure from virus attacks.
Antivirus vendors strive to ensure the maximum security possible, but protection needs to be continuous. This is where most mistakes are made.
After every major virus incident in recent years, most new antivirus sales were made to organisations that felt they needed different tiers of antivirus technology in addition to the software they were using already.
This is a knee-jerk reaction, and not the best way of guarding against attack.
Businesses need to understand that when it comes to information security there is no room for complacency. Resellers have a part to play here.
They should educate customers to implement multi-level security policies that protect networks at all entry points, and show them that no single solution can do it all.
This education process provides a ready-made opportunity for resellers to strengthen relationships with customers by becoming independent consultants on antivirus protection.
By working closely with vendors, resellers can keep customers up to date about the latest security threats.
Raising the game to a consultative level and advocating a multi-level security policy will help VARs keep customers' systems safe.
By offering the right security solutions and upgrades, VARs can increase the uptake of products and hence their margins.
This will ensure security is at a constant high and that resellers' security income is constant, rather than dependent on the next virus headline for a sales boost.
Julian Bogajski is UK commercial director at Sybari Software.
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