Content filtering vendor Secure Computing is close to securing a British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) URL-filtering certification, which it has claimed will open up the education market to its channel partners.
Secure Computing, which recently acquired messaging security vendor CipherTrust for $273.6m (CRN, 24 July), told CRN that the education market is a lucrative area for security resellers, but educational institutions are understandably reluctant to use a product without any validation.
Becta has a number of accreditation schemes that allow IT suppliers to use a Becta-style kitemark when bidding for tenders. In return their products or services are promoted on the Becta Schools web site.
Andrew Clarke, vice-president of marketing at Secure Computing, told CRN: “We anticipate gaining the Becta certification this month. There are a number of URL-filtering vendors attempting to pass the certification. The one who gets there first gets the market leadership position.
“With children and students set to go back to school this week, concerns about security are high on the agenda. Control mechanisms are still needed in schools and higher education establishments to focus students’ attention on their studies, prevent access to unsuitable sites and control threats.”
Clarke added that although there are already established suppliers in the market, there is still the opportunity for other resellers to gain a piece of the action.
A Becta representative said: “The idea of the certification is to ensure that the minimum safety standard for pupils inside a school environment is met by suppliers.”
Neil Curran, senior account manager at Secure Computing distributor Telocator, said: “Becta is focusing on ISP services and looking at web products as part of those services. Secure Computing’s SmartFilter product set is ideal for the education environment. A Becta certification is a positive step and a great educational kitemark for Secure Computing’s partners.”
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