North American celebrity entrepreneur Robert Herjavec has claimed that cybersecurity is a global problem and said the issues around it are the same all over the world.
CRN revealed that Herjavec's eponymous Canadian MSP bought UK-based security VAR Sysec in February, and Herjavec feels this international expansion will continue due to the global nature of the industry.
"We are seeing tremendous growth in computer breaches and cybersecurity issues and we look at the UK market and it's interesting that cybersecurity issues are the same all over the world," the former star of the Canadian version of Dragons' Den, Shark Tank, and Dancing with the Stars in the US, said.
Herjavec himself is something of an international figure, leaving the former Yugoslavia when he was eight for Canada, establishing his own businesses there and lately gaining celebrity status in the US, following reality TV show appearances there. He has more than 400,000 followers on Twitter.
After establishing his MSP in the UK, Herjavec Group will look to expand into the Asian and Australian markets, Herjavec indicated. It currently has offices in Toronto, New York and Reading.
"I am going to Australia on Sunday, looking at that region. I think what's interesting is security is really a global problem, so we have a lot of different places where we can go to," he said.
He also said the Canadian, Australian and UK markets are very similar, and that he did not expect to encounter any difficulties in expanding his MSP into these new geographies.
In order to achieve this global strategy, Herjavec is developing a London secure operations centre (SOC) which will use security information and event management (SIEM) to find global patterns and trends to provide clients with pre-emptive support.
The facility – expected to be completed by the end of 2015 – will "be part of our global strategy", and complement the firm's existing SOCs in Los Angeles, Toronto and Ottawa, Herjavec said.
Change is coming
Croatia-born Herjavec said he expects there to be major changes to the security industry in the coming months.
"There will definitely be consolidation in the market; you are seeing that with a number of large security VARs acquired in the US last year. And Raytheon bought Websense, so you are seeing new entrants and consolidation," he said.
"And there is a slew of brand-new security companies and the reason for that is because the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing at such an exponential rate, it's forcing people to rethink security, with security becoming much more of a board issue, an exec issue."
Herjavec also said he felt margins for VARs will continue to recede on products across the board.
"From a reseller perspective, margins on all products are going to continue to decline. Just look at what happened in the storage space, with Cisco just getting out of storage. Margins are challenging, and continue to be, and I think security is not going to be different."
In response to this issue, Herjavec – which partners with vendors including Palo Alto Networks, Intel Security and RSA – has focused on providing managed security services.
Following the acquisition of Sysec, which now operates under the Herjavec moniker, he is converting the firm into a managed services company, Herjavec said.
When asked if more acquisitions could be on the cards for his firm, Herjavec said he expects the company to pause before its next purchase.
"We made two acquisitions in the past 12 months, so we kind of feel like the snake that has digested a lot of food, so we need to let it settle for a while. We need to have a little break before we start growing again," he said.
Herjavec has annual revenues of $150m (£96.18m) and Herjavec said he hoped to bring sales to between $250m and $300m.
When asked if he intends to garner a celebrity image in the UK, Herjavec said: "I absolutely intend to go on Strictly Come Dancing."
"No, I'm joking. We started doing TV when the company was very small, when we were doing $3m a year, and now we will do $150m this year, so it's a little different now."
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