Ensuring company networks are visible is an essential task for all organisations, large or small. As a result, risk management is a large and growing market and many opportunities exist for resellers to profit through selling enterprise threat management.
Providing managed security services (MSS) gives resellers a route to market
that guarantees revenues over a longer period. If
you can engage customers in a longer-term relationship, you are in a much stronger position than a product provider.
Many of Sourcefire’s largest customers have their technology delivered to them as a managed service. In fact, many of the leading managed service providers, either proactively sell Sourcefire or Snort as a MSS or they end up managing it at the customer’s request.
Snort, which powers the Sourcefire solution, is a widely used intrusion prevention system (IPS). That means there is a lot of technical expertise available. Furthermore, because Snort is open source it can be customised easily to meet a customer’s unique needs.
There are clear incentives for customers to go down this route, with the following benefits.
Staffing – In most organisations, IT is not the core function, and there is often a lack of technical in-house expertise to manage network security solutions. Having an alternative to internal monitoring focuses resources on the company’s strategic needs, and wages are the biggest expense for most organisations.
Control – Companies want predictable security management costs for the year ahead. MSS means the initial spend on hardware can be avoided. It allows firms to forecast, spreads costs into monthly payments and provides the option for change.
Service – An MSS provider will be able to guarantee service level agreements, whereas an organisation might not be able to guarantee this with internal staff. Additionally, it will be on hand 24/7 and have greater knowledge of the sector, the technology and new threats that are emerging.
Compliance – An MSS provider will be able to help ensure regulatory requirements are met, store network logs for the required time and understand what is required to ensure the company satisfies internal and external audit requirements.
Security – Having experts running the system gives customers more confidence that their networks are safe and secure, helping them to maintain business continuity and brand reputation while ensuring they are not vulnerable to attacks.
Flexibility – MSS providers can offer flexible management
solutions, allowing customers to make risk management decisions based on the
requirements of their infrastructure.
Some providers will just look at an IPS as a data source to deliver raw data. It is then down to the MSS provider to make sense of this data, sort out what is important and decide what information the customer needs.
Resellers looking to enter this market need to find a vendor that can provide real-time security protection. Surveillance of activity is needed 24/7 to provide comprehensive network intelligence.
Anthony Perridge is EMEA director of managed security provider Sourcefire
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