As a target market, they do not come more attractive than the extensive SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) community. Accounting for over 99 per cent of all UK organisations, and over 51 per cent of the UK’s estimated business turnover, as a collective the humble SME presents a goldmine of opportunity for resellers that is still going untapped.
To take advantage of this burgeoning SME market opportunity, the profitability and longevity of your business is dependent on getting as large a share as possible of each customer’s IT budget. In order to do this you need to identify and act on every cross-selling or up-selling opportunity. If a prospective customer is in the market for remote access solutions, which is increasingly the case with SMEs as they seek to maximise staff productivity and company resources, it stands to reason that they will need to control and secure this access too. With IT security it is notoriously difficult to make a case based on return on investment, instead you will need to approach it from a different angle, that of prevention being better than cure. And the SSL/VPN that you are likely to supply is not the be all and end all – it too has security flaws which present a great up-sell for you.
A lot of SME prospects wax lyrical about being too small to be targeted by criminals. However, as they invest in ICT to enhance their ability to compete and expand into different markets, their visibility to hackers and organised criminal gangs increases exponentially. Here is where you can really help them out; not by touting solutions that are, at best, surplus to requirements, but by dispelling the myths about doing business online securely and explaining how controlling just one thing can help avert nearly all online dangers – access.
The archaic static-password is the single biggest security risk that your customers face, as it provides a false sense of security that hackers are all too willing to exploit. Banks have been reacting to this fact recently by iss uing one-time password generators to online banking customers, and by incorporating Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) into credit and debit cards to form the now ubiquitous Chip&PIN.
Requiring all authorised users to present something they know (such as a PIN) and something they have (such as a one-time password) immediately stymies a hackers advances, and prevents privilege abuse by employees. This is attractive in itself, especially to a growing company that needs to enable its staff to work relatively autonomously, but when you add to this the fact that the level of security they get in relation to the amount invested is heavily weighted in their favour, purchasing 2FA becomes a no-brainer.
So, if you are in a position where a customer is looking for an SSL VPN, you really are missing an opportunity to realise more revenue per customer and foster strong relationships if you do not offer 2FA as a bolt-on sale.
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