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Firewall warns dealers of physical security threat

Firewall warns dealers of physical security threat

Specialist distributor, Firewall Systems, is warning resellers to start thinking of security as a managed service or risk losing market share to physical security providers.

Firewall marketing director, Nick Verykios, said physical security players such as Chubb were already providing IP-based services, adding data to their stack as the markets continued to converge.

He said the business model Firewall Systems was offering to resellers was similar to how these companies operate.

"In the physical security market, customers know who bills them every month for the service but they could not tell you the name of the products," he said. "We are a security distributor by association but we don't care who the vendor is as long as it provides enterprise-class technology that we can offer to resellers as part of an overall service."

Previously known primarily as a WatchGuard partner, Firewall has added several specialist vendors to its portfolio in recent months. These include f5, Vasco, Network Box and BorderWare.

A recent addition to its product suite is an IP-based monitoring solution from US vendor, NetBotz. It monitors environmental conditions such as heat, humidity or movement and reports unusual findings via email or SMS.

"It isn't necessary to have big name vendors in security because the business is purely driven by the service level agreements [SLAs]," Verykios said. "You own the customer once you are in a situation where you provide the SLAs and it also creates huge cross-selling opportunities for resellers by highlighting vulnerabilities.

"They get to sit in front of a customer every month and say 'you need to fix this application here or add extra bandwidth there'." Firewall Systems was currently adding about 15 resellers to its books every week, according to Verykios, and had already amassed a base of more than 200 partners. It invites resellers to training sessions in Sydney and Melbourne every week, with a similar offering planned for Brisbane as of next month.

While early Firewall successes had been concentrated at the top end of the market, Verykios said its focus now would be to take the model down to the next level.

During the coming year, Verykios said he expected to see more vendors developing unified security products and suggested the market as a whole would increasingly be tied to SLAs. He also expected to see new entrants in the managed security market and new varieties of threat.

"Last year people were saying the only new threats would be different forms of existing categories but then phishing came along," he said.

Verykios claimed Firewall Systems has already done more than $4 million of business since he joined the company in September. Analysts at IDC predict the Australian managed security services market will record a compound annual growth rate of 18 per cent during the next five years.

"Managed security services will experience significant customer adoption as organisations look for providers with a global-threat perspective that offers more proactive protection," IDC's senior services analyst, Phillip Allen, said.

"The business case for relying on a third party to manage IT security can be quite compelling from a savings perspective if the company is large enough to have significant infrastructure but doesn't have in-house expertise.

"As the Australia market is dominated by medium-sized companies, managed security services are expected to be the strongest growth area within the broader security services market."

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