ED’s road show identifies security opportunities

ED’s road show identifies security opportunities

Express Data last week completed its national security road show which preached the security message to more than 250 hand-selected resellers across six states.

ED’s seminars highlighted the latest security threats and solutions involved in protecting data, detecting intruders and authenticating network users. The presentations were complemented by a range of booths from key ED security vendor partners including Checkpoint, Cisco, RSA, CA, Symantec, Novell and IBM.

A business development manager for ED, Nigel Gutschlag, outlined how the protection of yesterday was no longer suitable for today’s “blended threats” where viruses carried application payloads.

Traditional protection methods were limited to “a simple accept or reject philosophy”, he said.

“There is a huge opportunity for the channel in add-on sales for those customers with existing firewalls and VPNs in place.”

Gutschlag said that 70 per cent of attacks faced by corporations came from internal sources, so many had adopted three layers of protection.

This included a corporate firewall at the Internet gateway as well as internal segmented gateways based on workgroups or divisions and then another level at individual servers.

“Sell security solutions as if they were insurance policies,” he said. “Customers don’t understand the potential for loss until it happens and it is your responsibility to alert them to potential losses.”

Resellers have a crucial role in increasing awareness and implementation of data security solutions, according to George Kahkejian, technology development manager for ED.

They are the ones that have the knowledge of their customers and access to information about the latest threats and solutions.

“Technology is no substitute for a well-defined security policy, so it is very important for resellers to have accredited, skilled personnel,” he said. “In-house expertise, certification and ongoing training are all crucial to success reselling security.”

A technical business development manager for ED, Nathan Wheat, discussed the need for efficient identity management.

Wheat said that the way for resellers to sell identity management was on a fear versus confidence basis.

“Tell your customers that instead of living in fear, there are products that can give them the confidence that almost eliminates the potential of unauthorised access,” he said.

The presentations closed with managing director of IDG Communications, Don Kennedy, presenting some results from a survey conducted by IDG’s security-focused CSO magazine.

Kennedy showed that when CSO polled 340 Australian CIOs there was a clear pattern that security budgets were going to grow.

Comparing the results over three surveys between May 2002 to October 2003, the number of respondents spending less than $10,000 dropped from 49 per cent to 22 per cent. Concurrently, the number intending to spend more than $100,000 grew from 6 per cent to 24 per cent. Those intending to spend from $50,000 to $100,000 grew from 12 per cent to 27 per cent.

“This clearly shows that the numbers of organisations that are going to spend less than $10,000 is dropping and I am confident that this trend is going to continue,” Kennedy said. “There has also been some very significant increases in expenditure on security from 2002 to 2003.”

When CIO requested respondents indicate what technologies they did and didn’t have, 52 per cent said they had single-sign-on, 40 per cent said they had a security information management console, 50 per cent used managed security services and 54 per cent had an identity management solution.

“Those are really good numbers if you are looking for business opportunities,” Kennedy said. “Nearly half of the organisations we polled don’t have some of these solutions.”

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