Cyber security company, Trend Micro, is betting big on the Internet of Things (IoT) and network security, with the channel set to play a major part in its push into the mid-market and enterprise.
The Japanese company still does 100 per cent of its business through the channel and the company recently recorded its 70th consecutive quarter of growth. Trend Micro managing director and vice-president of Asia-Pacific, Dhanya Thakkar, said the company had grown 100 per cent year on year in Australia, which led to the vendor needing to relocate, and that he expects to see similar figures in the next two years.
IoT will be the big play for the vendor in 2017 globally and the local market is set to be an important piece of the puzzle.
“We see that IoT is eventually going to play a big role, and if you look at Australia as a market it is always a leader and early adopter of new technologies,” he told ARN.
Trend Micro has developed an IoT solution, which hasn’t yet launched, but is scheduled to hit the market early this year.
“Australia will be one of the first markets where we release the product along with a few others,” Thakkar said. “We believe that most home users, as they are bringing more and more connected devices into their home, will need these to be secure.”
Like all other parts of IT, IoT is defined by the different market segments in which it is used, and Thakkar said there are different needs which the vendor must address in its solution.
“We have been conducting a lot of research on IoT overall. Obviously, a large part of addressing problems associated with the technology lies in education.
“One of the things we have been working heavily on and advocating is that IoT manufacturers need to be more security conscious."
Thakkar said as a result of this, the company was spreading its IoT focus across all business lines, but the first product it will release is geared to the consumer space.
“On the enterprise side, there are a couple of steps you need to take. The first is the security of the devices themselves.
“But the bigger issue we see, which we do not market as IoT but definitely helps is all the data, even if it is compromised, is data going into some sort of back-end servers. A lot of those back-end servers are the ones where information security is compromised.
“Its a two-pronged strategy; a lot of focus has gone on making sure that servers are secure and secondly, on educating IoT manufacturers to provide the security in their devices.
No Concern for the Competition
Thakkar said despite the influx of new players into the cyber security market, it was getting easier for Trend Micro to grow its business.
“2017 will be a phenomenal year for us for three reasons,” he said. “It starts with an organisation, we have built a fantastic team which has been growing consistently and we will continue to add people at a rate of 20-30 per cent.
“The second thing is, what you have to offer from a technology perspective.”
Thakkar referenced Trend Micro’s network security solution, Tipping Point, which it acquired from HP in 2016 for $US300 million.
“It has seen a lot of growth in the US and Europe but little in Australia,” he said.
He went on to say that the Australian team is now in a good state of readiness, and the addition of the product to Trend Micro’s portfolio would contribute significant growth to the organisation.
“Tipping Point alone can’t do it, it has to be connected to our breach detection story. A large part of our success in Australia has come from datacentre and cloud security.
“Next year when I look at the combination of breach detection and Tipping Point in a market like Australia, it makes a very compelling story.”
Enabling the Right Partners
The third factor, according to Thakkar, is the channel.
“This is where we are investing heavily in our partner strategy to try and build out the right set of partners that are capable on the network defence side. We are also continuing to invest in the partners that are good with datacentre security,” he said.
In both the SMB and enterprise segments, Trend Micro has doubled its partner base in the last two to three years, according to Thakkar.
“We have been silently recruiting the right partners and so the focus in 2017 and 2018 will be focused on enabling rather than recruiting."
Part of that enablement will be done through training and education, with Trend Micro recently appointing channel training organisation, Red Education, to train partners in A/NZ.
“The partners need to be able to tell the same story that we tell the customers directly," Thakkar said. "If they tell the same story with the same conviction, I think we will do amazing work.
“Therefore our focus is on the things we need to do to equip and incentivise the channel to go out to market,” he added.