Channel change pays for RSA

A cross-selling channel strategy and rising security awareness has helped boost RSA Security's annual sales by 40 per cent, according to the vendor's Australian channel development manager, Chris Wood.

While growth had been impressive in the past two years, preceding results for the company's flagship RSA SecurID user-authentication product had not been so good.

Wood attributed the historically sluggish growth to a lack of awareness of its SecurID products in the market.

"Two years ago we started refocusing on our partners and changed our channel program," he said.

"We changed to a sole distributor and most importantly, invested heavily in the competency of our channel."

In addition, IT managers across all verticals were becoming more concerned about the risks posed by the average 10-20 passwords of an average employee, he said.

"Managing that number of passwords is difficult and at best people will just dumb them down to the same password for as many applications as they can," Wood said.

"Using the same password for your Hotmail account as your network login is a major risk."

RSA recently signed a deal with massive US service provider, AOL, to provide its Secure ID product to the ISP's users.

Wood said the deal was proof the consumer sector was also recognising the need for password security.

Despite the increasing popularity of alternative security options, such as biometric security, he said RSA was looking forward to continued future growth.

"Biometrics is viable for some organisations, but generally it is very popular in concept but not in rollout," Wood said.

"Our biggest threat is people who think that passwords are still free and secure."