Technology Reseller - v23

01732 759725 SECURITY 38 Security is a moving target, with new threats always emerging. Because existing vendors often don’t have a solution, start-ups pop up to address specific threats Ellis attributes the high level of fragmentation in the security market to the protean nature of the threats it addresses. “Security is a moving target, with new threats always emerging. Because existing vendors often don’t have a solution, start-ups pop up to address specific threats. Then other ones emerge to address the next tranche of issues, until, over time, you have hundreds and hundreds of vendors in the market. Obviously, there has been some consolidation – the likes of Cisco, IBM and Checkpoint have either been acquired or bought other companies to broaden the coverage they have, but you still have lots and lots of vendors.” This, says Ellis, creates challenges and problems for end users and for channel partners. “The average enterprise has products from something like 45 different security vendors. Trying to get those products to work together, trying to acquire expertise in 45 different vendors’ products and then, most importantly, trying to retain those skills is like trying to paint the Forth Bridge – it’s a never-ending job. Even if an enterprise is able to train up everyone on those 45 different solutions, the cyber skills shortage means they will soon be tempted away by bigger salaries. This makes it really difficult for end customers,” he explains. “It’s a challenge from a channel perspective too, because every vendor that you have requires a certain amount of effort. You have to build business plans for those vendors, you have to execute those plans and review those plans. There’s a high cost of sale in just adding more and more vendors.” Ellis believes the market needs to change and that it’s up to the channel to make that happen, for example by reducing complexity for end customers. “We’re not saying a partner is going to be able to take an enterprise down from 45 to three vendors,” he says. “But if, over time, they can take them on a journey and reduce the number of suppliers to 10 or so, it would be a positive thing. It would help reduce their costs and improve their efficiencies.” An end to bloat How Tech Data is addressing fragmentation and skills shortages in the security market and helping resellers meet the needs of SME customers It’s been a little over two and a half years since Tech Data completed its acquisition of Avnet’s Technology Solutions business, with the intention of strengthening its position in the next generation technology areas of IoT, analytics, cloud, security and cyber security. Over this period, the distributor has continued to expand its security capabilities, most recently with the launch of the RECON Solutions Suite (see box). To find out more about what the RECON Solutions Suite brings to the market and how else Tech Data is strengthening its security portfolio, Technology Reseller caught up with David Ellis, Tech Data Vice President of Security and Mobility Solutions, Europe. We started out by asking him about the particular qualities of the security market and what they mean for channel partners and their customers. “One of the things that makes the security market so unique is that it is very fragmented compared to other IT segments of a similar size,” explains Ellis. “You have network security, you have endpoint security, you have web security, you’ve got risk and compliance, lots of different segments and beneath them sub-segments and in each of them you have lots and lots of vendors. Ten or 15 years ago I remember trying to count the number of firewall vendors and I got to well over 70.” RECON Security Suite With the RECON Security Suite, Tech Data is aiming to bring clarity to a fragmented security market by offering a simplified range of multi- vendor subscription and consultation-based security solutions that provide protection against the most common cybersecurity threats. Built by Tech Data security experts from the company’s portfolio of vendor solutions, RECON enables resellers to expand their security capability without having to develop their own in-house skills, resources and tools. Based around the U.S. National Institute of Standards in Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework, the RECON Security Suite comprises: n RECON MSP – Managed security services including Managed Next-Generation Firewall; Managed Identity; Managed Endpoint; 24x7 Support and Monitoring Services; and Reporting Services; n RECON ProServ – Security-focused consulting services; n RECON Risk – Consultation services that assess and offer solutions to an organisation’s key security risks; n RECON SOC – Security Operations Centre services including incident response and real-time alerting; and n RECON Restore – A portfolio of backup and recovery solutions that can restore a system from catastrophic ransomware or malware attacks. David Ellis