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ChannelCon: Vendors debut partner-focused IT security services

At ChannelCon 2015, vendors targeted MSPs and other channel companies with IT security services and software offerings.

A number of vendors announced channel-oriented products and services this week at CompTIA ChannelCon 2015, with much of the activity geared toward partners looking to bolster their IT security services.

Security is a growing services sector. Technavio, a London-based technology market research firm, forecasts the global security services market will expand at a 10% annual growth rate through 2019. The company's report, published in May, considered managed security services, security consulting services, software as a service (SaaS) security services and threat intelligence security services.

While the prospect of double-digit revenue growth sounds appealing, partners may find it difficult to assemble a unified security offering or hire and maintain in-house security expertise. At ChannelCon, vendors aimed to address those issues.

CharTec, which provides hardware as a service and managed service provider (MSP) training, launched a new division that offers a vetted security stack for MSPs. The division, dubbed Relyenz, rolled out its CentralPoint security platform, which incorporates cloud-based security offerings from a number of vendors. Those vendors include Sophos Ltd. for unified threat management and endpoint security; Axcient and StorageCraft Technology Corp. for disaster recovery; Passportal Inc. for password management; and Reflexion, a Sophos company, for email security.

Leonard DiMiceli, vice president of sales and marketing at Relyenz, said the division offers MSPs the ability to source multiple security components through one source.

"They don't have to go to five security vendors to buy five security products," he said.

In addition to technology acquisition, Relyenz also offers support and a platform through which partners can provision and monitor the core suite of services. DiMiceli referred to the new division as a value-added SaaS distributor.

DiMiceli also assembled a cloud security portfolio as general manager at Nuvotera, a company acquired in February by Excel Micro LLC.

CentralPoint security platform integrates with the ConnectWise business management platform and its ticketing system. DiMiceli said additional integrations are on tap for the future, with professional services automation one direction. The company will also invest development dollars in ties to remote monitoring and management (RMM) software, DiMiceli said. LabTech Software's RMM will be on the list, due to its tight integration with ConnectWise.

IT security services for the channel

Vijilan Security LLC, meanwhile, said at ChannelCon that it has met its first-year objective for signing channel partners in its first two months of operations in North America. The company, a spinoff from a Brazilian managed security services provider, offers cyber threat monitoring and support service to MSPs and IT service providers.

Gary Mullen, chief marketing officer at Vijilan, said the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company, which launched June 1, has signed 30 partners -- which was its original 12-month objective. Vijilan sells exclusively through the channel, which, in turn, will target small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as the ultimate end customer for the company's services.

SMBs don't have the resources or expertise to really manage cyber threats in in their environment.
Gary MullenCMO, Vijilan

"SMBs don't have the resources or expertise to really manage cyber threats in their environment," Mullen said. "They are turning to their partners increasingly to be a trusted provider of security for them."

But partners have a similar problem, according to Mullen. He said channel companies lack the operational capabilities and the deep expertise required to detect and remediate cyber threats.

Vijilan's cyber threat monitoring and support services include event log data collection at the customer's location, automated parsing and correlation in its cloud-based security information and event management (SIEM) system, human review of potential threats in its 24/7 security operations center, and remediation guidance from the company's security engineers. MSPs deliver those services on a white-label basis, Mullen said.

Mullen said the company's service can suit partners whose IT security services are at varying levels of maturity. Some MSPs, he said, provide traditional firewall monitoring and remote management of intrusion detection systems, for example.

"Our service is designed to overlay on top of an MSPs's model and give them the security intelligence they need to do cyber threat detection," he said.

Tom Fitzpatrick, vice president of marketing at Vijilan, said the company's services are priced on a per-device basis, noting that competitors price their services based on log volume. Vijilan's multi-tiered channel program offers discounts based on the number of customer devices partners have under coverage.

Mullen said Vijilan's partner portal integrates with partners' ConnectWise instances, so they can transfer tickets back and forth. Partners can also handle provisioning through Vijilan: A partner's prospect pipeline can populate in the portal and, when a deal closes, it populates Vijilan's back-end system.

Mullen also envisions integration with LabTech, Autotask and sales force automation/partner relationship management products.

Ingram Micro launches chip-and-pin offerings

Ingram Micro on Tuesday said it now offers channel partners the ability to load new software and secure key encryption data directly to customer's payment terminals and devices. The service is part of the distributor's EMV-compliant offerings. EMV, which stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa, is a payment standard that first took root in Europe and is now arriving in the U.S.

Major credit card companies have set an October 2015 compliance deadline for retailers and other organizations in other industries that accept credit and debit cards. EMV cards are sometimes referred to as "chip and PIN" cards since they are equipped with a microchip, rather than a magstripe, and may be used with a PIN, rather than a signature. The technology's advocates say EMV provides greater security than traditional swipe-and-sign credit cards and reduces the risk of credit card fraud.

Greg Richey, director of Ingram Micro Professional Services, said the company can provide end-to-end EMV-related services on a channel partner's behalf. An engagement could begin with a wireless technology assessment to determine whether a partner's customer infrastructure can securely support the rollout of chip-and-PIN payment devices. From there, Ingram can offer key injection services, technology deployment and IT asset disposition services for outmoded payment devices, Richey explained.

Also at ChannelCon

Intronis Inc. debuted an Executive Summary feature as an addition to its ECHOplatform data protection product, which it sells to MSPs. The Executive Summary lets channel partners document for customers how many systems they are backing up, the backup status of systems and the number of restores they have conducted, among other information.

Next Steps

Read about the expansion of the managed security market. 

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