2014: The year of transparency

Transparency is the new mantra for online security and the channel has a key role to play, says Richard Henderson, security strategist with Fortinet’s FortiGuard Threat Research and Response Labs.

With all of the headlines about unauthorised data-gathering, malware-generation and ‘backdoor channels’ into encryption, it’s no wonder that the biggest casualty in 2013 was trust.

It is up to the New Zealand reseller channel to reassure customers that, in our little corner of the world, we can have faith that our data, our identities and our online security are as safe as can be. And we can do that best by being up- front and transparent. Anything less will be suspect.

As a reseller, you owe it to your customers to be honest when it comes to safety and security. No one single solution is going to be a panacea for their network security needs.

By helping customers embrace a multi-layered approach to network security (at the user level and technologies that focus on specific threats: anti-malware, anti-spam, IDS/IPS, 2FA, etc), you can transform your customers into partners. Partnering with customers goes a long way to building and retaining a solid relationship.

Watertight security: An oxymoron?

Nothing is secure. Every time your customer taps a key, someone, somewhere, can monitor that action if they try hard enough. No one is immune. So online security isn’t an absolute but a set of procedures to reduce risk.

Both vendors and resellers have to be knowledgeable and up-front when it comes to explaining the features, benefits, risks and vulnerabilities of their products.

There are solutions designed specifically to ensure that if an attacker gains a foothold exploiting one security layer, another layer will likely catch and alert your customer to the threat.

The days of just parking a firewall between the network and the internet to watch for threats are long gone.

Knowledge is essential

New Zealand resellers have to up their game when it comes to selling security solutions simply because the threat landscape has radically changed over the last few years.

We’ve gone from bored teenage hackers to Eastern European gangsters to duelling super-powers. In New Zealand, we have become pawns in a global cyber-showdown.

Edward Snowden’s revelations make chilling reading and he’s only released a tithe of the NSA files. We need to be aware of the threats and understand the limitations of technological fixes.

That being said, you can still provide a robust defence that will secure your client’s networks and users from all but the most persistent cyber-intruders.

The key is to educate your clients on the threats, help them design and implement a security policy for staff and provide the very best in security solutions.

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