Check Point moves focus to ‘S in SMB’

Check Point Software Technologies is turning its focus to ‘the S in SMB’ as security attacks move down the stack to target small business.

The company, traditionally known for its enterprise class security offerings, is increasing its focus on the small businesses and consumer in a move that also heralds a new reseller base for the vendor, which will be taking on new partners – ‘brand new or that we’ve done very little with to date’ – to push into the small business market.

Kurt Hansen, Check Point Software Technologies Australia and New Zealand regional managing director, says vendors and partners have done a good job in keeping cyber-criminals away from big business and enterprises, but the side-effect of that is increased attacks on small business.

“No one is immune, but it’s harder to get in [to big business and enterprise]. So they’re moving down the stack and we’re seeing more attacks on small businesses,” Hansen says.

“We’ve seen increased activity there and also a lack of awareness. Most SMBs don’t have an IT manager, they certainly don’t have policies around changing passwords, simple, basic things. We think there is a lot of education and a lot of opportunities at that end of the market.”

Unlike in Australia, where the company is seeking a new distributor to focus on the small business market, Hansen says Check Point’s two Kiwi distributors – Westcon and Duo – ‘do understand this market, so we’re going to work with them on that’.

“We have to have partners to take us to that market,” he notes. “To get to the S in SMB, these are customers we don’t have the resources to talk to. It’s got to be a completely outsourced model, very unlike the bigger end of town where there’s a bit of [vendor] touch involved.”

Hansen notes that both New Zealand and Australia have a high proportion of companies with less than 20 employees. “There’s a whole market that we as a vendor, and the channel, are potentially ignoring by not having an SMB offering.

“And at the same time there has been a lot of developments around cloud and managed service offerings, so we’re also working with partners to offer this as a managed service as well, so it’s not just a box for $700 that does all this wonderful stuff that we do for big business. We can offer that as a managed service.

“And the other thing we’re doing is bringing cloud security into play,” he adds.

The company will launch a cloud security service for mobile devices, which partners will be able to white label, in May.

“If you’re a small partner you can white-label that and offer it as your service and then you get all the Check Point security protection, threat emulation in the cloud.”

Existing Check Point customers who have built policies in infrastructure will be able to push those policies into the cloud, Hansen says.

“This year from Check Point you’re going to see three distinct cloud offerings – the SMB offering, security in the cloud for mobile devices and more around the mobile enterprise around BYOD, moving away from MDM and providing organisations with the ability to containerise their secure data.”

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