Virtualised security: Hybrid protection for your clients

A virtualised world calls for virtualised security. Jon McGettigan, Fortinet New Zealand general manager provides the low-down.

As your clients move to a mixed onsite, cloud-based and virtualised environment, they need to ensure their protection from threats, both external and internal, keeps pace.

Their requirements haven’t changed. They still need to stop malware from entering the system, ensure that sensitive data remains private, prevent identity theft and ensure their users have a rewarding online experience.

Your challenge is to provide integrated security protection that covers all of your client’s services, regardless of where they might be physically located. In essence, your clients need a hybrid security profile to reflect their hybrid environment.

Virtualised security is the next step in protecting today’s online business for the same reasons that virtualisation has become so prevalent: it reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) for organisations of all sizes, it centralises management and reporting, it ensures high availability and resiliency and can scale up or down depending on client requirements.

And because virtualised security services are optimised to operate in a variety of delivery models, resellers have maximum flexibility to provide these services.

Virtualised security integrates protection in the cloud, at the gateway, inside the network and at the end user level.

Virtualisation is particularly powerful when applied to the delivery and management of multiple security functions. From a single virtualised security platform, IT managers can isolate the security services at the user level.

As a result, they can look after each customer environment as a single entity. So while the infrastructure, on a granular level, becomes more complex, the tasks of managing the network, including security, become easier.

The managed security service option

For resellers, this opens up a number of opportunities. As your clients move from buying, provisioning, deploying and maintaining servers, SANs, applications and security services in- house, you have to ensure that your solution set evolves as well.

One option gaining traction among savvy resellers is ‘Security – a Service’ in which the reseller becomes a ‘Managed Security Service Provider’.

In this scenario, the reseller deploys the security services on a subscription basis and the user organisation receives the exact level of security they require, regardless of where and how the online activity takes place.

The market for virtualised security is just taking off. Managed services are already a global $200 billion market and the security portion of that is growing by some 18% annually according to Gartner and Frost & Sullivan.

Organisations are embracing virtualisation and the cloud because they are effective strategies for providing more services while minimising costs and complexity.

The focus is now on protecting these resources whilst delivering the same benefits: low TCO, centralised management and scalability.

The solutions are available and, for those resellers who adapt, the rewards can be significant.

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