Security Business

The security software market in the Middle East continues to simmer nicely as a number of key factors combine to push security up the corporate agenda, creating perfect reseller opportunities. Piers Ford reports.

  • E-Mail
Security Business
By  Piers Ford Published  October 11, 2011

The security software market in the Middle East continues to simmer nicely as a number of key factors combine to push security up the corporate agenda, creating perfect reseller opportunities. Piers Ford reports.

The increasing popularity of software-focused virtualised infrastructures and the looming concept of cloud computing both bring specific security challenges. So, too, does the proliferation of personal devices across the business IT environment, blurring the boundaries of management and responsibility.

At the same time, high-profile data breaches are focusing corporate minds on the measures they need to take to protect the enterprise from a constant barrage of electronic security threats.

Market analyst RNCOS estimates that digital security, which has shown strong recent annual growth of 20%, will be worth $720 million across the region by the end of 2012. Not surprisingly, vendors are competing aggressively through the channel to capture significant chunks of a market that can only continue to expand.

“Security as a whole continues to be a major driving force with most organisations, and events such as the recent Sony Playstation data loss have only served to strengthen the focus by enterprises on their security infrastructure,” says John Andrews, director of marketing MEA & APAC at security distributor Computerlinks.

According to Andrews, this level of visibility is boosting demand for layered security solutions that protect the perimeter and core of the corporate network, as IT purchasers try to keep one step ahead of the threats – a challenge that is further complicated by the rise of mobile access to corporate systems. As a result, organisations are having to examine their access policies using multi-vendor tool sets to control remote access, wireless connectivity, bandwidth prioritisation and application usage tools.

“Mobile computing is the nightmare scenario for CIOs and IT security personnel,” agrees Sushma Kajaria, channel development manager, MMEA, at vendor Trend Micro.

“Gone are the days of highly controlled network infrastructures managed by layers of perimeter security. The advent of mobile computing has changed the discussions around perimeter security. When the device is mobile, it’s working through the cloud. Clearly, the solution is to have cloud security as an integral part of the infrastructure. This means that whatever security solution an organisation has, it must have a strong cloud component to support mobile computing.”

Few organisations have the skills in house to manage these increasingly diverse and complex security environments, with the result that demand for comprehensive support packages and outsourced solutions has never been higher, Kajaria suggests.

In these buoyant conditions, specialist security vendors are looking to forge ever-closer ties with the channel – partly in an effort to protect their products from the grey market, an inevitable consequence of commoditisation.

“We are fortunate to have a channel base in this region that is not only healthily growing and diversifying, but one that has been extremely supportive to us,” says Tamim Taufiq, head of consumer sales, MENA, at Symantec.

“With regards to security, we would hope that our channel partners would continue to take the cautious and proactive approach we have seen successfully implemented in this region. As grey product continues to infiltrate the market, and works against resellers, we rely on the support of our partners to raise the alarm and provide intelligence where available, so we can work together to improve awareness and take aggressive steps to fight this problem.”

In return, says Taufiq, Syamntec’s partners benefit from a robust joint programme designed to ensure that businesses and consumers in the region take a proactive approach towards securing their data, and to endure that they are equipped with the training, knowledge and expertise to address their security needs.

At major security vendor McAfee, Omar Barakat, channel development manager, MENA region, says resellers are the vendor’s lifeline – so it is incumbent on McAfee to help them to be adequately equipped to make the most of the market.

“We currently provide the majority of our training to our partners for free, which is a big advantage over our competition, and we make this investment in order to help our partners and enable them on our solutions,” he says.

“In return, we expect them to dedicate a minimum of two sales and one technical consultant for our five main technologies. In addition to the required resources, we conduct marketing events so McAfee is well promoted in the market. We require dedication and focus.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code