Consumer Security: Opportunities for channel partners

The consumer security software market, particularly in the Middle East is highly competitive, but where do the best opportunities lie for traditional resellers and retailers?

Tags: ComguardFrost & Sullivan (www.frost.com)McAfee IncorporationSourcefire (www.sourcefire.com)
  • E-Mail
Consumer Security: Opportunities for channel partners
By  Piers Ford Published  May 28, 2013

The consumer security software market, particularly in the Middle East is highly competitive, but where do the best opportunities lie for traditional resellers and retailers? Piers Ford investigates.

Security software has always been a bit of a grudge purchase for consumers. They know they need to protect their computers against viruses, they are aware of the threat of phishing – mainly because they have read stories about it happening to other people – and they might even implement a firewall on their home network.

Too often, however, security is seen as a slightly irritating opportunity for salespeople to upsell a bundle of products and tie the customer into an expensive subscription.

For retailers and resellers, this presents a great challenge. There is a mindset to shift. But the need to change and develop consumer attitudes to security has never been greater. Particularly when you consider the extent to which most people now rely on mobile devices without giving a second thought to security, opening up a new frontier for threats.

“Cyber-security and threats continue to dominate the global security landscape with a steady rise in cybercrime being faced by local consumers,” said Tamim Taufiq, head of consumer sales MENA for security software specialist Symantec, which also owns Norton – one of the strongest brands in the consumer sector.

“Factors such as the rapid growth of internet penetration, the adoption of social media networks and the high number of mobile devices per person are leading to increasingly sophisticated incidents.

“A recent report released by Norton found that nearly nine out of ten online adults (87%) in the Middle East and Africa are mobile device users, of which a large majority (78%) are using them to access the internet. Yet as people expand their online lives through mobile devices, many are not taking steps to secure their device and its content, and are being exposed to online threats – driving the need for having advanced security software.”

The main problem – and educational opportunity for the channel – is that people are generally unaware of the growing sophistication of attacks, which pose an equal threat to their home computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

“The majority of consumers feel that they are not prone to any kind of cybercrimes and they really don’t need protection, without realising that they are the most vulnerable points in the cyber world,” said Mohammad Mobasseri, senior vice president at Middle East security distributor Comguard.

“Unsecured online banking, shopping and other e-commerce activity can lead to complete loss of data, identity theft or the theft of personal information. And in recent years, there has been an increase in the number of lethal virus attacks like Flame, which can cripple a computer forever. Slowly, the need for secure [consumer] computing is catching up with enterprise and government computing.”

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