Serving the KSA security market

Four years after security vendor FireEye started its operations in Saudi Arabia, Ehab Derbas, country manager, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, explains how the company has grown from strength to strength.

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Serving the KSA security market
By  Manda Banda Published  August 10, 2015

Talk us through FireEye’s KSA operation and business strategy for the Saudi channel this year?

FireEye started in Saudi Arabia in 2011, due to the gap the company identified in the security landscape, and have gained trust from our clients, where we help in addressing and mitigating risk. FireEye’s growth in Saudi is phenomenal, with more than 200% growth year over year. There are no solid statistics about the market share, but we believe that our market share might reach 70% and all indicators shows that this percentage will grow in the coming three to five years.

In the four years of operating in KSA, FireEye has built a very robust channel business and today, offers the market web and network advanced malware protection, email APT protection, central management solution, end point APT validation and containment, digital forensics solution and security services, incident response, compromise assessment, response readiness and SoC consultancy services.

How is FireEye helping its channel partners to take advantage of the improving business in the security segment in the Middle East?

FireEye has a three tier partnership approach to engaging partners and this model allows the company to grow in the local market together with partners. We channel more than 95% of our business through our partner ecosystem and working with them helps us to penetrate the strategic accounts as well as the mid-market with incremental business. The company remains committed to building a partner-led business by spreading awareness, knowledge and the technology to them as we expand our business in KSA. We do quarterly workshops for this purpose, in addition to offering proof of value (PoV) through the many partner initiatives we rollout. Moreover, FireEye has invested in a dedicated channel team in KSA to support our reseller partners better.

How is FireEye working with channel partners to create more opportunities for them in the KSA market?

We have made it easy for our partners to conduct business with us. We have also created the right tools for them to allow us to grow together and these include a partner portal, deal registration, lead distribution, automated MDF management and co-op marketing campaigns. In addition, we have powerful tools to enable partners to automate the high labour intensive process of partner recruiting and on-boarding.

How many channel partners do you currently have in the KSA?

FireEye’s approach to engaging partners is three fold and includes the distribution channel, where we have appointed two top distribution companies in the region to support our partners. In addition, our business also requires that we work with global partners as well as local reseller partners.

How is FireEye helping channel partners to take advantage of opportunities emerging as a result of the third platform, cloud adoption, managed security services and virtualisation in KSA?

The FireEye Threat Prevention Cloud is a SaaS offering that protects against today’s advanced email attacks and provides anti-spam, and anti-virus protection. As organisations have embraced the cloud for email needs, the Email Threat Prevention Cloud provides a complete email security for cloud mailboxes. Organisations face an ever-increasing number of threats from email based spam, viruses, and advanced threats. Email-based attacks, in particular spear phishing, remain one of the primary methods used to initiate an advanced persistent threat (APT) attack because of the complexity involved in detecting them.

For managed security services provider (MSSP) partners, FireEye recently introduced a FireEye as a service (FaaS). Our aim is to help businesses avoid becoming a victim. First, our patented virtual machine based technology is deployed to detect and prevent most intrusion attempts against all major attack vectors.

Because the channel partners are the corner stone in the above mentioned offering, we do it through them. In addition, FireEye is working to have one MSSP partner per country to provide these services locally to the market without having the data to leave the country.

What services are you encouraging your channel partners to be taking to the market in KSA?

We offer all our channel partners a variety of technology and service options, depending on the preference of their customers whether it’s cutting CAPEX or reducing OPEX expenses over time. With FaaS, you have a trusted partner providing powerful technology, actionable intelligence, and skilled expertise as a fully managed service focused on advanced threat prevention. For organisations with an existing security operations centre or MSSP, our co-managed model adds a fully managed service around advanced threat protection, with FireEye Threat Prevention technology, intelligence, and skilled security expertise.

What channel initiatives are you rolling out in Saudi Arabia this year?

Building the appropriate capacity to handle market demand is much more of a science than an art. There is a fine line between the appropriate coverage models and over distribution. We have developed partner networks from the ground-up and we are able to assist all our partners in defining, attracting and acquiring new clients and businesses. Our experience enables us to build a channel partner programme from scratch or take an existing organisation and help optimise the resources we offer when they partner with us. The growth initiatives partner portfolio includes sales gap analysis, development of a value proposition presentation to partners, product training programme for resellers, channel partner sales tool kit and channel sales development programmes.

What core vertical markets is FireEye helping channel partners to target with the range of products you are offering in Saudi Arabia?

FireEye currently offers a wide range of services and solutions for different segments. Our offerings can fit different organisations and verticals including education, government, finance, security, telecommunications, SMB sector and event IT companies. Some smaller companies traditionally think that they are not targeted by cyber-attacks, unfortunately, this is not quite true as attackers sometimes use SMBs to initiate other attacks against larger organisations. FireEye has products and solutions that’s fit most of the segments and we have products for small and branch offices that do not exceed 20 users. The solutions we have address different threat vectors from web, network, mobile, email systems, file systems and end points.

How is FireEye helping channel partners to leverage the alliances they have with the company to expand business opportunities in KSA?

The FireEye platform and technology Alliances integration provide complete integrated solutions for our channel partner and their clients against cyber-attacks. These solutions include and not limited to logging, monitoring, scalability, unified incident response workflow against advanced cyber-attacks, automated attack protection, end-point infection collaboration and forensic evidence collection. The technology alliances enable the rapid isolation of infected systems in the event of an advanced cyber-attack. The integrated solutions work together to enforce advanced isolation policies to reduce the scope of an attack. Through alliances, FireEye and its channel ecosystem work hand-in-hand to provide a complete solution that answers clients’ requirements and security needs with an integrated platform without the need of third party interfacing layer, which is reflected in client investment, TCO and technology deployment simplicity.

What can your channel partners expect from FireEye in the second half of 2015?

Our channel partners in KSA can expect from FireEye full support, education and training, more channel business, partner sales tool kits, enhanced channel sales development initiatives, co-op marketing events and above all, do business with integrity.

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