My father can be quite stubborn when it comes to embracing modern technology, even refusing to use a remote control to change the channel on his TV. He insists on getting up, walking over to the set (even though it’s a new HDTV) and pushing the buttons by hand. He even prefers to have an actual dial to manually turn, but there are simply too many channels today for that to work.
Today’s cloud technology brings a level of convenience to our IT needs that almost rivals that of the remote control. Cloud services can give us access to our applications and information from anywhere. They’re fast to deploy, and very cost-effective. This is a great boon to managed service providers, as more small businesses come to realize the value of bringing in outside expertise. But there are still some that are like the stubborn old man, hesitant to embrace new technology. And one of the areas in which this reluctance is most apparent is security. Although it should be said that we at Symantec are starting to see the situation change, and expect the increased adoption of Security-as-a-Service to continue. This is due, in part, to SMBs becoming more acclimated with the benefits of cloud services, precluding them from immediately associating the words “cloud technology” with “security risk.”
The Appeal of Security-as-a-Service
One of the great benefits Security-as-a-Service can offer today’s small business is immediate cost-savings. As protection becomes more complex, the need to upgrade various hardware and software security components becomes expensive. Cloud-based security, however, allows SMBs to get up and running without a large initial outlay of capital. The setup is also fast, accomplishing in minutes what might otherwise take weeks to do. Ongoing management is simplified as well – because the MSP keeps the service operational, there is minimal need for daily maintenance from the SMB, and local resources (servers, for example) are less likely to be pushed to their limit. And despite the hesitation about turning over their security to a third party, those who have adopted cloud-based security are actually seeing improved protection because of more frequent vulnerability patches and security technology updates.
For MSPs, there is tremendous potential in recommending Security-as-a-Service to their SMB customers. You can start by offering them cloud-hosted services for less critical business areas, allowing them to expand their deployments as they become more comfortable with the technology. Cloud-based security also provides MSPs with the ability to adapt and build out a comprehensive security strategy based on individual customer’s needs. With products like Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2013 MSPs can manage all of their customers from a single console, deploying updates and patches in real time to address rapidly shifting security situations.
Another way Symantec is addressing the needs of our MSP partners is by helping them keep costs low while more effectively delivering best-in-breed products and services. In addition to accessing robust technical support, MSPs can take advantage of several programs that provide financial incentives, sales and technical enablement. We’re committed to updating our technology on an ongoing basis so that our partners and their customers have the tools they need to mitigate risk and maintain a high security posture. In addition, we committed to deepen our relationships with leading remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform providers to give MSPs even more flexibility when developing security strategies for their customers.
SMBs today have a wealth of choice when it comes to protection. But with the tools from Symantec, and the expert support provided by MSPs and the partner community in general, effective protection can be almost as simple as pushing a button.
For more information on how Symantec is arming MSPs with the tools for success, click here.
Stephen Banbury is Vice President of Worldwide MSP at Symantec Corp.