Check Point says focus on prevention and be ready for the future.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

February 6, 2019

6 Min Read

CHECK POINT CPX360 — Whether it’s adding cloud-security services or adopting a consumption-based model, Check Point Software Technologies has a lot to offer MSSPs and other cybersecurity service providers.

That’s according to Peter Alexander, Check Point’s chief marketing officer. He welcomed attendees during the opening of his company’s CPX360 conference Tuesday in Las Vegas. Drawing more than 3,400 attendees, including Check Point partners, this is Check Point’s largest conference to date.

Last month, Check Point introduced Maestro, a new architecture designed to secure networks both large and small by orchestrating multiple security gateways, which prevent unsecured traffic from entering an organization’s internal network, into one unified security system.


Check Point’s Peter Alexander

Check Point’s three principles are simplifying and consolidating security, focusing on prevention and being ready for the future, said Gil Shweb, the company’s founder and CEO.

In a Q&A with Channel Futures’ MSSP Insider, Alexander talks about opportunities for MSSPs and other partners, and the need for threat prevention.

Channel Futures’ MSSP Insider: What is the overall message for partners here at CPX360?

Peter Alexander: We remain very committed to a partner-only model. We are a momentum brand in cybersecurity, so they can look forward to growth in their business with Check Point. And we’re investing in the key technologies that are part of the future, whether it’s cloud or hyperscale and that kind of thing. Those are areas where Check Point is investing heavily in. That should be good for them.

CFMI: Are there new opportunities for partners being shared here?

PA: There are a number of new opportunities. If you look at hyperscale with Maestro, for example, that gives you an opportunity to go into potentially massive deployments for people who are looking to deploy billions of secure objects that we can provide through a combination of microscale and the emerging cloud-based security services. And then cloud in general, that’s an area we think is almost still in its infancy from a channel perspective. I know some partners have struggled with finding business models in cloud, but we’re committed to working with them to find them because we’re a partner-first company and we’re building offers that customers will want, and for the cloud as well, and the partners have a role to play in that.

CFMI: Can Check Point help MSSPs that are looking to increase their capabilities?

PA: There are a number of different areas in which MSSPs and service providers in general can use Check Point technologies to build services, whether it’s using our on-premises gear under managed service-type environments in a traditional way, or whether it’s providing cloud services, or security services from the cloud. And then with Infinity total protection, offering consumption-based models because we make it so …
… the customer can pay per month per user for their cybersecurity, and they get all of our capabilities including the hardware and the services. And moving to a consumption-based model can be quite attractive to some MSSPs in terms of offering that because that’s the way a lot of customers want to buy everything. To some degree that’s what they’re buying with the cloud.

Society is moving to more consumption-based models, so we’re helping MSSPs be a part of that movement. In cybersecurity where there’s a lot of value, companies will pay for cybersecurity because it’s so critical — so that’s a good business opportunity for them.

CFMI: Can switching to a consumption-based model be difficult? And that’s where Check Point can help?

PA: Yes. One of the distinguishing things about Infinity total protection is it includes any of the hardware you need. A consumption-based model is invariably a software-based model and we have overcome a lot of the complexities around how that works from a hardware perspective, and so within the way we built the model, if you need bigger gateways or whatever, then they come with it. Or if you already have gateways you bought from us, we will continue to use them and that will affect what the pricing looks like until you need to refresh the hardware. We’re trying to demystify consumption based for cybersecurity — and it’s a non-trivial exercise. We spent the last year working some of the first customers that were interested in it, and we see quite a lot of success with it.

CFMI: Are a lot of MSSPs/partners focused on detection as opposed to prevention? How do you get them to change their strategy?

PA: I think some customers have been educated to think that you can’t be fully protected and they’ll always get in, and I think we have to arm the partners to be stronger in rebutting that argument because I think it is a fundamental argument. And almost when you have that mindset, you’ve already lost. So we think the partner is receptive to that when we can prove it. So that’s a continued part of our efforts.

CFMI: What are you hearing from partners here? Is this a good opportunity to receive feedback?

PA: It’s the best opportunity because it’s more statistically relevant. When you meet partners one on one or in smaller groups, you get lower statistical relevance to the feedback, so you can be hijacked by individual stories or pieces of feedback, whereas here, we can see the blended average of what our partners think and how they feel about Check Point. I think they feel a renewed energy, both in terms of the way the company is going to market and …

… in its commitment to partners. And it’s good, but it’s not all perfect. There are some things they don’t like or some things they’d like to see change, and you’ll always be challenged by your partners because they are a very scalable element of our go-to-market. There are 10 people for every one of our people or more. So there’s a much bigger pool from which to get feedback.

CFMI: What do you hope partners can learn and take back home and make use of?

PA: There’s a variety of things. They have access to all materials, so they can use [Shweb’s] keynote in its entirety or parts of it. If they want to be visionary, they can leverage new product knowledge and materials very directly in their business, new business models like consumption-based modeling with Infinity total protection. And then they can have a sense of what we’re doing from a market-awareness point of view, which may help them in general market awareness. It may help them shift their mix in terms of the way they market or it may give them things to piggyback on top of as they do their own marketing. And hopefully they’ll take advantage of all of those.

CFMI: This is Check Point’s biggest conference to date. What does that say?

PA: It shows the momentum that Check Point has. The company has continued to thrive, and continued to be a highly viable and steady business. I was in networking before and you went through waves of new companies as there were new innovations, but then it all fell back to consolidated vendors – a much lower number – and I think we’ll continue to see that in cybersecurity. So we’re showing our partners that we’ve got the staying power for them in the long term, so they can look at a long-term business model for their relationship with Check Point.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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