Check Point Canada says it wants to help its partners get deeper on security issues with customers – and they’re willing to pay them to do so.
The vendor is in the process of rolling out a methodology for what it calls 3D Security Reports (after its overall 3D Security marketing message), a process in which channel partners do a realtime assessment of customer networks to help personalize the right security necessities for their businesses.
Paul Comessotti, regional director for Canada at Check Point Canada, said the company would provide incentives of up to $1,000 for every 10 3D Security Reports a partner produces, and that’s not all a partner can expect to get out of it.
“When these go in, we find new opportunities for products, and also for our partners to offer new services,” he said.
Kellman Meghu, the company’s head of security engineering for Canada and the Central U.S., explained the process: VARs can either install a virtual machine or a hardware appliance on the customer’s network. Whether physical or virtual, the installed device keeps an eye on traffic on the network and identifies security strong points and weak points – in many cases, it can find opportunities in just a few minutes.
But after running the assessment, the real opportunity for partners is in providing actionable business intelligence, the company says.
“Customer always ask ‘what do I need’ when it comes to security – and if they don’t know, how on Earth would I know?” Meghu said. “Using 3D Reports, we get concrete data on what they need and what they don’t need. We can show them the five items they really need to work on.”
Providing a post-assessment report – which can be rebranded in the solution provider’s own image – allows VARs to start at security challenges from a business perspective, and start to talk about security in language that business leaders are responsive to.
“We’re focusing on what actually happens in the business, and because we have all the information, we can talk about offering a service guarantee when it comes to security,” he said.
Although data is collected, the naturally privacy-conscious Check Point stressed that it does not need access to all of that data. In fact, that’s one of the biggest reasons the company is turning to its channel partners to run the assessment program – most partners addressing enterprise security already have the required NDAs and other agreements in place with their customers, as well as their established reputation and relationship.
“We can show them what other security technologies that we have but they aren’t running could provide them,” Comessotti said. “We could show them would [data loss prevention] would do for them, what it would catch.”
The push comes as Check Point is staffing up in Canada – after running as a lean 20-person operation for the last while, Comessotti said the company is looking at staffing up, adding people in Toronto, Ottawa and most likely Montreal, with a focus on supporting its partners’ growth. Comesotti noted that the company notched 11 per cent growth in in Canada in 2011, after coming off a “massive” 2010 – which was the first year the company clocked in north of $1 billion in worldwide revenues.
The company’s partners are seeing similar growth. Comessotti noted that seven of the company’s top ten channel partners are growing north of 10 per cent.
“That’s significant because it shows that as we transition our technology to new appliance, and to the software blades architecture, our partners were able to make the transition as well,” he said.
The company has been building its business around the software blades architecture for the last number of years, an approach that allows users to add functionality as needed to its security appliances and other hardware. Comessotti reports that the company is gaining in the market with its intrusion prevention system software blade, both bundled into hardware sales as an after-the-fact add-on purchase.
Check Point also recently introduced its first Anti-bot software blade that seeks to prevent computers connected to the network that may be infected with a botnet from communicating with the command control system. Robert Falzon, the company’s Canadian security engineer manager, said its way for customers “to neuter the attack” of botnets on the network.
The company also recently announced ThreatCloud, its entry into cloud-based repository of malware knowledge that many security vendors are turning to as the way to keep security products updated in a world where downloading definitions files just isn’t enough. Meghu said that as well its own research, intelligence and analysis, ThreatCloud lets customers benefit from what it’s learning form the “millions of desktop IPS” installations its running in its ZoneAlarm free personal firewall offering.
“Having a database of signatures is not going to scale, not going to work,” Meghu said. “We’re at up to 100 million signatures in a database now. That’s not something that can be easily passed around.”