Growing appetite for network security

Channel Post speaks with Hadi Jaafarawi, Managing Director at Qualys Middle East about the increasing opportunities in the network security market.

Hadi Jaafarawi, Managing Director at Qualys Middle East

What are the main factors driving network security market in the region?

The evolving threat landscape in the region is one of the key drivers of network security, resulting in enterprises paying closer attention to the cyber hygiene of their business. In fact, research from Gartner found that spending on information security technology and services amounted to US$1.3 billion in 2016, further proving the important role that security plays.

Advances in technology are also contributing factors to the growth of network security. BYOD for example is becoming increasingly popular as it enables employee mobility and productivity, however its rise has led to concern within IT departments around how to secure personal devices without restricting workflows. IoT adoption, which is being spearheaded by various smart city indicatives across the GCC is to be considered as well. With spending in this segment projected to reach $7.8 billion by the end of 2017, it’s important that the developers of connected products take security into account during the design process rather than as an afterthought.

As more businesses adopt IoT, BYOD etc. what challenges does this present to enterprise network security? What steps can be taken to mitigate such risks?

IoT can have positive implications across several core industries such as manufacturing, retail, transportation, and healthcare. However, it’s important to bear in mind that a higher number of connected devices translates to more points of entry for attackers to penetrate. Criminals can leverage these end points to steal confidential information from businesses, distribute malware, or takeover the capacity and network bandwidth of connected “things” to carry out massive strikes. While this is troubling, the necessary tools and best practices to mitigate such threats are well-known and available in the application security field.

One of the most effective methods is DevOps, a novel approach for software development and delivery that focuses on constant collaboration among everyone involved in an application’s lifecycle. It works by replacing the traditional “waterfall” development procedure where an application is created during a long, sequential process lasting up to two years with little interaction between teams. When properly adopted, DevOps knocks down the walls separating developers and operations staff, effectively creating a shared sense of ownership and accountability among members to ensure that the product is secure.

In such an opportunity-rich space, how do you enable your partners to tackle competition and grab more business?

At Qualys, we work closely with partners in many ways to help them deliver best-of-breed security, compliance, and IT solutions to clients. One of which is enabling them to provide trial accounts for prospects so they can experience the power of Qualys first-hand, with no obligation. Our account management team also helps partners identify accounts in their marketplace, and assists on sales calls to facilitate knowledge transfer. To ensure partners can develop incremental, recurring revenue streams with customers, we encourage that they bundle Qualys along with their other security offerings and consulting services, including best practices consulting, integration, remediation, auditing, etc. Additionally, should they be faced with any roadblocks, we provide a toll-free, 24x7x365 hotline, and email for technical support, along with standby to assist with sales efforts.

How can channel partners capitalize on the numerous opportunities available in this space?

For channel partners to capitalize on the region’s growing appetite for network security, it’s important that they first understand how to address potential network security risks. The more complex a business is, the higher the level of security that will be required. Once a thorough assessment of business assets has been carried out, resellers can recommend an approach that best suits their customer’s needs.