It seems fairly obvious that anyone paying attention to what’s happening in the channel space will have noticed ‘flexibility’ popping up as a buzzword when discussing the key qualities businesses are looking for in everything from the solutions that they adopt, to the partners they work with and their staff management systems.
For good reason, of course — there’s no need to explain why the ability to be versatile and quickly adapt to changing circumstances has become valuable over the last 18 months.
Whilst flexible contracts and usage-based models are something we’re beginning to see more of across the Channel generally, cybersecurity is one area where we may be yet to experience the real scope of this and the benefits it can bring. This is the view of Dean Porter, country sales manager for the UK and Ireland at F-Secure. The cybersecurity company offers protection for business and home use through its range of products and services which include endpoint security solutions, managed detection and response and consultancy services.
Through its latest release, F-Secure Elements, Porter believes F-Secure is bringing a fresh new perspective to cybersecurity that could pave the way for a more versatile and accommodating approach to fulfilling businesses’ security needs.
“What F-Secure Elements has delivered, which is different to what we’ve had in the past, is a platform that encompasses all of our solutions — really enabling end customers to reduce the management overhead, increase automation of their security, and for our partners to deliver more value,” said Porter, who brings ten years of experience working in the cybersecurity space to his role at F-Secure.
Available now from F-Secure’s service partners with the option to choose a fixed-term licence subscription or usage-based billing, the cloud-based F-Secure platform combines endpoint protection, endpoint detection and response, vulnerability management and collaboration protection for cloud services such as Microsoft 365.
Fast threat detection
Benefits of the platform highlighted by F-Secure include streamlined and autonomous operations, real-time connected data flow between elements for faster threat detection and an on-demand option to elevate difficult cases to the company’s experts.
“We invoice based on usage of the last 30 days,” Porter said, highlighting this element as a differentiator in the market. “Why is that important? I think if you look at the way that businesses are operating now, they’re very tight on their budgets but always needing to improve security.
“It really just makes that security within reach because there’s not a huge outlay at the initial stage. If we look at the pandemic and we take into consideration things like remote working and the investment in more infrastructure, more laptops — obviously they have to be secured … and considering we weren’t sure how long the remote working was going to last, that usage-based security piece would have been a huge thing for companies and will be moving forward.”
The platform also offers volume-based licensing alongside the usage-based security, allowing businesses to onboard more customers whilst reducing costs, Porter added. “It enables a lot more of organisations, especially in the SMB space or public sector where budgets are really tight, to adopt that enterprise-grade security — and because of the MSPs being able to deliver that at a lower cost, it enables them to grab that in a more affordable and cost-effective way.
“If you’re buying more from one vendor, the license costs will reduce which enables the end customer to openly bring on more and tighten up their security. So I think, already we’re moving toward reducing the number of vendors that end users are working with, which will also have an impact on the Channel. That flexibility of contracts, licensing and usage will certainly be something we’ll see more of.”
F-Secure works with a wide range of partners including VARs and MSSPs, both established and up-and-coming partner companies who are building their customer base within and into the mid market, Porter said. Aside from the obvious benefits for customers and end users to the flexible cybersecurity approach, Porter believes that perhaps the biggest benefit seen is on the channel partner side.
“I think we can talk about reducing management overheads, and single agent performance and delivery, but I think it’s more about the whole entire partnership,” he said. “The speed of deployment, the ease of deployment and the ability to deliver those additional services to customers has helped [newer MSPs] massively to scale.”