Steep Climb Ahead for TrustMarkBy Lawrence Walsh | Posted 2008-10-23 Email Print
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CompTIA's new TrustMark security accreditation aims to provide solution providers with a marketing differentiator. It's a good idea, but is it ready for prime time?
The intent of this accreditation is to give security solution providers a marketing tool that differentiates them from the competition. In other words, if you have a TrustMark plaque in your lobby and your competitor down the street doesn't, you'll win more business. It's an interesting theory, but several things must happen for this to work well.
First, CompTIA needs to provide a greater level of integrity for the accreditation process. Its organizers admit that they've automated as much of the process as possible, but there's still a human element that must interact with these solution providers and ensure that they are what they say they are and have the best practices that reflect value in the marketplace.
The CISSP is a vaunted certification because the industry, as a whole, has accepted the rigid process for becoming a CISSP and that it truly reflects superior knowledge and practices by the individual practitioners. TrustMark will need that same level of acceptance for it to make a difference in the marketplace, and that will require CompTIA and its supporting vendors and solution providers to undertake extensive brand marketing. That's a very expensive and protracted proposition. Early adopters may not find TrustMark to be a marketing differentiator for some time.
Overall, TrustMark is a pretty good concept and CompTIA is one of the best candidates in the channel to make an organization security accreditation possible. Considering that security remains the hottest and most profitable technology in the channel, according to Channel Insider research, having an accreditation could help solution providers seal more and bigger deals.
CompTIA knows it has a steep climb ahead to make TrustMark seen as a trustworthy, viable and compelling accreditation by both solution providers and end users. On this foundation, it's possible the day may come when all security solution providers will have to have TrustMark on the letterhead.
Lawrence M. Walsh is vice president and group publisher of Channel Insider. He can be reached at email@example.com.