Bell Micro Launches Security DivisionBy Sharon Linsenbach | Print
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Value-added distributor Bell Micro supplies technology and expertise to aid solution providers in filling security gaps in critical infrastructure, particularly storage.
Value-added distributor Bell Micro has devoted an entirely new North American division to helping solution providers hone their security skills and fill a growing customer need for comprehensive solutions.
Duncan Hume, who headed up Bell Microproducts' U.K. security division and who will serve as director for the North American security division, says the new division was built on the foundation of Bell Micro's overseas security success.
"We've been selling the burgers and not the fries, so to speak," Hume says. "In other words, we've been selling storage but not the ability to ensure that stored data is secure, remains confidential and maintains its integrity."
Hume says his intention is to build a selective portfolio of security solutions and introduce those as complementary and supplementary offerings to Bell Micro's community of storage solution providers.
The "complementary" approach is key to a successful security practice that can drive upselling opportunities and incremental revenue for solution providers, Hume says. Threats and attacks are bombarding organizations from all angles, but many solution providers make the mistake of favoring a "Band-Aid" approach rather than taking a more holistic view of customers' infrastructure security needs.
"Security encompasses a huge amount of subject matter—it's controlling access to the Internet using SSL [Secure Sockets Layer] VPNs and firewalls. It's e-mail security and encryption. It's two-factor authentication. There's the basics of data theft, data loss prevention; not to mention anti-virus [and] anti-spam," Hume says.
Hume says e-mail content security is currently one of the greatest threats to infrastructure, but solution providers should take care not to focus too much on one threat area to the exclusion of others that are equally important. However, identifying customers' security weaknesses can lead to business opportunities for savvy solution providers.
"There are some [end-user] organizations providing a very strong content filtering solution, for example, but are they also providing a good remote access solution or performing user authentication correctly? Are they doing a good enough job preventing spam from entering the network?" Hume says.
The holistic approach to security is becoming evident even in the vendor community, as mergers between security and storage heavyweights like EMC and RSA, Veritas and Symantec pool their security and storage expertise, says Hume.
Even if solution providers have limited security experience, they can leverage their experience selling products and services that require security solutions to protect them, like storage or networking.
And while the economy might put a damper on IT spending, Hume says he doesn't think it'll last long or greatly affect security.
"There's a danger that the economy will impact the security space negatively, but the bigger danger is for organizations who don't put security infrastructure in place in the first place," he says.