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In the last couple of years, IT security has gone from an afterthought to a fundamental component of any IT solution. Most IT organizations today would not dream of deploying an IT solution that didn’t include a comprehensive approach to securing it.

In recognition of that new reality, Tech Data has created a dedicated Security and Information Management business unit to help solution providers navigate an ever-expanding array of security products and services.

Tracy Holtz, newly appointed director of product marketing for the business unit, said that with the rise of the cloud, the Internet of things and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon, building IT security has never been a more complex undertaking. The new business unit will provide access to IT security expertise and will focus on helping partners identify other partners with IT security expertise that they can leverage, said Holtz.

“In the past, security was addressed within each of our multiple business units,” said Holtz. “Now we want to take a more solutions-oriented approach.”

In addition, Tech Data will make available highly trained IT security professionals that its partners can leverage to implement IT security solutions at a time when experienced IT security professionals are in short supply, Holtz said.

IT security solutions today encompass a lot more than firewalls and antivirus software, Holtz said. “Just about every vendor in one way another now addresses security issues within the context of their products.”

Case in point is Citrix. While not widely noted as a provider of IT security products, the virtualization software vendor has a dedicated chief information security officer (CISO,) who also works with partners and customers to address security issues.

Speaking at the Citrix Synergy 2016 conference this week, Citrix CISO Stan Black told attendees that the most important thing they can do is reduce the surface area where these attacks can land.

“The more you can reduce operational overhead, the more you can focus on what the bad guys are doing,” said Black. “You need to simplify what you have to protect.”

For solution providers, that means the IT security opportunity is not just about selling products, but also delivering the ongoing services required to protect IT environments from cyber-attacks that are coming faster and more furiously than ever.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for more than 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.