The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on society has led to a digital transition period with organizations and businesses having to rapidly rewrite their plans for the immediate future. As companies set out to address these new scenarios, the need for expert technical support has become increasingly evident, and vital in order for investment and implementation of new technologies to bear fruit. The IT distribution channel has always been evolving to deliver new technologies to the market, and it is now more important than ever that channel partners -and especially service providers (MSP), who represent a key figure in many ways- are ready and able to help businesses rapidly embrace innovations and make the journey of digital transformation as fast, agile, and secure as possible.
IT channel and partners: a new role in the post-COVID era
As a result of the uptake of new digital technologies by businesses, forecasts suggest that IT spending will increase, as companies seek to keep up with the momentum of recent months.
To derive the greatest possible value from the current and future adoption of new technologies, many companies will be looking to the IT channel for support, and partners must evolve to meet these new demands and ensure they are valued as key trusted partners by the companies of the future.
Now WatchGuard, after the successful integration of Panda Security’s endpoint security solutions and a new focus on MSPs, represents a pillar of support for the IT channel. As Michelle Welch, Senior Vice President of Marketing at WatchGuard says: "We've seen a shift in how partners want to deliver their services to end-customers. They are no longer expected to sell individual products, but to deliver the complete stack of solutions. That is why we are looking for ways to expand our portfolio to meet that need."
According to Welch, the pandemic has impacted IT environments in three ways:
- The perimeter lines of networks are being redrawn. This was already happening, but the COVID-19 pandemic has seen an acceleration of the process. "The boundaries of the network no longer stop at the company walls. Users are the new border. Partners must therefore shift their attention to securing users, wherever they are," Welch explains.
- Transactions between businesses and customers are changing. "Many companies had to close their doors and continue online. They had to speed up any plans to expand their e-commerce activities. This, in turn, means that they have to take into account new challenges that come with data processing, for example, due to the rules surrounding data protection (GDPR)”.
- A third factor is the way that cyberattackers are exploiting the situation. "You saw a spike in unemployment fraud,” says Welch. “Personal numbers were stolen and misused to illegally obtain benefits in someone else's name. In general, social engineering and phishing are unfortunately also more effective. People are tired, scared and angry, which makes them more vulnerable”.
Panda Security and its Adaptive Defense 360 endpoint solution is the latest addition to WatchGuard's portfolio, delivering just what partners need at times like these: a truly endpoint-centric solution. In the past, WatchGuard’s endpoint security operated as part of the network. Adaptive Defense, in contrast, works directly on the endpoint, protecting devices even when they are outside the corporate network.
The immediate aim of this joint enterprise is to ensure that partners and customers of both companies have access to the innovative and newly extended portfolio of security solutions, creating a security platform that connects the user's network and perimeter with advanced endpoint protection capabilities. Find out more about this offering! and discover all the benefits of joining WatchGuardOne.