Partner Success Story - ZTek Solutions

ZTek Solutions Is First to Adopt WatchGuard MDR

ZTek Solutions Sought WatchGuard to Solve a Configuration Issue That a Well-Known Competitor Couldn’t Fix

ZTek Solutions’ core business is managed IT and security services for small to midsize businesses in the Miami, Florida area. Providing the best security coverage to customers has been one of ZTek’s primary concerns since it was established in 2007. In 2015, Raul Zayas, President and owner of ZTek Solutions, ran into configuration issues while deploying another vendor’s network security appliance. He was advised by a third-party consultant to solve the issue using WatchGuard’s Firebox M200. Zayas said, “When I got the Firebox, not only did it resolve my problem, but I noticed additional configurations and options the previous competing solution didn’t offer. The added security services, settings, and configurations were so beneficial for the business that from then on, I decided any net new revenue would be through WatchGuard products.”

As WatchGuard’s portfolio continued to evolve over the past several years, ZTek was eager to adopt the new products and services to build out its managed security offering for customers. “After WatchGuard’s firewalls, we adopted its access points, Threat Detection and Response , and then its Endpoint Protection Detection & Response (EPDR) solution. Now we’re implementing AuthPoint to secure the desktop remotely with multi-factor authentication,” shared Zayas.

Once ZTek adopted the entire product portfolio within WatchGuard’s Unified Security Platform® architecture, Zayas and his team were on the lookout for new WatchGuard solutions to bolster their security business and give an added, layered security protection.

ZTek Solutions Wanted the Extra Layered Security Protection That MDR Offers

“I truly believe in the layered security approach. No matter how well you set up your networks and security layers, your engineers have to sleep. It’s hard to operate 24/7 on your own; you need that extra layer of protection that managed detection and response (MDR) offers,” said Zayas. “The thing that kept me up at night was despite all our security offerings and success, we didn’t yet have the complete round-the-clock protection you can offer with MDR.” 

So, when WatchGuard began to build its MDR solution and engage with partners to evaluate it, ZTek was first in line for beta testing. “I was a big MDR advocate long before WatchGuard began offering it, and when I heard about the new service, I said sign me up. MDR just makes a lot of business sense to have added to WatchGuard’s Unified Security Platform approach. And our clients agree. Our first purchase was 500 licenses, and now (a few months later) we’re at 800 or more,” said Zayas.

“My team has adapted to WatchGuard MDR pretty easily. We’re still technically in the beta process, so there is still more work to be done. But overall, we’re pleased with the service and the customer response, and excited to be a part of this exciting new addition to WatchGuard’s platform,” said Zayas.

ZTek Finds WatchGuard MDR Easy to Implement and Sell

Even though ZTek is just beginning its MDR journey, customers were ready to buy the service for various reasons, including cyber insurance requirements, the increasing prevalence of ransomware attacks, and more. Zayas commented, “MDR is an easy sell. Cybersecurity insurance qualification questionnaires now include EDR, MDR, and SOC. I can now tell customers that we offer enterprise-grade, 24/7 security services with proactive threat hunting. And whether customers have insurance now or are thinking about getting it, MDR will help them to obtain coverage and even reduce the insurance quote.”

Regarding the operational and technical benefits of MDR, Zayas said, “Operationally, the switch to WatchGuard MDR was easy because I didn’t have to hire or train anyone. We simply integrated the service with the rest of the WatchGuard security environment. We have EPDR configured as WatchGuard recommends, everything works, and the MDR reports essentially mirror the EPDR ones. Adopting MDR from WatchGuard has not only strengthened our security offering, but it has streamlined the operations of my business.”

As for the long-term business success, Zayas indicates there are more ways MDR has changed his business for the better. He said, “With WatchGuard MDR, I don’t take on a customer that doesn’t want to implement both EPDR and MDR, because having both really minimizes the risk to both the customer’s business and mine.”

Zayas advised, “Anyone considering adopting WatchGuard MDR should proceed with confidence. It’s so simple to deploy, especially if you already have WatchGuard EPDR in place. It truly was as simple as filling out a two-page questionnaire, which will be integrated into WatchGuard Cloud in the future, and then syncing with your EPDR agents. That’s it. It’s truly like a switch that you plug in, and then it starts feeding your MDR system.”

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