Dell targets ANZ security opportunities as SecureWorks debuts locally


Alan White, SecureWorks director of security and risk consulting in APJ

An IT security skills crunch may be hitting many established security providers and security-conscious companies, but new entrant Dell SecureWorks is confident it can thrive as it today throws its white hat into the ANZ security-services ring.

Dell’s move into the security-services market will put it in competition with local divisions of established multinationals including IBM, HP, Verizon, and others that maintain their own local security operations. Like many of those, the company’s security prowess came through acquisition – in Dell’s case, the January 2011 purchase of security firm SecureWorks.

Over the intervening two years, the US-focused SecureWorks, now part of the Dell Services portfolio, has expanded its presence around the world and has now officially arrived in the ANZ region as well. Among its offerings are what used to be VeriSign’s managed security services business.

“Dell has bought a lot of companies lately – 19 to be exact – and we’ve been working to roll out a pan-Dell security strategy,” Dell SecureWorks executive director for global business Drew Harris told CSO Australia on the launch of the new venture at the AusCERT 2013 security conference.

“Our strategy has been to lead with consulting, and we have been working with the other acquired companies to put together a security portfolio of products and services that are differentiated and simplified.”

While the establishment of an Australian security operations centre (SOC) is on the cards “at some point in the future”, Harris says the focus for now is to build up the consulting business, expand it with global threat-intelligence capabilities, and to build out the company’s deployment capabilities in the long term.

Although he conceded that “local security resources are very constrained”, Harris believes the breadth of SecureWorks’ security offerings – such as its Counter Threat Unit (CTU) threat-assessment team – will help it attract security talent to support its growth.

“We’re consistently looking for the biggest, best, brightest talent to join our CTU team,” he says. “It is clearly a limited resource, but we have been able to build our presence in the region fairly quickly and have been hiring at a pretty dramatic clip.”

Alan White, the company’s director of security and risk consulting in APJ, will be leading the Australian operations as it works to wrap its security offerings around Dell’s expanding range of managed services, which currently constitutes a $US5 billion global business for the IT giant.

“From a sales perspective, it’s usually pretty quick to get into a customer conversation about some kind of consulting product,” White says. “And if they’re willing to have a conversation, then their concerns are already on the table. Pen testing, managed security, firewall, IPS, and compliance are all our breadbasket, so those main areas are where we can make a lot of headway.”

Citing the “maturity” of the Australian market, Harris says early conversations have shown as much interest in managed security services as in conventional consulting – and says the security team is already seeing commercial referrals from other members of the Dell family.

“It’s these things we’ve seen, as we’ve come into the region, that make us enthusiastic and excited about the possibilities here.”

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Tags Dellsecureworkssecurity

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