Barracuda readies local cloud as companies rush to meet BYOD security, scalability demands

Growing demand for managed security services to help keep up with the increasing demand on security infrastructure posed by bring your own device (BYOD) programs, the local head of security firm Barracuda Networks has observed.

Driven by the need to deliver more-flexible content security policies – as well as the restructuring of traditional network services like backup – IT managers are increasingly offloading those and other responsibilities to third parties capable of delivering the scope and capabilities, ANZ country manager Mike Romans told CSO Australia based on the strong uptake of a new Barracuda reseller partner program.

“Our resellers are customers as well,” he explained, “and they want to host a managed service that they sell to their customers. It’s not just based around content security anymore, but is based around storage, backup and archiving, and so on. Everything is becoming a little more important, and the cloud is starting to take off.”

To meet this demand, Barracuda is in the throes of configuring Australia-based security appliances that will allow it to deliver low-latency, high-performance services to support the growing customer bases of resellers that will increasingly market those services as complements or replacements to straining local infrastructure.

The need for outsourced management is becoming particularly clear as BYOD programs test end-user organisations’ ability to scale up the protections necessary to accommodate those devices, Romans said.

“As these devices come online, you need to make sure your security infrastructure can cope with that,” he explained. “Otherwise, it becomes a bottleneck. That’s one of the reasons we see a lot of the managed services resellers coming onboard: the people managing security are also taking responsibility for managing the bottlenecks.”

The latest generation of BYOD-management tools help further this cause by providing highly-granular control over what content mobile users access, and how.

Barracuda’s recently-updated Web Security Service, for one, was designed to meet the needs of schools by providing tight control over apps like Facebook – but turned out to be “exactly what businesses need as well,” Romans said. “The ability to block certain apps translates into not only making sure students are protected, but ensuring companies aren’t wasting company time uploading things to Facebook.”

The growing capability of highly-scalable managed services had meant that such capabilities, which used to be delivered using online appliances hosted at customer organisations, were increasingly being delivered virtually.

Many companies had been forced to consider managed services after their previous infrastructure was nearing its performance limits and future planning forced their hands on the question of the appropriate architecture moving forward, Romans said.

“More and more customers we’re talking to are talking about virtual services rather than just physical,” he said. “They need to make the decision whether they want to continue managing this internally, or just outsource the whole thing, and resellers are able to come in and make the whole thing virtual without the customer having to spend a lot of money to revamp their networks.”

“This has implications on finance, operational expenses and all the rest of it; customers can scale down the time spend on managing this stuff, and focus their IT people more on jobs they really need to do and get their heads around.”

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