Security in 2013: Making IT a Safe Bet

Partners need to adopt new-age security practices. The opportunities appear huge.

The proliferation of devices, virtualization woes, APTs, among others have ensured that security ranks right at the top of a CIO's to do list.

More than 80 percent of the respondents (enterprise solution providers) in ChannelWorld's State of The Mart 2013 survey expect IT spends to increase in 2013 for security solutions.

"In 2013, investment in security will surpass the current year's spending with the Government being actively involved through increased regulations," says Ekta Aggarwal, Program Manager, Information & Communication Technologies (ICT), Frost & Sullivan. Besides, traditional verticals like BFSI, service providers and government, sectors like retail, IT/ITeS, manufacturing and defence are expected to invest heavily in security, she added.

More than half of the respondents are already dabbling in the security domain and an additional one-third intend to explore this space in 2013.

"Advances in technologies such as cloud and next-gen networks will challenge enterprise architectures running on legacy systems. Investments to counter cyber threats will increase as more enterprises opt for Web-based platforms," says Aggarwal.

The Changed Landscape

According to Sanchit Vir Gogia, Principal Analyst, IDC India, CIOs have been orchestrating services as they now look at public, private clouds, hosting and application heavy server farms. They are managing the changed environment which is complex with stricter SLAs. "Enterprises want to deploy cloud resources to fuel the growth but keep the operational cost low. Security is not a traditional offering but is sourced from datacenter federation, encryption etc," he says.

Chennai-based Fourth Dimension Technologies has been implementing security solutions for the past five years. "Security has gone beyond firewall and anti-virus. SIEM, authentication and log management are the areas where we think adoption will happen as more devices invade the enterprise environment," says N. Jagannath, CEO, Fourth Dimension Technologies. "The demand has increased lately due to the security concerns around BYOD and cloud. From an end-point security, DLP is important."

2013 will be a year around application level security, database security and infrastructure platform for Bangalore-based Unisoft Infotech. "Most customers realize information is an asset. Therefore, they will look at security from multiple levels. With information going onto cloud, the concern is security. The success of cloud depends on how secure the information is," says Deepak Nakil, Executive Director, Unisoft Infotech.

"BFSI and manufacturing are focus verticals. Deep selling to loyal customers is logical as they trust us. Also, there are few tier-2 partners with expertise to execute complex security projects," says Jagannath. We expect to generate 15 to 20 percent of our revenue from security in 2013 compared to the 10 percent in 2012.

Traditional Offerings to Stay

With new age technologies for security around cloud and mobility on the rise, will traditional offerings like UTM and IPS be shunted out? On the contrary, IDC's Gogia believes, due to huge demand, the traditional market will grow although the growth rate might slow down.

Delhi-based Spark Technologies works with UTM vendors for information security, spam and virus firewall, Web application firewall and Web filter. "Web applications have increased, hence these offerings will have a constant demand across enterprises," says S.R. Nautiyal, Managing Director, Spark Technologies.

"There are rich margins available in areas like cloud security for partners. However, they need to have a balanced portfolio of high margin offerings and run-rate products like UTM, IPS among others," says Gogia.

Spark is also working in the surveillance market through an alliance with Tyco Fire & Security. "IP surveillance, intrusion detection, and transmission video surveillance is critical for government agencies and corporates.Growing bottom lines and margins are the key reason to focus on new security offerings like surveillance," says Nautiyal.

Profitability for Partners

Visibility and analytics will become the key pillars for security enterprise believes Aggarwal. "It will become critical for enterprises to achieve visibility, and to understand user behavior not only at the network layer but also in cloud environments. Secondly, the need will also arise for analytics which will enable organizations to leverage actual usage to refine policy and security controls," she says.

According to Jagannath, there is fair amount of implementation and services attached with security. There is more opportunity than just better margins in the security domain around SIEM, encryption and log management. Channel partners eventually find their sweetspot with technical expertise in the market.

More the endpoints, more the diversity and more complex is the IT architecture, says Gogia. But it means more opportunities for partners as they need to evaluate to ensure revenue streams and accordingly allocate dedicated resources for a three to five year horizon.

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