Check Point Makes Security Services Push

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Check Point breaks new ground with two managed security services designed to launch the firm squarely into the managed services market. For partners, this means new opportunities -- that is, once they break into the heavily competitive and maturing security services market.

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. is breaking new ground with the launch of two security services -- a first for the networking security and firewall company, and one that could serve to give partners a way to carve new market opportunities by embarking on or expanding managed services offerings.

Breaking into the security marketplace may be easier said than done, but Check Point's new services will attempt to cement the firm in the tight, competitive market by leveraging intelligence to combat increasingly evasive security threats and respond to attacks in progress.

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ThreatCloud Managed Security Service is a continuous monitoring offering that assesses logs and governs customers’ gateways and endpoints to provide monitoring, visibility and compliance support. If an attack or suspicious activity is detected, the service provides an actionable alert for the customer, while leveraging Check Point's Threat Prevention Policies.

ThreatCloud Incident Response is essentially an emergency hotline that gives customers real-time remediation and expertise in the event of an attack. The service is designed to get businesses up and running after a security incident and offer expertise on how to keep networks protected while an attack is in progress. Check Point security professionals are on hand to recommend remediation, controls and best practices for panicked customers.

With the help of the channel, both services monitor events on customer security gateways, provide 24/7 support, and leverage information acquired from the Israel-based firm’s ThreatCloud collaborative security intelligence framework, which pulls in third party feeds and other information anonymously generated by Check Point systems.

Avi Rembaum, Check Point's director of consulting, told Channelnomics both services are only available to customers through its channel partners. Partners embarking on managed services for the first time can white-label or resell the Check Point services to their own customers.

Other -- and likely the majority -- of partners with some kind of managed service already in their portfolio can use the services to augment existing capabilities. An MSP would retain a back-end relationship with Check Point for various levels of required expertise, Rembaum said. Partners offering managed firewall or IDS that are in the process of extending their reach can use the services to transition to a broader set of offerings and enhance their overall value to customers.

Check Point comes leagues behind many industry peers with long histories of managed services offerings and related channel infrastructure. The fact that the security firm is jumping on board now has likely put it behind a well-established market growth curve.

While the security services market is still relevant and strong, growth is no longer on an exponential rise. Gartner reports worldwide security services spending reached $35.1 billion last year, up from $31.1 billion in 2010. The market is set to reach $38.3 billion by the end of 2012 and is projected to surpass $49.1 billion in 2015.

Check Point’s latent entry into the managed services game could be a setback for partners wanting to crack into maturing and saturated security services markets. Partners will likely be required to create competitive market differentiators to position them as viable contenders in the space.

Check Point has remained at the edges of the managed services markets for years, providing support to its solution providers and MSPs with their own offerings. Historically, the firm has provided specific solution and support packages for MSP partners, who have also have benefited from different relationship levels with the support team than other reseller partners.

Why is Check Point jumping in with both feet now? Likely, partners and customers overwhelmingly demanded it. Check Point, however, claims it not only saw just a market need, but an opportunity to leverage its expertise in a way that's profitable for partners.

“If you take a look at some of the security issues, there’s more of a need to have coordinated protections and advanced levels of expertise,” Rembaum said. “We understand the attack capabilities because of our R&D capabilities. We have a unique message and unique capability to address these types of attacks. There’s a specialization you need to have to filter out the logs and find and pinpoint detailed information associated with the attack method. It’s not something easy to develop. With the evolution of attack methods and requests from customers, it led to this point where it makes sense.”

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