Security technology will allow us to implement some pretty amazing defenses. The brightest technology minds around the world examine new and existing threats and vulnerabilities. Each new exploit brings the industry’s defensive methods and strategies to a sharper point.
One of the practical problems that continually surfaces in security technology is one of application. It does little good to devise highly technical defensive solutions if they are, in the end, too complicated for average businesses to deploy and manage.
Additionally, while security researchers and media focus on the latest breach and its underlying vulnerabilities, we can sometimes lose touch with what keeps the average business owner up at night.
Brilliance Security Magazine looked about to determine what is being done to address these two critical issues. In doing so, we were afforded the distinct pleasure of spending a few minutes on the phone with Heather Paunet. Heather is the Vice President of Product Management at Untangle. Untangle provides security software and appliances geared toward small and medium businesses (SMB). They identify their key verticals as K-12, Higher Ed, Healthcare, Nonprofits, Financial Services, Retail, and Government.
Untangle’s product portfolio includes NG Firewall, SD-WAN Router, and Command Center.
Heather explained that all of their products were designed explicitly around answering the question of how to make the application of advanced security technology easier. She said that Untangle recognized from the very outset in 2003 that small to medium businesses often didn’t have access to the resources needed to stand up a SOC and bring on a team of security professionals, and they are getting left behind.
Untangles NextGen Firewall’s purpose is to simplify network security. It is a modular platform designed specifically to address the needs of SMB users.
Untangle’s SD-WAN Router with advanced routing capabilities and stateful firewall, provides the ability for businesses to build a comprehensive, secure Software-Defined Network. The SD-WAN Router software provides interoffice connectivity across all sites, optimizes the internet over existing infrastructure, and prioritizes business-critical applications to maximize employee productivity.
Command Center makes it easy to manage NG Firewall or SD-WAN Router appliances remotely, whether deploying with zero-touch provisioning or pushing policy changes across the network. Command Center also provides visibility to the devices that are connected to the network, providing end-to-end control over what’s happening.
It was evident, speaking with Heather, that Untangle takes ease of use very seriously. Simplicity is a big plus for a company focused on the SMB market.
Our conversation moved on to how new products and features are developed. We wanted to know how much emphasis is put on the day-to-day concerns of the business owner.
Heather introduced their Voice of the Channel concept. She said that each year Untangle reaches out to their channel partners to learn what issues concern the end customer. They also use this survey to gather predictions for the next year from these partners. Heather’s product development team understands that it is vital to make decisions from a place as close to the customer as possible. Product development decisions made from a lofty position surveying the industry at large will often miss the mark for an essential segment of the market.
Untangles Voice of the Channel and 2020 Predictions report was just issued. A copy of the report can be downloaded here: https://www5.untangle.com/voiceofthechannel2020
A review of this report yields some thought-provoking results. The report indicates that 2019 saw an increase of cyberattacks, with Channel Partners identifying their clients were targeted explicitly by phishing (84%), malware(84%), and ransomware (63%) attacks.
Untangle, and their partners are making an impact on SMB organizations by helping them become more aware of how to identify suspicious emails and abnormal network traffic. According to their survey, clients reported ransomware (43%), phishing (42%) and malware (40%), after a breach occurred. These numbers indicate that their clients are becoming better at identifying cyberattacks and taking proactive steps to continue educating employees and report attempts before they can cause damage.
Listen to the customer and then build products that are easy to use while addressing the customer’s concerns is a recipe for success.
If you have another example of a solutions provider that is addressing the problems around how to make high-tech solutions applicable for SMBs, we’d love to hear about it. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org