Last month, BullGuard released its new Small Office Security cloud-managed endpoint security service, designed specifically for small businesses that “need advanced, yet easy-to-manage, cybersecurity protection they can trust”.
PCR caught up with Paul Lipman, the company’s CEO, to find out more about the new offering’s benefits both end users and resellers.
You’ve just released Small Office Security. Why did you decide to target this market?
Endpoint security for small businesses is an underserved market. Small office operations generally have two choices; they take an off-the-shelf ‘business’ product from a cyber security vendor, or they use consumer cyber security antivirus. However, both approaches are inappropriate.
In the first case, existing off-the-shelf products typically started out life as an enterprise product designed specifically for enterprise needs and with enterprise levels of management in mind. Recognising the small office market opportunity, security vendors then scaled these enterprise products down to suit small office cyber security needs. However, the scaled-down products are simply too complex, expensive, unwieldy and difficult to implement and manage for small offices. When security features are too complex, employees discover ways of working around security or simply don’t use it properly, which inevitably leaves the business vulnerable.
In terms of consumer products designed for individual users, these products simply don’t scale well to a business environment. Consumer cybersecurity software is designed to be interactive. For instance, users can decide when to run a virus scan or to configure a backup profile. Imagine a business with 20 employees or so. Each has a desktop, home laptop and mobile phone. All of these need to be secured in order to be used in the business. However, the consumer cybersecurity product needs to be individually managed on each device. The number of devices could easily exceed 30 or more. For a small business managing each device is impractical; it requires a lot of time and creates unnecessary administrative overheads. The result is typically low adoption rates, which leads to vulnerable businesses.
BullGuard Small Office Security addresses both these issues by delivering award-winning device protection and an extremely easy-to-use centralised management portal via the cloud. The admin portal ensures simple, straightforward, centralised installation on all devices and management whether it’s installing patches or ensuring all devices are fully protected.
It doesn’t require IT expertise; anyone with basic IT level skills can install and manage it. In short, for small offices, it is a cost effective, easy-to-manage solution that prevents malware from corrupting devices and entering the company network, where most damage is generally done. It’s also the ideal product for a managed service provider who can provide small business clients with an effective layer of robust endpoint security that ensures they don’t fall victim to malware.
What are some of the main benefits of this product for the end user?
BullGuard Small Office Security has been developed from the ground up for small businesses rather than top down. It’s a dedicated small office product which means it has been designed specifically to meet their specific needs. It protects all endpoint devices whether these are Android smartphones or Tablets, or fixed powerful workstations, desktop PCs or laptops. A company simply nominates an administrator who manages all devices via an intuitive cloud portal interface. Alternatively they adopt the service via a managed service provider. Whichever approach is used, the outcome is the same; security updates can be applied remotely, policies delineated and enforced, devices quarantined and much more, all remotely via the interface and within minutes.
And of course, it provides award-winning protection. There are lots of hackers out there with mid-level skills that find cracking enterprise networks difficult. In contrast, hacking a small business network can be relatively easy, for instance, a Trojan planted on a device can then burrow into the company network. Or a ransomware infected device can go on to infect all devices on the network.
Once inside a network, an attacker can launch many different types of attacks, from lifting bank account information to accessing the business’ client data, and as a result, small offices can be hit with severe downtime, financial loss and a loss of credibility with clients. Currently there is a lack of cost-effective cyber security solutions that comprehensively protect small businesses against these threats. BullGuard Small Office Security addresses this urgent need.
What benefits and opportunities does the new offering bring to resellers and retailers?
It provides a new business opportunity that meets a compelling need. Small offices are certainly aware of the need for cyber security and the importance of protecting both themselves and client data, but they often don’t know how to ensure comprehensive security without breaking the bank and introducing unwanted time-consuming complexity. Resellers and retailers now have an opportunity to offer a solution. By delivering endpoint security designed specifically for small office needs, resellers and retailers have a new opportunity to expand and introduce a new revenue stream.
BullGuard Small Office Security is offered exclusively through the channel and authorised partners. This of course puts channel partners in a strong position to gain additional revenue and increased profit, thanks to one of the highest profit margins in the industry. They will also benefit from extremely generous up front and downstream renewal margins. Furthermore, BullGuard’s unmatched channel focus is evident in the support provided for Small Office Security sales. Distributors, independent retailers, resellers, system builders and small business-focused buying groups enjoy the benefit of dedicated local account management, bespoke sales and marketing programmes and materials, combined with expert 24/7 technical support for themselves and their customers.
Learn more about BullGuard partner qualification and channel benefits at www.bullguard.com/business/partners.
How does Small Office Security differ from other products on the market?
It is designed specifically for small office businesses. It delivers comprehensive multi-award winning protection, incorporating advanced technologies such as machine learning, for rigorously robust endpoint protection and provides simple management via a centralised cloud portal. Small businesses don’t want to get bogged down in cyber security management; they want to get on with their business. Anyone within a company can be nominated as an administrator, they don’t require technical skills and daily management can easily be carried out within minutes.
BullGuard Small Office Security is ideal for small businesses across all vertical markets, including companies that use third-party suppliers to recommend, install, and manage their cyber security, as well as small offices that have a basic level of IT knowledge and would prefer to manage their own cyber security needs in-house. There is nothing like it in today’s market.
What does BullGuard have planned for 2020?
If there is one thing that characterises the cyber threat landscape, it is fluidity. Threats are always changing shape. For instance, several years ago attacks via a browser extension API were largely theoretical. Today they are real and increasing. As a result, we have introduced a bespoke Secure Browser into our 2020 consumer product range to protect against browser extension-based threats. We have also added machine learning for lightning-fast zero-day threat detection across all our products. BullGuard Small Office Security and BullGuard VPN are also new products designed to meet modern, rising threats, such as the increase of attacks on small businesses, the continued erosion of privacy and the need for protection on public Wi-Fi hotspots. Cybersecurity innovation and continuous product development are hallmarks of BullGuard protection and we will continue in this vein during 2020.
PCR also spoke to BullGuard partner Dolphin Computer Upgrades to find out what opportunities there are for resellers around the new offering.
Paul Gibb, managing director at Dolphin Computer Upgrades, discusses why the small business market is of particular importance when it comes to internet security.
In your opinion, what makes the BullGuard Small Office Security offering unique?
We have been a reseller of BullGuard for many years; it is a product we believe in and as well as recommending it to our customers we use it ourselves.
As an IT support company, we have ensured that our business customers are aware of and have access to all of the current security measures to keep them as secure as possible. BullGuard Small Office Security has enabled us to add the missing link in these security measures by giving IT experts full control over the security software.
Having a control panel enables us to set the permissions and content control features. This enables a company to stop employees from viewing certain websites and certain types of content online such as restricting access to gambling sites, advertisements and even social media. By controlling where your employees can go online you can not only minimise the risk of going to a dodgy website but can also ensure that your staff are only working on company business.
At Dolphin we specialise in IT support and security, integrating with small businesses. We work on the premise that we are your IT department and as such, this product is perfect. Prior to the launch of the BullGuard Small Office Security option, users could change the settings on their own machines to what they wanted. Now we can check computers and set permissions all through the cloud control panel, without user interaction, enabling us to manage and keep their network secure.
The cloud panel and corresponding machine installs are interactive and effective. Licensing is easy and we can scale up or down depending on each small business’s needs, enabling the product to change as the business grows or streamlines.
This product provides us with the robust, secure BullGuard features we are accustomed to but coupled with enterprise control enabling us further eliminate error and risks for small businesses.
Why is the small business market of particular importance when it comes to internet security?
All businesses have data – data that is unique to them as a company and data about suppliers and customers. 60% of small businesses fold within 6 months of a cyber-attack. All businesses will be targeted at some point, and as well as keeping their own data secure, they are obliged to keep any information they have on their customers secure to comply with GDPR.
Small Business rarely warrants the expense, the need or the infrastructure for their own IT department yet make up the majority of the UK’s businesses. Downtime is a significant issue, so their networks need to run efficiently, security needs to be effective, and disaster recovery procedures are a necessity. The cloud setup enables us to monitor and secure networks remotely, giving small businesses the peace of mind that they are being protected without the need for a full IT department of their own.
What benefits and opportunities does partnering with BullGuard for the launch of Small Office Security bring to your business?
Dolphin excels in providing secure networks for their small business customers and we are always researching new avenues to extend that security even further. As the cyber criminals evolve their techniques, so all of us in the IT industry evolve to minimise those threats. BullGuard has provided us with a product that will give all our small business customers another level of security further enhancing our reputation as an IT Support company who has our client’s interests as our top priority.
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