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Check Point taps Africa growth to expand partner ecosystem

Christopher Tredger
By Christopher Tredger, Portals editor
Johannesburg, 29 Feb 2024
Rupal Hollenbeck, president, Check Point Software Technologies.
Rupal Hollenbeck, president, Check Point Software Technologies.

Check Point Software Technologies is looking to grow its market share and strengthen its partner channel in Africa, with South Africa serving as a base.

The security company launched a new partner  programme at its CPX APAC conference in Bangkok in January. This programme is underpinned by by two key components: and AI-powered, cloud-delivered cyber security platform that enables collaboration and end-to-end protection, and emphasis on prevention over detection It features a simplified, consolidated partner tiering model, a new pricing framework, free certification and training, and an improved app.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Check Point CPX EMEA event in Vienna in February, Itai Greenberg, chief strategy officer at Check Point, said the difficulty that customers face is the prospect of having to apply various security solutions from multiple vendors to ensure end-to-end protection of infrastructure.

“They will have so many different products from so many vendors, each one of them giving them a different level of security for the same level of attack,” said Greenberg.

This is where Check Point’s strategy plays out, he said. “We are providing a platform to protect against all attacks, across all platforms, and all vectors.”

The other component is the focus on prevention rather than detection.

“The difference between detection and prevention is huge,” Greenberg added. "Detection is about ‘I am telling you that you have a problem, go fix it’ whereas prevention is ‘I am very reliable, I am not slowing down your traffic, or making you wait for email to arrive, or the browser to open the website.’ “

New resellers in Africa

During the same event in Vienna, Rupal Hollenbeck, president of Check Point Software Technologies, confirmed the company had established new channel partnerships in Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa.

Hollenbeck highlighted new infrastructure developments across various industries in Africa, and the potential to harness the continent's predominantly young, ambitious, and skilled job seekers. "We see industries making significant investments across Africa, and it's imperative that security is integrated from the outset – what I refer to as 'security by design'. With the emergence of new industries comes the development of supply chains to support this growth."

In addition to building the channel and supply chain, Check Point advocates a collaborative approach to developing sought-after skills sets on the continent.

Hollenbeck said the company is dedicated to improving access to cyber security education, particularly within STEM learning, starting from childhood. She noted that at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, where Check Point actively participates in the cyber security centre, discussions with other companies highlighted the pressing issue of the skill gap. "We reached a consensus that all the work – any of the work done by businesses – should serve to ‘lift the entire boat’, because that helps the industry."

The rationale is that stakeholders in the cyber security ecosystem work together to develop skills rather than adopting a self-centred approach to skills acquisition.

Check Point offers several training and certification programmes including Quantum, CloudGaurd, and Harmony. The company has also established the CISO Academy, a global education programme targeted at C-level executives or those aspiring to enter this space.

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