Check Point eyes local SME market

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SMEs know they need security but don't want the headache of managing it themselves, says Doros Hadjizenonos, Check Point's sales manager for SA.
SMEs know they need security but don't want the headache of managing it themselves, says Doros Hadjizenonos, Check Point's sales manager for SA.

Israel-headquartered security solutions provider Check Point Software Technologies is looking to tap into the South African SME market.

This was revealed by Doros Hadjizenonos, SA sales manager at Check Point, in a recent interview with ITWeb.

Hadjizenonos said SMEs in SA currently contribute about 15% to the company's business and it hopes to expand this. Check Point has traditionally provided security solutions like firewalls to the enterprise market segment.

He pointed out SMEs know they need security, but don't want the headache of managing it themselves. "We are seeing more and more SMEs moving towards managed service providers that provide security-as-a-service at affordable prices," said Hadjizenonos.

The other reason SMEs need stronger protection is that cyber criminals are making use of them to penetrate larger enterprises they will be conducting business with. "Where SMEs have trusted connections into larger organisations, it is possible to compromise the weaker security of the SME in order to gain access into the larger organisations."

Check Point's 600 Appliance solution caters for the SME market, he said. "It has the same technology found in our biggest appliances used by our largest customers. The 600 Appliance was designed with SMEs in mind, in order to provide a comprehensive security solution, but at the same time make it affordable and easy to manage."

Shmuel Agi, the company's regional VP, Middle East and Africa sales, who was also in the interview, said the SME market is large and Check Point wants to be part of the sector.

He explained the company's vision is to secure all organisations - from large companies, with thousands of employees, to small companies, with just a few people.

"Over the past few years, we have seen SMEs become a target for hackers, as most SMEs don't have the resources or knowledge to adequately protect themselves from the threats on the Internet," said Agi.

Hadjizenonos mentioned the biggest challenge SMEs face is not having the necessary skills and resources to provide an adequate level of protection. "This is why we see SMBs gravitate towards managed service providers that can provide this level of protection to them, at an affordable monthly cost."

Check Point currently has six employees in SA and intends to expand the number to 10 by the end of the year. The company conducts most of its business via partners.

"It is likely we will have a person that will be focused on the SME market, whether it is directly or via managed service providers," concluded Hadjizenonos.

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