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Four into one will go

The addition of endpoint security products to the WatchGuard Cloud management platform brings new opportunities for MSPs and resellers 

A little over two years ago, in April 2019, WatchGuard Technologies launched the WatchGuard Cloud platform as part of its mission to make cyber security simple for channel partners to deploy, configure and manage its products and services for our end-user customers. 

By centralising security management and reporting through a single interface, the cloud-hosted management platform simplifies how MSPs protect their customers while reducing infrastructure costs, accelerating customer acquisition and minimising time spent on reporting and operational tasks. 

Designed from the ground-up for MSPs, WatchGuard Cloud delivers true multi-tier, multi-tenant capabilities. This includes scaling automatically to allow MSPs to create and manage an unlimited number of customer accounts, deploy new WatchGuard appliances, manage and deploy WatchGuard applications, and gain valuable insights into a customer’s network. 

Endpoint integration 

Since launching its cloud management platform, WatchGuard has continued to develop WatchGuard Cloud in line with its evolving product portfolio, which now offers network security and intelligence, advanced endpoint protection, secure Wi- Fi and multi-factor authentication. 

In June, it took a big step forward with the integration into WatchGuard Cloud
of the endpoint security products gained through its acquisition of Panda Security in 2020. 

Previously known as Panda Endpoint Protection and Panda Endpoint Protection Plus now comprise the WatchGuard EPP (Endpoint Protection Platform) roduct; Panda Adaptive Defense is now WatchGuard EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response); and Panda Adaptive Defense 360 is now WatchGuard EPDR (Endpoint Protection Detection and Response). 

A complete offering 

With integrated Secure Wi-Fi capabilities as well, enabling partners to manage
all WatchGuard security solutions, from the network to the endpoint, through the WatchGuard Unified Security Platform. This includes: 

1 Endpoint Security – extensible solutions to stop breaches, data theft and cyber-attacks through advanced prevention, detection, containment and response. 

2 Network Security – network security appliances, from tabletops to 1U rack- mounted units, and critical security services, such as IPS, URL filtering, Gateway AV, application control and antispam, plus services to combat advanced threats such as file sandboxing and DNS filtering. 

3 Multi-Factor Authentication – an easy-to-use Cloud platform that requires users to supply information they know, with information provided on something they have, to positively identify a specific person. 

4 Secure Wi-Fi – a variety of solutions for introducing secure Wi-Fi into a business, from wireless-enabled Firebox appliances to cloud-ready access points. 

The growth and integration of WatchGuard’s portfolio means that VARs and MSPs will be able to provide customers with complete protection, all managed via a single pane of glass. 

Cost savings 

Jon-Marc Wilkinson, WatchGuard Technologies Director of Sales, UK and Ireland, points out that WatchGuard Cloud has multiple benefits for partners, due to its simplicity and flexibility, and not least of which, significant cost savings 

“Because it is a cloud-driven solution, partners get our management platform along with the visualisation and reporting tools all via the cloud; there are big savings in infrastructure costs,” he says. “It also enables partners to drive cost efficiencies throughout their organisations by automating security tasks and automating operational tasks like licensing, onboarding and inventory management.” 

He adds “Not only does it help add to partners’ bottom line through cost savings and efficiency, but it enables them to easily grow their portfolio of security services.” 

“The majority of our partners will be firewall customers, but with the acquisition of Panda’s endpoint technologies, we now have a plethora of customers on that side as well. Having a Unified Security Platform makes it easy for partners to adopt our other technologies. This has the added benefit of significant cross sell opportunities.” he says. 

Adding security services 

WatchGuard Cloud and the WatchGuard product range doesn’t just have benefits for MSPs (existing and new). As Wilkinson points out, it can also help resellers that have not yet gone down the MSP route to meet growing customer demand for managed security services. 

“WatchGuard Cloud enables a reseller to become a security specialist on WatchGuard products and provide a managed services offering to their customers, giving them, steady, predictable and, most importantly, increasing revenues. Moreover, once those customers have adopted a managed security approach, we generally find that relationships become more sticky and longer term.” 

Tony Price, Director of Solutions at Northamber, which distributes WatchGuard products in the UK, says that Northamber experts have a big role to play in helping resellers make this transition. 

“Most resellers are considering it and if you are one of them, come and talk to us. We have experts who can show you how WatchGuard Cloud helps with MSP enablement and makes it possible to expand your offering with security services without the cost and complexity that such a transition can entail.” 

Flexible billing 

As an example, both Wilkinson and Price cite WatchGuard Cloud’s support of the company’s Flex Pay flexible billing options, which include fixed-term contracts, monthly and usage-based subscriptions and WatchGuard Points that can be bought upfront and used to activate services on an on demand basis. 

Wilkinson says that WatchGuard Points have proved very popular in the last year as businesses have adopted flexible and hybrid working patterns. 

“They enable our customers to be very agile with regards to security. If one month a business has a requirement for everybody to work from home, they can flex that security service to increase the number of licences or the number of firewalls. Two or three months down the line, they may no longer need everyone to work away from the office, in which case they can reduce the number of licences. Flex Pay lets customers flex their licence requirements up and down,” he explains. 

Price adds that Northamber is the only distributor in the UK that makes both WatchGuard Points and monthly billing option available to partners through API integrations with WatchGuard Cloud. 

Next steps 

WatchGuard’s mission to make enterprise- grade security accessible to companies
of all types and sizes through simplicity. With the continuing development of its MSP-focused management platform, WatchGuard Cloud, it is making it easier for MSPs to deliver these services efficiently and cost-effectively, while also enabling resellers to start offering managed security services. 

To find out how WatchGuard Cloud can transform your business, please contact the WatchGuard Team at Northamber watchguard@northamber.com or on 0208 296 7015. 

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WatchGuard Cloud Benefits 

Limitless Account Management – – WatchGuard Cloud is built on a multi-tier, multi-tenant architecture, allowing service providers to create and onboard any number and type of customer accounts, while ensuring separation of data between tenants and role-based access to information. 

Scalable Performance – The platform responds immediately and automatically to changing compute and storage requirements, allowing the platform to maintain high performance, running reports in seconds across terabytes of data while providing summarised insights. 

Inventory Allocation & Account Delegation – WatchGuard Cloud’s inventory management features let service providers view and track licensing across all customers. They can also allocate and de-allocate services to those customers on terms that fit their service models.

Automated Alerts & Notifications – As a centralised management interface, WatchGuard Cloud allows users to configure alerts and notifications across all security applications. MSSPs can access notifications on anything from customer licenses, usage or expirations to security and performance updates. 

Flexible Data Retention – WatchGuard Cloud offers a variety of data retention options — including 30 days with the WatchGuard Total Security Suite — removing the need to configure, deploy, maintain and scale servers and appliances for logging and reporting.

Zero Infrastructure Requirements – As a cloud-hosted service, the platform has no hardware requirements for service providers to deploy, resulting in reduced cost and time spent deploying and maintaining servers either locally or in datacentres.

Powerful Visibility and Reporting – WatchGuard Cloud comes with more than 100 dashboards and reports that identify key network security threats, issues and trends, while accelerating users’ ability to set and enforce meaningful security policies.

Platform and Data Security – Security of the centrally managed, cloud-hosted platform itself is a top priority for WatchGuard. Not only are user logins protected by advanced multi-factor authentication, but WatchGuard Cloud offers built-in security for data in transit and at rest, which enables users to implement role-based access control and supports the logical separation of data between tenants, as well as partitions between subscriber accounts.

Advanced Network Security Policy Management – WatchGuard Cloud simplifies policy creation and management with one-click security service implementations and pre-configured policies to deploy content scanning, network inspection, content filtering and other services at scale. Policy templates can apply configurations to appliances across multiple tiers and tenants, enabling MSPs to quickly onboard new customers and scale deployments with group and company policies.

Risk-Based MFA for Simplified Zero-Trust Adoption – Enabling risk-based authentication is an essential step when adopting a zero- trust approach. New AuthPoint risk framework policies in WatchGuard Cloud improve identity management capabilities by providing customisable and flexible rules to configure users and devices based on level of risk, with centralised management and repeatable, scalable policy implementation.

Built-in End-to-End Threat Analysis – WatchGuard Cloud leverages the ThreatSync service to unify threat intelligence, correlation and scoring across the WatchGuard security stack, alerting endpoints, WatchGuard Firebox appliances and specific users of attacks for automated remediation. 

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TechnologyReseller: 2021