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Reducing the management overhead

  • New cloud platform gives F-Secure customers fast, flexible and easy access to cyber security services

Cyber security provider F-Secure is responding to the changing needs of channel partners and end user organisations with the launch of a new cloud-based platform offering a choice of integrated cyber security services available with fixed-term licence subscriptions or usage-based billing. 

Called F-Secure Elements, the platform gives fast, easy access to a variety of cyber security services, including endpoint protection, endpoint detection and response, vulnerability management and collaboration protection for cloud services (such as Microsoft Office 365), via a single management portal, with one point for reporting and one point for support. 

F-Secure Country Manager Dean Porter told Technology Reseller that while the individual components of F-Secure Elements are not new, the platform and the way they are delivered are. 

“In our business security products division, we have a broad technology stack and a lot of functionality. At a high level, you would call it endpoint protection, but we have things like patch management in there; we have application control and device control; we have endpoint detection and response, which is where the market is moving; we’ve got vulnerability management; mobile security; and security for Microsoft Office 365. 

“We have all these technologies, which work in collaboration with each other, and the idea with Elements is to bring them together within one platform so you can reduce the management overhead, you can get more reporting out of solutions that are working together and improve performance.” 

He adds that for managed service providers (MSPs) there are particular benefits in being able to deliver enterprise-grade security through a single management portal. 

“There are a number of vendors out there in the market, some offering similar technologies and some offering something slightly different. An MSP has to work out how to deliver those services; it has to ensure the technologies work together, that there are no conflicting agents on the end points and that it doesn’t have to pull data from multiple sources in order to provide reporting on what is actually happening on the customer’s network – having that visibility and making sure there are no gaps.”

Usage-based pricing 

The efficiency of an integrated platform is one benefit of F-Secure Elements. Another is the option of usage-based pricing, which ensures that end user customers only pay for the licences they use in any 30-day period. This stops organisations from paying for idle licences or services they don’t need and gives them the flexibility to scale up or down in line with changing requirements.

Porter adds that further savings are possible through volume-based licensing. 

“Hand in hand with usage-based pricing, we have volume-based licensing, which is about reducing the cost implications for MSPs as they bring on more licences. What’s different about our proposition is that licensing is across the board, so if an MSP is delivering one solution to a customer and then adds another two or three within the F-Secure management portal, it will have an impact on licensing volumes and bring the cost down. The hope is that an MSP would pass that cost saving on to end customers, making security more reachable for smaller businesses that, right now, need that enterprise-grade security.”

Designed for services

Porter expects demand for F-Secure Elements to come from organisations wanting to improve visibility across their assets and to reduce the management overhead, complexity and expense of dealing with solutions from multiple vendors, as well as from MSPs providing services to SMEs or larger organisations on a co-managed basis. 

“In the UK, SMB customers rely on managed security partners for several reasons, like the skills shortage and the cost of acquiring an in-house security team. In the mid-market, there’s more of a security presence within IT teams, which Elements can support from a company managed perspective. But even they might have a requirement for services from MSPs, perhaps in a hybrid model where some solutions are managed by the company on-prem and others are delivered through an MSP. It really depends on the maturity of the security team within the end customer.” 

From the outset, F-Secure has designed Essentials with services in mind. Indeed, the servitisation of security is another of its main selling points, along with its platform approach and usagebased billing. 

“The idea with Elements was to encompass everything in one single platform, with one single agent, to improve speed of delivery and also the services that partners can deliver to their end customers. On top of our technologies, we deliver a lot of services and enable partners to deliver services of their own,” explains Porter. 

These include technical service management, where a dedicated agent can help an end user customer or MSP quickly remediate problems; and, drawing on F-Secure’s expertise in real-time 24/7 threat hunting, the option to elevate difficult cases to F-Secure experts. 

If you have anomalous activity on your network, whether you are delivering that to a customer or whether it is on a customer site, we can be that next line of defence to analyse what’s happened, report on whether it constitutes a breach or is a false positive and give you recommendations on how to remediate the problem.”

Porter adds that through the platform, F-Secure also provides services developed especially for channel partners. 

“We offer service design workshops for MSSPs or VARS looking to move into the services area, which a lot of them are these days. One of our experts will go in and talk to the MSSP or VAR about what they are delivering, how that works, what the management overhead looks like, what the cost implications are and how they should or could deliver services to their end customers.”

https://www.f-secure.com/elements

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2020