Next Generation InfoSec Product Distribution

How do Next Generation INFOSEC products and services “cross the chasm” and reach more customers? And, what’s wrong with traditional Distribution Channels?

Never Heard of Them, So Why Risk IT?

CDM Writer Allan CowenBefore getting involved with Cyber Defense Magazine, I never heard of Comodo, Bullguard or Emsisoft as up and coming Anti-virus companies and only heard of F-Secure once or twice. My research shows that they are better at catching viruses, yet when you talk with the typical CIO or IT security staff, they usually go glassy eyed on you when you don’t drop names like IBM, Cisco, Juniper, Symantec and McAfee.

You know the expression “I never get fired for buying from IBM or Cisco or Symantec…etc.” I think that will become an expression of the past when it comes to next generation and innovative network security solutions.

There are key drivers to why it’s becoming more important to consider visionary products and INFOSEC innovators over the big names. Usually you’ll hear from a CIO or IT security pro that: “IBM, Cisco and Symantec are big, doing well and will never go out of business. If I buy from a smaller player, I might have to vet them even more – their company size, financials, product roadmap, etc. I’d rather just buy big because my investment is safe” But is it really?

What happens when you invest in a TARGET – yes these guys are big but they have become the top targets for exploitation. Their hardware and software are more prone to be exploited. There are more vulnerabilities (visit and search out any of them and you’ll see), more patches, more management, more complexity and therefore MORE RISK when it comes to actually securing your network.

Yes, they may be in business for years to come but so will these smaller less profiled vendors who actually make much more innovative and proven security products – remember the Rocky movie series…he was a hungry fighter and he stayed in the game when everyone said he wouldn’t go the distance – he was a nobody but he had the ‘eye of the tiger’ and he made it to become a champion. That’s what I see in these smaller yet emerging vendors.

They are hungry and thus work harder. They out-think and out-move the big, slow corporate behemoths. They are more flexible and creative in putting forth proposals to meet today’s budgetary pressures that face most organizations. They listen to customers and respond to specific needs and requirements better. They are BY FAR, a better buy and offer the best return on investment. They have proven their place and presence within the specific market they address.

We have to start spreading the word and help them gain market share in order to “cross the chasm”. I believe the so called Value Added Distributor (VAD), Value Added Reseller (VAR) and the Direct Market Reseller (DMR) operate under out dated business practices as they take products and services to market. These folks aren’t adding much value anymore (Did they ever?) other than acting as box pushers, fulfillment agencies and promotion parakeets. They would rather keep it simple and “take orders” for high volume low margin big branded products than serve as vehicles to help facilitate the introduction of the technology innovator in order to drive market acceptance. While these margin cry babies continue their journey to the bottom many others are racing to the top as they realize the margin magic that comes with the emerging technology value proposition.

I plan to share much more on this subject in my upcoming article in Cyber Defense Magazine’s premier Edition at the RSA Conference 2013, which I’ve been attending for many years. It’s where we find these players – in the corner, the smaller booths, the side tables. They are out there and I plan to bring them into the forefront where they belong.

By Allan Cowen, Managing Director, Solantus, Inc.

Learn more about my new distribution model at

December 9, 2012

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