**Editor's Note: Click here for a list of recent channel-program changes you should know.**
By Perry Vandell
Security-as-a-service provider My Digital Shield (MDS) has unveiled changes to its channel program that the company says will help partners make more money and simplify selling security to small and medium-size businesses.
Partner-program levels are now less complex. New partners automatically join at the silver level, earning 25 percent continuous revenue share. Gold-level partners get 35 percent and those that reach the certified level get 45 percent.
My Digital Shield’s updated channel program also includes a training opportunity called “Shield Test," which teaches new partners how to sell managed security to small businesses. Partners can co-brand with shieldtest.com, adding their URL, logo and other contact information. They’ll get direct leads from anyone who signs up for the test. Shield Test is designed to help partners craft a sales approach that caters to a potential customer’s specific needs.
“When a partner is certified, we want them to be able to walk into every single customer and to be able to sell [My Digital Shield] every single time," said Andrew Bagrin, CEO of My Digital Shield, in an interview with Channel Partners.
Shield Test also rates a company’s ability to stop a simulated cybersecurity attack. Partners are notified of which businesses recently took the test, how well they performed, where their weaknesses are, and their contact information.
MDS’ security-as-a-service offering aims to protect SMBs from a variety of cyberattacks, including theft of credit-card numbers and the increasing threat of ransomware – in which malware infects a computer and the perpetrator demands a ransom to remove it. To counter this, the MDS software detects harmful code traveling across a company’s network, blocks it, and alerts the user about what happened. While this managed-security service might not be unique, Bagrin says it gives SMBs the protection normally reserved for large enterprises.
“We’re dedicated to the small business," Bagrin said. “I know a lot of companies aren’t. Security is built for the enterprise and small businesses are an afterthought if [they’re] even a thought at all."
Bagrin notes it can be challenging for channel partners to sell cybersecurity to small businesses, which typically lack an IT department, because the threat isn’t as immediately obvious as a physical threat.
“The problem with business owners is that they can’t see cybersecurity," Bagrin said. “They can’t see the cyber threat. If somebody comes in and breaks through their front door with a gun, they see it — it’s real."
To combat this, Bagrin recommends that channel partners compare cybersecurity to a physical security measure, such as a safe or a deadbolt. Information stored online can be just as important as an office’s expensive computer equipment, and both require a certain level of security.
Bagrin says the company’s cloud-based platform is easy to install and helps partners managed their clients’ network and security settings without bringing in outside help.
MDS’ partners include VARs, solution providers and MSPs.