Conducted by Vanson Bourne, the survey includes more than 1,400 WatchGuard partner organizations globally, and focuses on the reseller's perspective on customer cyber-threat concerns and their overall understanding of the firewall market.
Coletta Vigh, WatchGuard’s director of global channel programs, tells Channel Partners one of the biggest challenges resellers can face is when customers believe they are “too small, or too niche, to need protection from ransomware and other malware attacks."
“This notion is not only untrue, but it’s dangerous," she said. “As a matter of fact, it’s the small companies that are potentially less able to bounce back after a devastating cyberattack."
Some 16 percent of resellers believe most of their customers would pay a cyber ransom, and 65 percent believe at least some of their customers would pay, according to the survey. This willingness, or necessity, to pay, coupled with the increasing threat of ransomware, could prove costly for businesses in the coming year, according to WatchGuard.
About 45 percent of resellers surveyed believe that less than half their customers have the proper resources in place to adequately manage incoming security alerts. Only 5 percent believe all their customers have these resources in place, while 7 percent believe none of them do at all.
Of the total surveyed partner organizations, almost two-thirds (63 percent) do not think most of their customers understand the difference between unified threat management (UTM) appliances and next-generation firewalls (NGFW). Nearly four in five (80 percent) do not think their customers care about the difference between the two appliance categories at all – and only want to know that their business is protected by the latest threat-prevention offerings.
“With all of the industry jargon and constant arguments over product categories, it was illuminating to find that most customers really don’t care at all about how security solutions are officially classified," Vigh said. “It’s refreshing to see that security customers are making decisions based on their need for a full suite of effective security defenses, rather than murky arguments over product category acronyms."
During the last two years, nearly three in four (75 percent) resellers have seen the most growth in UTM appliance sales, while only about a quarter have seen the most sales growth in NGFW appliances.