SonicWall Arms Partners With Upgraded Email Security — and Scare Stats to Sell It


**Editor’s Note: Click here for our recently compiled list of new products and services.**

Partners watched with interest last fall as Dell spun off SonicWall into an independent, channel-focused security provider under industry veteran Bill Conner. Today, the company announced version 9.0 of its Email Security offering, hot on the heels of releasing its 2017 SonicWall Annual Threat Report that compiles findings from the SonicWall Global Response Intelligence Defense Threat Network into a summary of the security challenges customers will face in the coming year.

SonicWall's Bill OdellBill Odell, SonicWall’s VP of corporate strategy, told Channel Partners that, in the three months since his company separated from Dell, the SecureFirst partner program has taken off, with more than 80 percent signing on.

All 10,000-plus partners worldwide had a choice of staying in the Dell program, since Dell resells SonicWall, or jumping into SecureFirst.

“We never thought we’d have that level of uptake so fast, but it’s been great,” said Odell. “We have seen, among the partners that signed up, 18 percent net new partners. I think there was some pent-up demand in the channel to have an independent SonicWall.”

In today’s product news, Odell says Email Security 9.0 now integrates with the company’s cloud-based Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) Service. The company also unveiled a preview of its SonicOS 6.2.7 operating system, including a new API.{ad}

Ransomware Is Everywhere

Email security is taking on new urgency. The banner headline from SonicWall’s annual report is that ransomware grew a stunning 16,700 percent year over year, from 4 million attack attempts in 2015 to 638 million in 2016. Most of these exploits are launched through email. Attackers are getting more sophisticated, and your customers can’t depend on end users to spot phishing attempts.

SonicWall Ransomware

The 9.0 version of SonicWall Email Security is backed by a series of three cloud-based sandboxes where all email files, even encrypted messages, are scanned in parallel for suspicious code and …


… blocked until verdict. That is, potentially malicious files are prevented from entering the network until proven innocent. While in the past customers may have balked at proactive quarantining, the reality of the current threat landscape is such that some latency is a small price to pay — Odell says up to 65 percent of all email traffic now contains ransomware and adds that the cloud-based scanning technology works in near real-time. Admins may decide to remove offending email attachments, or they can block the entire message — a more effective and faster route.

“The big news in this release is that it integrates with our Capture ATP service,” said Odell. The Capture service, announced last year, runs in tandem with the company’s next-gen firewalls. Signatures for newly discovered malware are generated and automatically distributed across the SonicWall GRID Threat Network, and with the industry overall.

DR in The Ransomware Age: Partners can arm customers themselves against the devastating effects of ransomware with the right tools, infrastructure approach and strategy. A key element in that arsenal: disaster recovery. Download the free report now!

More from the threat report: Point-of-sale malware is down 93 percent since 2014, good news for retail customers, and increased use of cloud services means more web traffic is now encrypted. However, Android remains vulnerable to attack, and vulnerable IoT devices may leave customers open to DDoS attacks like the one that brought down DNS host Dyn in October.

The report is well worth downloading; it lists a series of questions to help partners spot weaknesses in customer defenses and a list of best practices for an effective security program.

On the product rollout, Odell cited improved Office 365 integration with SonicWall Email Security and updates to the underlying appliance, which may be delivered as hardware with newly upgraded silicon, a hardened virtual appliance or in a hosted model for end customers or MSPs.

“Many, many customers are going to Office 365 as their primary email, so we’ve now made some improvements to allow our hosted version of [Email Security] to work well with O365,” said Odell.

New policy and compliance management filters are included. Optionally, partners or customers may enforce encryption; in addition to supporting SMTP authentication, the encryption-service feature enables any email identified as containing protected data to be automatically encrypted, routed for approval or archived. The policy-management feature enables an administrator to enact policies that filter messages and their contents as they enter or exit the organization. This helps customers meet regulatory or corporate governance requirements.

Users of SonicWall’s SonicOS can also check out the new 6.2.7 preview. Highlights include the ability to do deep-packet inspection of Secure Socket Shell connections, sometimes used for command and control communications and data exfiltration; a new API to ingest threat info from OEM and third-party intelligence feeds; and support for biometric mobile-device authentication to verify identity before granting network access.

The new OS also better supports Dell X-Series switches and VPN gateway provisioning.

SonicWall Email Security 9.0 will be available worldwide on Feb. 28 and starts at $20 per user per year; Capture for Hosted Email Security will run an additional $4 per user per year. SonicOS 6.2.7 is currently in beta and will be generally available for download via to partners and customers with active support contracts in late Q1. It starts at $78 per year.

Follow editor in chief @LornaGarey on Twitter.

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