Ryan Orsi, WatchGuard’s director of product management, tells Channel Partners that WatchGuardONE partners were one of the top drivers behind the creation of the resource.
“When WatchGuard began focusing on Wi-Fi security, the feedback from our partner community was incredibly consistent across all business models (VAR, MSP, MSSP, project-consulting and distribution) and across all cultures, countries and languages,” he said. “They are as passionate about security as we are and agree that all Wi-Fi networks on the planet are mostly wide open to Wi-Fi attacks. They also agree that the lack of awareness of these security threats is astounding.”
Many of WatchGuard’s partners have adopted the “Wi-Fi security message” and began educating their customers, Orsi said.
“I’ve personally been on the road with many of them across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, participating in Wi-Fi security education at countless events, trade shows, trainings and grassroots face-to-face meetings over conference room tables,” he said. “In short, people have been misled and confused by Wi-Fi industry players’ varying marketing claims, varying feature implementation, and varying feature effectiveness on the topic of Wi-Fi security.”
The resource can be “incredibly useful” for partners in a variety of ways, Orsi said. First, it serves as a Wi-Fi security education platform they can deliver to their customers to raise awareness, he said.
“Second, it provides clarity in exactly what Wi-Fi threats exist, how they work, and specifically how Wi-Fi products need to function to provide protection on a technical level,” he said. “Third, it drives the need for something the industry has never had: independent third-party testing for the detection and prevention of each of the six known Wi-Fi threat categories. These new testing procedures are vendor-agnostic, designed to be completely fair and hopefully adopted by all Wi-Fi vendors to measure the security effectiveness of their products.”
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With this framework, partners can differentiate their Wi-Fi product offering and/or services if providing managed services today, Orsi said.
“Wi-Fi vendors have found security hard to do (which is an understatement), [and] mostly avoided feature development in security to focus on other areas like increasing throughput, range and other more easy-to-do connectivity features,” he said. “All Wi-Fi vendors have optimized throughput, client density and so on by now. Partners that lead with a trusted wireless environment message are finally able to stop competing on price with each other and now build meaningful product and service offerings to generate new sources of revenue for themselves while bringing badly needed Wi-Fi security protection to their customers.”
According to new research from Miercom, an independent product test center, WatchGuard’s cloud-managed secure Wi-Fi offering can automatically detect and prevent every type of Wi-Fi security threat.
“Wi-Fi is an incredibly well-known and mature product category, and since most vendors offer highly similar offerings, it has become increasingly challenging for organizations like ours to meaningfully differentiate in the wireless services arena,” said Kevin Willette, CEO at Verus. “WatchGuard’s cloud-managed secure Wi-Fi products add a new dimension to our Wi-Fi services, allowing us to educate customers about unnecessary trade-off between Wi-Fi performance and security found in other products, and offer them a solution that eliminates that compromise. With the Trusted Wireless Environment framework, we can bring clarity to previously ambiguous conversations “