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Exclusive interview: emt Distribution tells where to find the gold in security

Content disarm and reconstruct and privileged account management are opening up new opportunities for resellers across Australia and New Zealand as businesses increasingly look ‘outside the box’ for new ways to protect themselves.

Scott Hagenus, emt Distribution chief marketing officer, says both markets are providing ‘enormous’ opportunities for local resellers. He likens the content disarm and reconstruct opportunity to ‘panning for gold in a river that is full of gold and no one else has found yet’.

“There’s so much disruptive technology in the market place, both from a protection perspective and an attack perspective, that it behoves people to look outside the box. And that’s what we’re seeing,” Hagenus says.

Emt concentrates on solutions which address the Australian Signals Directorate’s information security manual, which covers much of what is in the New Zealand ISM as well.

Among the areas of focus for the Australian government is disabling macros and other potentially dangerous content. It’s an area of high interest for emt’s customers, Hagenus says.

“There is a real interest at both partner level and end user level in content disarm and reconstruct,” Hagenus says.

Disarm and recontruct, or data sanitisation, strips out any potentially dangerous content from documents, then ‘reconstructs’ the document to its original format so it remains totally workable and usable, with zero threat.

“A lot of people aren’t aware that the technology is available and so when the subject is broached it’s just a conversation describing what it is about, and then every single person we have spoken to has gone ‘actually, yeah, we know exactly where that would sit within this organisation’. They identify immediately where the use case is.

“It’s a very, very big opportunity at the moment,” Hagenus says, noting the offering can fit at all levels of business and government.

He cites the example of one SMB graphic design company which got hit five times by ransomware earlier this year.

“They had a problem with ransomware coming in through files being submitted for them to carry out their business.

“Pure and simple, if they had been running this solution they would never have had the issue with the downtime they had,” Hagenus says.

“There are very few organisations around that don’t accept information from untrusted sources, so it’s a massive opportunity and it’s also a massive need.”

Hagenus says privileged account management is also an area of big growth across both Australia and New Zealand – and the wider Asia Pacific market.

“Most people look at solutions at the moment in this area at a password management problem and haven’t got a full understanding of how that ties into privileged account management and the risks posed with privileged accounts, so there’s an education going on with that,” he says.

“We have a lot of potnetial for growth [in privileged account management] and we’re seeing it.

“It has made a big impact on our business – the uptake we’ve had since we’ve taken on the privileged account management side of things has been enormous.”

However, Hagenus, who was in New Zealand recently meeting with partners and end customers, also sounded a warning for the reseller community, noting that several end customers he spoke to in New Zealand were underwhelmed by the service they’re receiving from channel partners.

“It was apparent that some of the solutions some end users have in place weren’t being utilised to their fullest and a couple of the comments we had from a few of the customers were that the big end of town on partner side of things were not really adding the value they were hoping to see and they were very much open to looking at other providers that really did add value to their organisation,” he says.

“Some of that is being able to do things like health checks on solutions and recommendations on other areas for the things that keep them up at night.”

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