Wick Hill chief warns of security vendor hype

Four tiles spelling out risk on a computer circuit board
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UK businesses are putting themselves at risk from cyber attacks when they move to a virtualised environment due to a lack of education around the risks.

That’s according to Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of security specialist distributor Wick Hill, who says virtualisation security still lags behind traditional IT security sales as people think a move to a virtualised environment means they’re secure.

“They don’t realise it’s a different environment, and they need different security,” he says. “Virtualisation creates different risks in the server environment, for example, with potential access to the whole server farm.”

Kilpatrick says firms need to invest in specialist technology for a virtual environment. However, the channel veteran says customers are generally overwhelmed by vendor hype when it comes to buying IT security.

“There’s too much noise,” says Kilpatrick, who claims there are around 170 vendors on the market offering endpoint security solutions.

Speaking at a Kaspersky Lab roundtable, Kilpatrick says “there is a greater awareness of the need for security [among customers], but so many vendors say they have the universal panacea...It’s impossible for IT directors to know everything, but there not sure they can trust either the reseller or the vendor as there’s too much noise.

“Over-hyping stops people buying things.”

Kilpatrick says security resellers must convince customers of their trusted advisor status in order to gain their trust when choosing the right technology to protect their data.

“They need to educate people and manage their risks, rather than first trying to sell them technology,” he says.

In its most recent financial results, Wick Hill posted 40 percent growth in the UK and DACH.

Christine Horton

Christine has been a tech journalist for over 20 years, 10 of which she spent exclusively covering the IT Channel. From 2006-2009 she worked as the editor of Channel Business, before moving on to ChannelPro where she was editor and, latterly, senior editor.

Since 2016, she has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter and continues to cover the channel in addition to broader IT themes. Additionally, she provides media training explaining what the channel is and why it’s important to businesses.