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From ‘Hacktivism’ to AI: Cybersecurity Trends and New MSSP Offerings for 2024

Cybersecurity keyboard

Dave Meister, Check Point Software Technologies: Interview Transcript 

Craig: “All right, hey again, everyone. Channel Futures editorial director, Craig Galbraith here, getting really excited for the upcoming Channel Partners conference in Expo, an MSP summit happening in Las Vegas, March 11th through the 14th.”

“Excited today to talk with Dave Meister, Dave is head of Global Channel and MSP at Check Point Software Technologies, a sponsor and exhibitor at the event. In fact, exhibiting in both the Channel Partners and MSP Summit Expo Halls. Dave, how are you doing?”

Dave: “I'm doing fantastic. Craig, how are you?”

Craig: “I'm doing well and thanks for getting up bright and early in Australia to talk with me today.”

Dave: “Not a problem. I'm excited to be here.”

Craig: “So let's talk a little bit about channel programs with Check Point, particularly last month you rolled out a new what you're calling a ‘simplified channel program’. Can you talk about some of the goals of that program?”

Dave: “Yeah, absolutely Craig. So we Check Point has been around now for about 31 years. So we've got quite a bit of experience working with our channel partners and particularly being that it is our only route to market. Everything we do is through our partners.”

“We wanted to develop a robust and simplified program to support our partners. And the goal of what we were trying to do and the reason behind the we were trying to do it was evolving trends not only from a business and a macro economic point of view, but also evolving trends and threats from a cybersecurity point of view.”

“Cybersecurity is one of those things that every year continues to evolve. So we wanted to adapt to make sure that our partners were getting the support they needed in as simple a way as possible.”

“So things like concerns around data privacy, general cybersecurity it's continued to increase. So if we look at the first half of 2023, for example, we were seeing, according to Check Point research criminal activities from a cybersecurity point of view, an 8% surge when it came to global weekly cyber attacks. And that was the highest it's been in a number of years.”

Ransomware and ‘Hacktivism’ On the Rise

“And so we're seeing familiar attacks that we've seen for a number of years be around ransomware and hacktivism. But then as you talk about 2023 coming into 2024, we've seen new types of attacks around AI getting more and more common as well.”

“So we wanted to adapt the program to make sure that our partners got the support they needed. And so as you work with the Check Point, there's kind of three themes that we go along with it. Looking at comprehensive consolidated and collaborative security.”

Improvements to Partner Programs

“And we built that into our new partner program as well. So we're trying to simplify it. We've made changes to our tier level and progression making that easier for partners. We improved our partners' benefits so what they can do when they're helping us with deals is easier. The discount levels we made simpler. And then we also made the certification and specialization simpler for them as well. And we've now announced a number of these changes earlier in the month through our annual event CPX.”

“And so we're excited to have them out to market. And then just to make it nice and easy for our partners, we've even launched a new app so that all these benefits are available on their mobile phone.”

The Growing MSSP Market

Craig: “Fantastic. Those are some great advancement states. So let's talk then about the update to the MSP/SP Partner Program as well, what are some of the differences there and what's the opportunity for MSSPs with Check Point?”

Dave: “Yeah, great question. And we've seen MSSP as a continually growing market across the globe. We're seeing a compounding growth rate of about 15 .5% globally in the MSP market. And there's big drivers behind it, evolving threats, people shifting to the cloud, headcount and skill shortages, the desire for organization to have 24/7 support, and being able to use their own internal resources for more business value activities rather than just IT support and cybersecurity support, and particularly in the SMB market.”

A New and Improved MSSP Program

“So we heard this a lot from our partners. And so we went out and we asked our partners, what did they expect from a vendor when it came to an MSSP program? And we got feedback about flexible billing, about visibility and management, about advanced automation and artificial intelligence, predictable margins, easy user management.There were a number of bits of feedback that we got. And so we went back and we decided to redesign our MSP program to address this. So we had four main areas that we've focused on when it comes to delivering this program through to our partners.

Simplicity is number one. So we wanted consolidated management, a simple business model, and easy accessibility. So the ability to access all Check Point products from a single pane of glass that's multi -tenanted and to have that predictable MSP -style billing of per user per month, no lock-in contract that MSPs love.”

“We then wanted it to be scalable. So easy operability, easy onboarding, and integration capabilities. We wanted there to be services so that partners can SOC as a service, security service packages and tailored offerings. And then we wanted there to be rewards for our partners as well. We wanted to reward our partners who are committing a large part of their business to us. So we introduced tiered pricing, simple pay as you go model, true consumption model and fixed predictable pricing as a part of that.”

“So those areas of simplicity, scalability, being able to provide services and savings for our partners, were the themes that we took into this programme, from the feedback from our partners.”

What to Expect from the Check Point Booths

Craig: “Outstanding. Alright Dave, I’ve got one more question for you. We’re looking forward to the event coming up very shortly in less than three weeks.”

“What’s your main message for any partners who might stop by either of your booths?”

Dave: “Well we would recommend you to drop by. We’re going to have people at both, and we’re excited to be at both [the events].”

“What I’d recommend and the message that I’d pass out to any partners either who currently work with us or are looking to work with us, come and stop by. Talk with us about the threats you’re seeing with your customers, the concerns you have for your own organization around cybersecurity.”

“Check Point has an extremely broad range of cybersecurity products, we have a very comprehensive security in what we can provide. And if you haven’t spoken to us in the last year you’ll be surprised at how much we can offer. We’ve added a number of different products to our portfolio, and we’ve integrated them into a single pane of glass management - so come and speak to us.”

Craig: “Much like our partners I’m excited to see Checkpoint at our upcoming Channel Partners and MSP Summit Expos. Dave, thanks for your time today and thanks to Checkpoint for its ongoing support of our events.”

Dave: “Thanks Craig.”

Channel Partners Conference & Expo, MSP Summit, Check Point Software Technologies