Retail VARs: It’s Time to Enter Security-as-a-Service

| By:
Mark Sokol

If you target the retail vertical, it’s time to start thinking about security-as-a-service offerings. Every business is a target, no matter its size, function or annual revenue. And security risks come from every direction—malware, social networks and even employees. Every business, including retail stores and restaurants, has information worth protecting, which makes security as a service a lucrative business to be in right now.

If you’re ready to become a full retail solution provider and show your customers the true value of your services, you have to shift gears from reactive work to proactive work. That means a major part of your role will be security detail, being your customers' bodyguards 24/7 so they can focus on their business.

Security as a service gives a new meaning to the term "RSP"—You’re not just a Retail Solution Provider; you’re providing Retail Security Protection.

Use security to start your transition and get some easy recurring revenue under your belt. To get started, consider offering these mission-critical tools:

Antivirus & Antimalware

Every retailer has information worth protecting, and it’s up to you to keep every byte you support safe and secure.

Antivirus and antimalware software scans systems to prevent, detect, and remove viruses and malware. You can offer this kind of protection for as little as $3 per month as a smart way to earn extra recurring revenue, and get your break/fix customers used to a monthly service model.

Stop supporting dozens of different self-pay antivirus solutions. As the solution provider, you need to recommend the best security options to go with your POS system.

Backup & Disaster Recovery

Whether caused by Mother Nature, human error or some other unforeseen circumstance, disasters will happen. Many times, companies don’t fully understand the cost of not preparing, but what they don’t realize is how a data disaster can absolutely cripple their business. If they don’t have the tools in place to prevent or quickly recover from disasters, they’ll suffer the consequences.

The only way to ensure data isn’t lost in a disaster is to have a solid disaster recovery plan in place, starting with backup and disaster recovery (BDR) software. Backing up data and storing it elsewhere provides your customers with remote access to any and all data whenever it’s needed. Regardless of the nature of the disaster, if one even strikes, having data stored in a separate location reduces your customers’ risk of losing sensitive data.

But it doesn’t stop there. You need a process in place that prepares you to be on call for your customers at a moment’s notice. Take it from someone who knows disasters all too well: David Bourgeois, president of Lousiana-based My IT LLC, has helped his customers through numerous hurricanes and their after-effects.

“Each year, we do a disaster recovery run in June, regardless of whether there is a hurricane. It helps to keep us prepared and constantly improving our processes,” he said. “People from all levels of the organization are involved, not just the management or technicians. During the dry run, we evaluate each and every client’s site and simulate a disaster recovery situation for those clients who have a managed services contract.”

Automation is the key to delivering security services in the most efficient and profitable way. When seeking IT security solutions such as these, look for options that have tight integrations with your remote monitoring and management (RMM) solution and allow you to manage multiple solutions and brands from a single pane of glass.

You’re not maximizing your potential if you’re selling point-of-sale solutions without the accompanying security. To preclude pricing objections, consider building it into the cost of your POS solution as a "value add."

By offering security solutions, you can ease your customer's burden of security concerns while expanding your managed services offering. This is just one of the many ways to increase stickiness and better serve the "Modern Retailer."