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No. 167 August 2017
More than a lick of paint HELLO! And welcome to the new-look PCR. We’ve been busy at work completely redesigning the magazine for months and I’m really excited to share the culmination of our efforts with you. But it’s not just a fresh aesthetic for the magazine. We’ve gone over what makes up PCR with a fine tooth comb to completely refine and redefine what the brand is for UK tech in 2017. Our first new-look PCR comes at the ideal moment with a subject matter that couldn’t be timelier: security. We’ll take a look at all of the chaos going on with ransomware, malware, hacking and everything in between, and examine just how the Channel can find profit. In addition, we speak to Norton about its upcoming Core home security solution and figure out what all the fuss is about cryptocurrencies. And finally I’d like to use this opportunity to bid a fond (but only temporary) farewell to PCR’s brilliant account manager Sarah Goldhawk. Sarah has become a beloved and familiar face in the Channel and now, if you weren’t aware, she’s off on a new adventure having a baby. She’s been a huge help to me since I joined PCR last year, and taught me a lot about the industry and the brand. Suffice to say that I couldn’t have done it without her. I hope you’ll join me in wishing Sarah and her baby girl all the best. She assures me that she’ll be in attendance at the PCR Awards next March so it hopefully won’t be too long before we all get to see her again with the little one in tow. As for now, we’re delighted to present to you the new PCR and we hope that you enjoy reading it just as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you.
“We’ve gone over what makes up PCR with a fine tooth comb to completely refine and redefine what the brand is for UK tech in 2017”
Jonathan Easton, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
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August 2017 |
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THE BIG INTERVIEW SYMANTEC
Contents August 2017 Beta distribution
The distributor tells all on why its deal to buy Entatech fell through
Selling a solution
We ask the Channel how best to capitalise on growing demand
Prevention or cure
Can cyber security experts ever get ahead of the hackers?
Graphics card crisis
GPUs are in short supply and it's all down to currency mining
At a glance 32 GLOBAL CYBER SECURITY SPEND Which countries are most dedicated to fighting cybercrime and which could do with greater investment? 39 NSPIRE INTERVIEW We talk to this upstart distributor about how to set up shop in an already crowded industry
Regulars 11 Life in the Channel 12 Industry opinion 42 Products 50 Gaming update 53 Logging off
pcr_online August 2017 |
Why Beta ditched Entatech deal Beta Distribution came within a whisker of taking over Entatech in a last-minute deal that eventually fell through. Jonathan Easton speaks to Beta managing director Steve Soper to get his side of the story, and to gauge where the distie is setting its sights next
Let’s get the elephant out of the room. We’ve heard a lot from Dave Stevinson and we’ve got Entatech’s side of things, but what is your account of what happened with the deal that fell through? We were approached by a third party who were trying to broker a deal for administrators KPMG. By that time it was already late in the day. We only had about two or three weeks to get a commercial agreement reached and also to carry out all the due diligence. We reached a commercial deal that worked for both parties pretty early on. We felt it was a good deal for us. If you looked at the kind of partner that Entatech dealt with, Beta was already dealing with a lot of those customers, albeit with different products. The PC components and peripherals market is an area where we absolutely want to enter aggressively, so it was a deal we were happy with and wanted. Unfortunately as we got towards the final hour of the deadline, certain things came out of the due diligence that did not exactly sit well with us. I don’t think it would be right to go into the specifics, but there were a couple of elements that we weren’t comfortable with. So we asked for more time, but for reasons that I can only speculate on at this current
moment, KPMG was unwilling to give us an extension to the deadline. At this point we had already deposited money into their solicitors’ bank account so we were certainly not kidding anybody along, but we were unwilling to sign without the additional time or due diligence. So the team and I took ourselves back to London and that was where the deal unfortunately didn’t get closed. Have any of Entatech’s old vendors approached you, or have you approached them, as a result of the company’s collapse? I think the press and publicity around the Entatech deal definitely turned a few heads and I think it would be wrong of me to say that we haven’t seen an awful lot of vendor activity come out of that. As a result we have taken the decision to open an office in Telford, to compliment the three offices we have in the UK. We already have a number of vendors in place that we are in the process of signing or have already signed. They will give us a complete ecosystem so that those specialist customers can come to us and get a complete shopping basket to completely satisfy the demands of their end users.
â€œThe PC components market is an area where we absolutely want to enter aggressivelyâ€?
August 2017 |
“We have a desire to be a £500 million distributor in the next five years”
Above: Entatech‘s old headquarters in Telford
Aside from that speed-bump, how has the year been so far in general? We are only in the first quarter of 2017, as we operate on a fiscal year. Our plan was to grow the business from £185 million in March year-end to £220 million by March 2018. We are on track, but the additional office was not in our plans so we haven’t quantified that fully yet because we are still in the process of signing vendors and negotiating. Certainly we know that will bring in incremental revenue on top of the £220 million we expect. So have you readjusted the outlook and aims for the year? We have readjusted to look upwards, although we haven’t finalised what that looks like just yet. We are talking to some very high profile vendors but we have got to make sure that we have the right balance to complete our ecosystem. We don’t want duplicity among vendors, as one of our main principles is to ensure that we always provide our clients with the best value. Tell us a bit about how Beta got to where it is today and where it is hoping to go? Beta has been established for almost 40 years. Our background and history is in print. We were a
specialist printer distributor for many years, but in the last 10 years we have broadened into three particular areas. Beta got its first contract through Cannon selling fax machines back when fax machines were relatively expensive. Because of the size of that market and because of the fact that we distribute every single brand in that market, that is still our biggest revenue accounting for about 60 per cent. We then have an IT infrastructure business that is much more focused on valued-added services, IT services into managed service providers and IT resellers. That makes up 30 per cent of our total income. The final string to our bow is a digital signage and content creation business built primarily around the Samsung and Phillips platforms, and that makes up the remaining 10 per cent of our revenue. And which area do you think will be the main part of the business moving forwards? That is always difficult. We are at the beginning of a five-year plan and we have a desire to be a £500 million distributor in the next five years. All three of those aforementioned areas will make up that revenue. The reality is that the print business is the largest market to target so I always think that will dominate revenue. But the other two areas will become more important and more significant. www.pcr-online.biz
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LIFE IN THE CHANNEL
Jen Andersson PCR speaks with Nvidia’s Northern Europe PR manager about life at the company and celebrity encounters How long have you been at Nvidia for and what are your key responsibilities? I’ve been at NVIDIA for just over five years. My key roles include media relations and developing comms strategies around campaigns, product and AAA game launches. What does an average work day look like for you? No day is ever the same, there is rarely a dull moment. My role covers the consumer side of the NVIDIA business, which includes GeForce and SHIELD and there’s always something exciting going on. A new product may be launching and I need to develop a creative campaign to launch it; I might be supporting a hardware partner to help push products to a new audience; an event might be coming up that I need to generate support for, whether it’s from game developers, hardware partners and of course press; a new AAA game might be launching where I need to ensure press get the best possible experience and get to enjoy the incredible PC-exclusive features that our engineers work very hard to implement. Developing a comms strategy for each of our many exciting announcements goes way beyond simple media liaison and I work closely with our social and marketing teams, plus various AIC or OEM partners, to create the right links that will appeal to today’s generation of gamers and tech enthusiasts.
What is the most surprising/unexpected thing that’s happened to you at work? Bumping into Deadmau5 at one of our events. What is the best part of your job? I’m lucky to be part of such an awesome industry where I get to work with some fantastic people. I still get a real kick out of getting creative and planning an event or campaign where I can draw in partners and produce something great for the media. What is the worst part of your job? It’s got to be crisis comms. It’s never ideal when something goes wrong and you want to be able to define the right approach to fix a problem, and more importantly do it quickly. What one thing would you only know if you were a PR manager? Where the best bars are! Or, on a more serious note, those cheeky details on a new product or announcement. What’s your favourite part of working for NVIDIA? Being part of a fast-paced, ambitious environment – there is a real hunger to succeed and push the boundaries at NVIDIA, which I love and thrive on.
“No day is ever the same, there is rarely a dull moment” www.pcr-onine.biz
August 2017 |
Keith Metcalfe - head of Electronics Business Development, eBay UK
UK shoppers fuelling growth of the consumer electronics industry Staying ahead of trends, spending time getting to know customers and considering how retailers can meet their individual needs will help retailers make the most of their marketplace opportunity It is also important to know your customers. Tapping IT’S A well-known fact that in today’s tech-savvy age, into trends is well and good, but knowing the audience shoppers of all generations are splashing out on electronics you’re selling to is even more important. As well as using – from mobile phones and tablets through to drones and demographics, use the data from online platforms to really speakers powered by AI. According to a new report get under the skin of your customers. published by the team at eBay, almost a quarter (23 per Use insights on shopper behaviour to help you to really cent) of all new businesses that registered on the understand who your customers are. Being able to marketplace in the last year have been in the distinguish a die-hard photography fiend from a consumer electronics sector. casual holiday snapper in need of a new So how can you make your business – “Shopping camera won’t only win you a sale, but whatever its size – stand out from the paterns come in potentially a new customer for life. crowd? I first recommend that you stay And lastly, but perhaps most importantly, ahead of trends. Keeping up with the waves, and the is to look for the diamond in the rough. Jones’s may be an old adage, but when it smallest trigger Consumer appetite for technology is comes to trendsetting in the tech sector it’s never been more appropriate. Rather than can set off a new growing, but not everyone wants to shell out for the very latest and greatest gadgets. focussing on the brightest, newest and trend” From students in need of a bargain laptop, to flashiest tech, consumers’ shopping patterns parents looking for a great value-for-money come in distinct waves, and the smallest trigger smartphone for their children, sellers of consumer can set off a new trend. electronics are finding opportunity in inventory that offers The passion for nostalgia and retro tech is very much alive outstanding value to customers – like refurbished stock. in the UK today. After Nokia announced a comeback of its By identifying consumers who are receptive to 3310 model earlier this year, Nintendo has announced the refurbished tech, sellers have become part of the circular return of the SNES. In fact, after Apple revealed it was economy by keeping old appliances in circulation. Not only ending support for the iPhone 5 and 5c handsets, sales shot does this reduce the impact of the tech industry on the up by 79 per cent on eBay. Shoppers simply can’t get their environment but it also gives customers the opportunity to hands on enough retro goods, and as a seller, managing your bag a bargain in the process. inventory accordingly is key.
Adam Thomas Hartley - Network and security pre-sales technical consultant, Westcoast
Are autonomous networks the future? Autonomous networks will lead from the front as governments and security experts step up the fight against cyber attacks are over time. The network then rewrites its own policies WE MUST ALL acknowledge the truth: IT departments and code for network optimisation, security, auto are facing ever-increasing pressure from upper discovering and gaining access to new resources without management due to the recent wave of system breaches human interaction. and cyber attacks. The extra workload is pushing already The real power of an autonomous network is within under-staffed and under-skilled IT departments near to breaking point. To solve this issue, IT teams are realigning cybersecurity. When a new and unknown threat enters the network, the network then automatically and workloads by moving simple network and security independently (without human intervention) tasks to network automation. creates new security postures within the So what is network automation? Network “The real network to respond to the new threat in real automation has five main pillars: scripttime. The network has already figured out driven automation, automatic configuration power of an what happened, defended against it and and provisioning, automatic operation and autonomous changed policy to stop it from happening management, high-level orchestration and network is within again without any input or guidance from policy-based networking. Using those us humans. Gone are the days of manual pillars, IT organisations can offload a cybersecurity” crunching before resolutions can be created, variety of menial tasks such as device let alone implemented. configuration changes using scripts, or zero Current estimations put autonomous networks touch provisioning using existing hardware to within three to five years reach. This is due to the configure and set up new hardware. They can even exponential growth and increasing sophistication of spin up and down virtual estates using SDN Policies. artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning and The current hot questions within the industry are: ‘what quantum computing. Progress in all these areas is driving is the next step on our automation journey?’, ‘what is the the current innovation in network automation. end goal of automation?’, ‘are autonomous networks the So back to the original question: ‘are autonomous end goal of automation?’, and if so ‘where do humans fit in networks the future?’ My thoughts are that we humans will with autonomous systems doing most of the work?’ tell the network what we want from it and the network will To answer these, we first have to understand what do it for us. This will enable the network team to transcend autonomous networks actually are. Autonomous networks from admins to architects and to set out what the business are networks where we plug them in, initially set them up needs from the network. To this extent I do believe that and away they go. They begin by learning the network’s autonomous networks are the future. behaviour and understanding what normal usage patterns
August 2017 |
Mark Cattini - CEO and president, Autotask
It’s time to accept cybercrime is a real danger As businesses pick themselves up after the WannaCry attack it is clear that security threats are not going away. What can you do to ensure your organisation stays safe? followed by wiping the machine, re-imaging, and then THE WORLD recently witnessed the WannaCry restoring the files and folders. ransomware attack. This threat is a wake-up call to For a large organisation, this may involve taking everyone that the danger of cybercrime is exponential. numerous machines offline to immediately reduce the risk While we need to be ready to see global attacks of this of the virus spreading, identifying, and resolving any nature increase, the technology that is required to combat potential problem endpoints, followed by performing an these hazards exists now. From vulnerability detection and audit and taking action to ensure that every portion of the anti-virus, device and network monitoring, to management system is patched and protected. tools and data back-up, businesses remain in a neverThe success of responding to and being prepared for ending battle to stay current as these threats become more an attack depends on controlling the situation. complex. The key is to combine modern First, be sure to have a continuous approach to technology solutions, both preventative and patch management, using an RMM solution reactive, so that protecting critical “Businesses to automate delivery of the latest operating information systems and data is easily remain in a system on all devices. You then must implemented and managed. utilise web filtering solutions that protect Estimates put the number of countries never-ending users visiting malicious sites. Deploy a affected by the WannaCry strain of battle to stay continuously updated and current ransomware at more than 100, with Russia’s anti-virus solution to all managed Interior Ministry and the UK National current” desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile Health Service being seriously affected. devices. In addition, adopt other security Effective security tactics rely on two core solutions based on your needs and inform your concepts: a focus on avoiding exposure, and then team on behavioural best practices. Lastly, implement a forcefully responding and defeating the threat when it backup and recovery solution with an enterprise-grade happens. The key term here is ‘when’, because new strains file sync and share (FSS) solution which can be used to of ransomware will always be developed to exploit help quickly recover from an attack. newly-discovered bugs. While the number of victims targeted across the globe But how are you supposed to plan for a ransomware continues to grow and ransomware becomes more attack? The immediate priority should be to formulate and sophisticated, there are ways to fight back. Stay updated, then implement a resolution so that the impact is minimal. informed and aware, and your organisation can avoid With a single PC, this could be isolating the device from becoming the next victim of cybercrime. the network to inhibit the infection from spreading,
Steve Hicks - head of Global Sales, BullGuard
Educating the public on cyber security is a must Recent ransomware outbreaks and privacy breaches are evidence that far too many people still don’t take cyber security seriously enough systems is as fundamental as locking your front door and MARGINS IN the Channel have been tight for quite some closing the windows when you leave the house. time. This applies across the board irrespective of the Another area where we’re starting to see more security technologies that are being sold. However, security is one breaches is smart devices. BullGuard research reveals that area where sales are slated for growth and if aligned with large numbers of people simply don’t trust the security of the right vendor the margins can be healthy. these connected devices. Barely a week goes by without some major malware A survey of 2,000 UK adults who own smart outbreak or security breach. The digital dust was just devices revealed that eight in 10 are worried settling on the WannaCry ransomware attack, cyber criminals could hack into their smart which if you recall took down a significant “People and tech, while 91 per cent were concerned that number of NHS organisations, and then along came Petya (or NotPetya). organisations still hackers could monitor their every move. The survey also revealed that one in three Just ahead of this was the news that need to be people are not aware of the possible email systems were breached in security risks faced by their gadgets such as Parliament. It wasn’t stated overtly, but educated about the hacking of baby monitors, door locks reading between the lines hackers had got cyber security” and even fridges. hold of email addresses and applied brute A different survey revealed that up to one force cracking techniques to gain the fifth of UK citizens are set against the passwords for about 90 accounts. introduction of smart meters into their homes because Clearly, despite regular malware outbreaks and of security concerns. That’s millions of households. privacy breaches which often make it into the mainstream Smart device adoption is taking off in the US and is set media, people and organisations still need to be educated to become mainstream across Europe in the coming 12 to about the importance of cyber security. 18 months. Resellers that get ahead of the curve and Just look at the NHS organisations running unprotected understand the issues will be in pole position when the versions of Windows XP and the government pulling the smart wave does break. plug on an XP support contract. Updating operating
August 2017 |
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â€œAll it takes is one compromised device for bad guys to infiltrate your home network and reach all your dataâ€? Gareth Lockwood, EMEA consumer product specialist
Norton by Symantec is a household name synonymous with security software, but now the company is making the leap into the physical realm. Jonathan Easton speaks to Gareth Lockwood, EMEA consumer product specialist, Homayoun Sarkechik, senior manager of Partner Activation and Neil Smith, partner sales manager about the company’s evolving strategy – both in products and Channel services Talk us through the thinking behind Norton Core Gareth: We’d been thinking about the Norton Core product and how it fits into our strategy for a number of years. We decided that we needed to develop protection for the consumer as smart devices are starting to proliferate among our homes. We needed a wireless router to protect our homes at the point of contact with the outside world and with the internet. We effectively said that we want to allow Norton to further secure our consumers’ digital lives while still delivering the high level of performance you expect from a router today. Our consumers are familiar with Norton’s software that protects your PC and smartphone from hackers, but when you look at today’s connected homes it requires something more. You can’t just go and install endpoint protection on a baby monitor for instance. All it takes is one compromised device for bad guys to infiltrate your home network and reach all your data. Core discovers all your smart devices, identifies any vulnerabilities and helps to secure all the smart devices within your home network. If it does detect a breach it can quarantine that threat at a network level.
There’s a lot of enterprise-grade technology under the hood such as deep packet inspection, intrusion prevention and a lot of other things as well that allow us to defend your home network. Do you think that there’s more the vendors can do to ensure that connected products are secure? G: With the smart connected device industry it’s a race to get products out there as quickly as possible. What we’re often seeing is that security is second, third or even lower down the priority list when it comes to releasing an innovative product. There are some basic things that should be done. Not having the same default password on every device, for example. When you go to an onboarding process with a user when they first put it in their home is another. Make sure that they’re changing the password and allowing that to be done in an easy manner. We did some tests a little while ago where we put an IoT device out on the internet and it took about two minutes for it to be attacked. As we know from the recent botnets for things like Mirai, all it takes is a vulnerable IoT device to have a significant impact
August 2017 |
thebiginterview Right: Homayoun Sarkechik, senior manager of Partner Activation
Above: Norton Core goes on sale this August with an RRP of $279.99. An international launch will follow later in the year
From a business perspective, have there been any surprises or strategy changes when it comes to hardware vs software? G: It’s fitted fairly well into our strategy. The hardware is one component of this. We’ve partnered with some very key hardware component manufacturers to create the best hardware platform that allows us to run our security stack and deliver our expertise in software to end consumers. It’s about partnerships, but along the way we think it’s a great design as well and that’s something we’ve noticed from other routers on the market. They’re not necessarily the most attractive looking devices with all the antennas poking out, so we decided that we had to look at this from the ground up and ask what can we design and develop that not only protects the consumer using our expertise in software, but also looks fantastic and delivers what you’d expect from a high-performance router at the same time. Performance was a key factor that we took on board. At the time of hardware specification we said that it needs to be a performance powerhouse. We looked at the 830.11ac Wi-Fi spec, it’s 4x4 MIMO. All the latest Wi-Fi technology is in there. We designed it to not only secure the devices on the network, but also achieve what we think are pretty impressive throughput speeds and unbelievable coverage and range not only for your average user.
Another aspect of the product that is at the fore is the Security Score. Talk us through that G: Security Score is the cornerstone to the UI. What we wanted to do with this was give the user a very easy to understand guide to the health of their network. The level of security, any vulnerabilities that are known when you add a new smart device. It gives you instant knowledge that wherever you are in the world you can log on to your mobile app and see the current health of your network at home. It’s a very simple scoring system and it all wraps it in a simple interface. Your interactions with Norton Core are wholly driven through this mobile interface so no longer will you have to go through the process of opening a web browser, typing in an awkward IP address and going through what is not necessarily the most intuitive of interfaces. We tied it all to a mobile app that allows you to not only on board and configure the router itself but also look at some of the more advanced features as well. A key component of Norton Core as well is for parents to manage their kids’ time on the internet. We’re taking the expertise from our Norton family products and we’ve integrated that into Norton Core itself. Rather than installing Norton Family on each individual end-point, when they’re in the house you can monitor your kids’ time on the internet from within this mobile interface. It’s a pretty powerful tool to allow parents to monitor and manage screen time and find the right balance between family and screen time. www.pcr-online.biz
“We want to help our partners to be successful with Norton because their success is our success as well” Homayoun Sarkechik, Partner Activation senior manager
Speaking of childen; we inherently think that viruses are brought into the house by children, but a lot of the time it’s mum or dad clicking on a link in their emails without about knowing the consequences G: Absolutely, Wannacry and Petya have both raised some big concerns. It leads into having an understanding of what the best practices are when it’s specific to things like ransomware or phishing attacks. We know certainly that ransomware has increased significantly. In 2016 we saw just over 463,000 attacks. More than 70 per cent of attacks on healthcare, for example, are ransomware. It’s not necessarily the home user, it’s anybody who is online. It’s having the understanding that not everything you see in an email is necessarily true. Anything that is posted as a Microsoft Office attachment that advises you to enable macros should make you very wary. When it comes to a lot of these threats we’ve seen recently it’s very basic things that you need to be aware of. Keeping your security software up to date is a key thing. Keeping your operating system updated as well. There are a lot of relatively simple things that you can do and as we look more closely into ransomware it’s things like backing up data. Having a backup is probably the single most effective way of combatting ransomware. Attackers have leverage over their victims because they’ve taken their files and encrypted their data so if you as a victim have a backup then you can go and restore your system. It’s relatively basic stuff, but things that everyone needs to think about. How big an impact did the Wannacry ransomware have on Norton customers? G: It was significant, but we didn’t really see many infections at all from a Norton perspective. Both Norton and Symantec customers effectively had 0-day protection against Wannacry, Petya and anything else using the EternalBlue exploit. It’s not just about having this ‘anti-virus’ definition anymore. We have this multi-layered approach to protection with things like intrusion prevention – where we’re looking at this from a network level and using our sonar behavioural detection technology that prevents Wannacry and Petya from getting onto the system itself. As of May, we’ve blocked something like 47 million infection attempts across over a million and a half endpoints this year. www.pcr-online.biz
Norton recently launched Norton Wi-Fi Privacy. What does it do and who is it catering to? G: We launched Wi-Fi Privacy a few months back and the rationale behind that was pretty simple. What we saw was that there is a huge gap between what people perceive to be ‘risky’ and the reality when using public Wi-Fi. We think consumers still lack awareness when it comes to the risk of using public Wi-Fi. We did a Wi-Fi risk report recently and it was quite a revelation to us. It showed that nearly nine in 10 consumers are putting their data and privacy at risk when using public Wi-Fi. In the UK it was something like 65 per cent of consumers who think that their personal information is safe when on public Wi-Fi, yet more than half of them can’t tell actually whether the network that they’re on is secure. So as a result we developed Norton Wi-Fi Privacy as a VPN that protects the data that you’re sending and receiving when you’re on public Wi-Fi, though it works just as well on whatever network technology you’re using. Your location is shielded from view from advertisers and from the bad guys snooping on your traffic so you can’t be tracked. What we’re saying to our consumers is that you can now go online without thinking twice about privacy or security. What the product offers is bank-grade encryption that makes the information that you send and receive completely unreadable and offers you true anonymity, to mask your online activities and location.
Below: Security Score makes up a key part of the Norton Core user interface
Tell us a bit about PartnerNet and the POS kits Homayoun: Reaching out to partners in all markets we have specific teams, but we see that it’s important to offer a platform to our partners so they can go there and learn more and know more about our products. And also preparing and proposing specific programmes to them and giving them the possibility to get support on products and services that we offer. Once a product is sold to a customer and they might have some problems the first thing they do is to go back to the shop where they bought the product. Giving special support to our partners via the PartnerNet platform, FAQs case studies, hotline and web chat means that they have the facility to help their customers. We help to give our partners a lot of the security knowledge that they will need to be a successful business. We really want partners to be supported with the product and services. We want to help them to be August 2017 |
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Experts in Display
successful with Norton because their success is our success as well. How can interested resellers get involved? H: Anyone interested can go to PartnerNet.Norton.com and easily apply for partnership. We encourage them to do that! Especially in the UK where our partners are very active which makes us very happy.
“As of May, we’ve blocked something like 47 million infection attempts across over a million and a half endpoints” Gareth Lockwood, EMEA consumer product specialist
That’s important because these days it’s easy for vendors to sell software directly to consumers that partners and retailers and resellers need to have that unique service that they can provide as well H: Absolutely. We have seen this with Norton partners for a long time. Special support for partners is absolutely key for mutual success. Neil: I think the key thing that has been beneficial with PartnerNet is that it’s a great tool for covering everything that Norton is doing as standard. So like how Gareth mentioned with the launch of Wi-Fi Privacy, we were able to offer an introduction to that product and its benefits to our partners. Homayoun and the team will enable us to add details of promotions monthly and quarterly so our partners can hear about anything happening and take advantage of them as soon as possible. What we also offer are these bespoke POS kits which are, certainly for resellers looking to work with Norton, the best tools they can possibly get. We have these kits available at UK distributors that allow retailers and resellers to put them into their shops or showrooms to showcase that they sell Norton. Roughly, how many partners do you have in the UK? H: It depends on how you’re looking at it. On the PartnerNet portal it’s growing. We are at about 400 for the UK, but the guys who do business with Norton are much, much more. We are really encouraging our partners to come to Norton PartnerNet and they are very active in the UK. We only launched it a few months ago so it’s quite new and it is growing. We also have a programme called NFR for partners to get the product, install it on their system, try it and play with it. We want our partners to really know the product and it’s very important. The more they know the product then the more they will be able to advise their customers. That’s our objective. That they really keep their customers loyal because they give good service and have good knowledge about security in general.
August 2017 |
In the wake of the WannaCry and ‘NotPetya’ attacks, Rob Horgan asks the Channel if cyber security experts can get ahead of the hackers PREVENTION OR CURE? It is an age-old question, but has never been so relevant to the technology sector as it is right now. It has already been proven that the WannaCry ransomware attack that hit systems around the world was not a one off. Just weeks later the ‘NotPetya’ virus infected systems in Russia, Europe, the US (and everywhere in between), leading IT security experts to signal the dawn of a new era. Farsight Security CEO Dr. Paul Vixie announced a bleak vision of things to come. “WannaCry recently and now Petya are not the end of an era, but rather the
beginning of one,” he said. “The internet security and software industries cannot keep up with the complexity of our online systems, but the bad guys certainly can. We must all stop accepting promises of safety from our vendors and start listening to our IT departments telling us to patch every day.” The worrying thing is that the cybercriminals appear to be (at least) one step ahead of those in charge of curbing these attacks. Mark Skilton of the Warwick Business School believes that it is time to accept the state of play and focus on preventing the attacks in the
“Pandora is out of the box” Mark Skilton, Warwick Business School
first place, rather than searching for a cure when it is already too late. “Pandora is out of the box,” he said. “Prevention is better than trying to find a complicated cure. As predicted the WannaCry attack was the first of what could be many variants of exploiting the stolen cache of NSA cyber weapons now sold on the dark web. Microsoft says its latest patches will protect computers, but this again demonstrates the lack of widespread practice by companies and users to update their systems with key virus protections.” As Skilton explains, finding a preventative measure is obviously the ultimate way to stop these attacks. But is it realistically likely – or even possible – to ever happen? Karl Simpson, chief security officer at Calligo doesn’t believe it as simple as finding a ‘one-size-fitsall’ solution to the problem. “Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet,” he said. “Cyber criminals are constantly innovating and every cyber attack is constructed using well-defined phases, which are completed sequentially. Rendering a cyber attack unsuccessful is all about blocking one or more of these stages. Even with all the right tools and techniques in place, an attack can still happen and sophisticated malware can still get through your defences. Hackers are evasive and clever and find new weak points all the time” He added: “To stand the best chance, you need to be implementing a multi-layered approach to cyber security. Solutions that utilise behavioural monitoring and machine learning and cover your gateways, networks, servers and endpoints to help prevent ransomware infections. There is no silver bullet, you need to employ a layered approach.” But preventative measures do already exist. Microsoft, for one, proudly announced that its latest systems – that had been updated with its most up-todate patch – were unaffected by the WannaCry attack. But in the case of the NHS and plenty of others – that were running on the outdated XP system – the patch wasn’t available. Only after the fact, was a patch offered for the older systems, and for many that was too little, too late. And while the patches worked in this case both as a preventative and reactionary measure, Paul Lipman, CEO at BullGuard believes some ransomware will always slip through. “If the patches are applied then
August 2017 |
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“Until companies start following a minimum set of security practices I would expect campaigns similar to WannaCry and NotPetya will continue to be successful” Andy Patel, F-Secure
Above: Users infected with the NotPetya malware were shown an ominous message
they will stop WannaCry and Petya. However, the danger, and it is very real, is that variants of these two types of ransomware are created, designed to slip past defences and exploit new vulnerabilities. “So while organisations can take steps to protect against specific malware outbreaks they should also be taking into account the larger picture. These attacks are not one-off isolated events, they are just the latest in a steady and continual stream of attacks and this is what needs to be defended against.” He continued: “The best approach to cyber security is to first take it seriously, understand that your systems will come under attack, and the second is to avoid adopting a ‘whack-amole’ strategy. Instead, it’s better to build up layered security defences starting from the network and routers right through to servers and end user devices.” A large issue that has been highlighted from these recent attacks is the little amount of knowledge or training people have or receive on cyber security. It should no longer be up to the IT guys to spot a potential threat. All employers in all fields should now be given the tools to spot vulnerabilities. Andy Patel, security advisor at F-Secure, believes that more training needs to
be put in place. “When suggesting measures, I’d normally start by recommending users be trained to spot common social engineering tactics used in these campaigns. Until companies start following a minimum set of security practices (running the latest versions of Windows, installing updates as soon as they’re available, not having users log on with admin rights, configuring firewall rules) I would expect that campaigns similar to WannaCry and NotPetya will continue to be successful.” He added: “Both of these malware were poorly designed and contained rookie mistakes that allowed them to be shut off using simple mechanisms. These mechanisms weren’t difficult for reverse engineers to find. But I wouldn’t expect future outbreaks to be so easily thwarted. A majority of ‘real’ malware out there isn’t so easily stopped. Expect to see a lot more worms this year.” The purpose of these warnings is not to scaremonger. Instead, security companies are urging governments, businesses and individuals to take the matter of cyber security seriously or face more attacks in the coming months. There is no silver bullet to prevent or cure the problem, but there are measures that can be put in place and improved upon. The first step is to start paying more attention to the problem.
August 2017 |
“Don’t just offer products, offer a solution” Wesley Lawrence, Westcoast
Selling a solution Demand for security solutions is at an all time-high with spend in the billions. Off the back of high-profile hacking, ransomware and malware, cyber security is under scrutiny more than ever. Jonathan Easton speaks to the Channel to find out how retailers can take advantage of the fervent demand and how it’s not quite as simple as selling any old product BUSINESS IS BOOMING… if you’re a hacker. The recent spate of ransomware and malware attacks has cost organisations around the globe hundreds of thousands, and has fetched the nefarious programmers a pretty penny as well. As a result, demand for security solutions has gone through the roof with last year’s Cybersecurity Ventures’ Cybersecurity Market Report predicting that cybersecurity spend will top $1 trillion between 2017 and 2021. And high-profile examples like the much talked about WannaCry and Mirai botnet attacks are key contributing factors, says Heimdal Security UK and Ireland country manager Alan Case and CEO Morten Kjaersgaard. ‘Cyber attacks on a large scale and malware in large volumes’ are ‘fueling the growing appetite and interest for cyber security tools and services’, they claim. But it’s not just the scale of attacks that is driving demand for cyber security solutions, say the pair, identifying ‘aging technological infrastructure’ and
‘new regulations’ as other aspects at play. Likewise, Kaspersky’s head of retail sales David Mole notes ‘the growth of the internet and the IoT’. Now, with security organisations and consumers, as BullGuard CEO Paul Lipman puts it, ‘taking cyber security a lot more seriously than they have in the past’, many more opportunities have opened up for the Channel to provide solutions, but the biggest question facing the industry is how best to get those solutions to the people who need them. While it’s easier than ever for consumers and businesses alike to go directly to vendors and buy security software from them, retailers can still play a vital role, but they have to be smart about it and adapt to their evolving role. “Don’t just offer products, offer a solution,” asserts Westcoast technology solutions business manager Wesley Lawrence. “Show you understand what the customer’s problem is, and offer a multi-vendor solution stack instead of point products.”
August 2017 |
“Software is still bound to dominate the market in the next few years” Alan Case and Morten Kjaersgaard, Heimdal Security
It may take something of a change in tact, but in order to sell security more effectively in the longterm, retailers need to think of the software they’re selling as less of a product and more of as a service. “Keep in contact and prove your worth to your customers, is my advice,” says Lawrence. After three or four deals that prove they work and solves the customer’s pain is usually where they start to see you as an advisor instead of a person trying to get them to buy something.” As with most things in business, strong relationships are key to seeing success with security. And this may all stem from, oddly, services like Spotify and Netflix. “Increasingly, as consumers we are becoming more accustomed to paying for things via a subscription model,” says Mole. “Subscriptions may start with a free trial and later move to a paid service at a later date. Or, the service can be enhanced driving increased value over time, for example, by upgrading functionality or offering new features. It can also allow consumers to pay only for the specific level of service that they want with the result of maintaining higher loyalty. “All these monetisation methods can help to build a positive relationship with the subscription consumer. As a result there is significant potential for a much higher lifetime value.” However, it’s not just the core security software that is on offer these days. With an increasing
“There is significant potential for a much higher lifetime value” David Mole, Kaspersky 30 |
number of connected devices entering both the home and the workplace, vendors are going to what Symantec EMEA consumer product specialist Gareth Lockwood refers to as the ‘point of contact with the outside world and with the internet’ by producing hardware with inbuilt security software – and selling hardware is something that retailers know very well. Symantec (featured in our Big Interview on Page 18) is one such firm, with its soon-to-be released Norton Core. Likewise, BullGuard has a similar product called Dojo which, as Lipman says, ‘is designed to exclusively protect IoT devices’. And TP-Link has its Deco M5 which is so popular that retail sales director Lino Notaro announced that the company ‘is struggling to keep up with demand’. But before everyone shifts their cyber security business model to be based primarily around hardware, it’s worth noting that these are largely new and expensive bits of tech that are still early in their lives. “For the moment, the adoption of hardware with built-in security software is rather slow and software is still bound to dominate the market in the next few years,” note Kjaersgaard and Case. “However, the tendency to integrate and make things easier for the home user is very strong. And it makes perfect sense to simplify the tools that security companies provide for their customers, while enabling them to make the most of their purchase through education.” So that might be the long-term, but what about now? What can retailers do to make sure that they are providing a compelling solutions service to their customers? The most vital thing for retailers to do, according to Lawrence, is to ‘arm yourself with knowledge’. He adds: “Reach out to your distribution security partners and ask questions. Attend vendors webinars and simply up skill yourself.” Business may be booming in the security world, but the Channel will miss out unless it has the knowledge necessary to take advantage. www.pcr-online.biz
The global fight is on With hackers able to commit cybercrimes from the other side of the world, cybersecurity is a worldwide fight. Rob Horgan sifts through the stats to see who is pulling their weight and who is lagging behind in their commitment to cybersecurity THE RECENT WANNACRY ransomware threatened businesses around the world, sent governments into disarray and nearly brought the NHS to its knees. But maybe something good has come of it. By attacking public sector institutions, the WannaCry virus catapulted the issue of cybersecurity up the rungs of political importance and into the public eye. Questions of commitment were instantly asked by politicians, journalists and most importantly the public, as the WannaCry post-mortem got underway. So how does the UK stack up against other nations in its commitment to cybersecurity? And is it doing enough to ensure its virutal boarders aren’t breached again? According the the 2017 Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) published by the International Telecommunication Union, the UK is the 12th most committed country in the world, and the fourth in Europe, to ensuring cybersecurity measures are taken. “According to the report, the UK is very active in promoting cybersecurity best practices as it issued its second five-year National Cyber Security Strategy in 2016 and is developing new initiatives to combat cybercrime,” one researcher at ITU said. “In comparison with other countries, the UK performed really well in four areas of the GCI: Legal, Technical, Organisational and Capacity building measures.” She added: “Countries that scored higher than the UK had provided evidence of greater commitment towards cooperation with other member states and international agreements covering cybersecurity.” So there you have it. The UK is doing its bit but it is struggling to work well with other countries.
Top 10: Most committed to tackling cybercrime 1. Singapore 6. Mauritius 2. United States 7. Australia 3. Malaysia 8. Georgia 4. Oman 9. France 5. Estonia 10. Canada * The UK was ranked 12th
Ranked 12th overall, the UK’s commitment to tackling cybercrime was bolstered in 2016 with the government announcing its second fiveyear National Cyber Security Strategy. In particular, the strategy aims to make the UK one of the safest places in the world for online business by doubling investment in cybersecurity compared to the first plan. The UK is also working closely with Netcraft to combat phishing and malware. The partnership helped stop 34,550 potential attacks on government departments in the last six months of 2016.
Ranked second overall, the USA has the highest scores for its commitment to legal issues and capacity building. Close behind, Canada ranks second in the region with its strong focus on implementing cybersecurity legislation. Mexico comes in third and is among four Central and South American countries included in the global top 50, with Uruguay, Brazil and Colombia also scoring highly. At the other end of the scale Honduras, Haiti and Dominica come up short in their commitment to bolstering cybersecurity.
“Countries that scored higher than the UK had provided evidence of greater commitment towards cooperation with other member states and international agreements covering cybersecurity” ITU
Asia and the Pacific
With seven of the bottom ranked 10 countries coming from Africa, the continent is widely regarded as the least committed to tackling cybercrime. Equatorial Guinea came in last position, with the Central African Republic close behind. However, there are some exceptions to the rule. Mauritius is the top ranked country in the Africa region and comes in as the sixth most committed in the world. It scores particularly high in the legal and technical areas, with its Botnet Tracking and Detection project allowing the Computer Emergency Response Team of Mauritius (CERT-MU) to proactively take measures to curtail threats on different networks within the country. Rwanda and Kenya are also frontrunners in the continent.
Estonia is the highest-ranking nation in the European region, after it bolstered its cybersecurity commitment following a nationwide attack in 2007. The country also hosts the headquarters of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. In second and third place resepectively, France and Norway are hot on cybersecurity with the UK ranked fourth. France is credited with having a large focus on cybersecurity training, with dozens of universities providing degrees on the subject. Meanwhile, Norway works with its Scandinavian neighbours – Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden – as part of CERT to tackle security issues. At the other end of the scale, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Andorra and the Vatican were ranked as Europe’s least committed countries to combatting cybercrime. The Vatican comes in at 161st of the 193 countries surveyed.
Singapore is the top ranked country in the world. The island has a long history of cybersecurity initiatives since launching its first cybersecurity master plan back in 2005. The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore was created in 2015 as a dedicated entity to oversee cybersecurity and the country issued a comprehensive strategy in 2016. Malaysia is ranked second in the Asia and the Pacific region and scores a perfect 100 on capacity building due to a range of education initiatives. Australia makes up the rostrum in the region with a particularly keen focus on providing technical skills to combat cybercrime.
*Stats are taken from the Global Cybersecurity Index 2017, published by ITU
August 2017 |
â€œPC gamers and enthusiasts potentially will no longer be the largest consumer of high-end VGA cardsâ€? Dave Stevinson, GNR Technology
Digging for With cryptocurrency mining on the rise, graphic card supply is being drained out of the Channel. Jonathan Easton takes a look at just what’s going on and discovers that this might be the new state of affairs WE’RE VERY used to seeing stock shortages in the Channel. Whether it’s due to an unexpected excess of demand (see Nintendo’s contentious rollout of the Classic Mini NES last year) or a dearth of supply (such as in the ongoing situation surrounding RAM), hearing that the latest product or class is in short supply is nothing new. The latest to fall foul of stock scarcity however is something we weren’t entirely expecting to see: graphics cards. This isn’t anything to do with production struggles; they’re being made and they’re being bought – just not by the usual suspects. “It’s 100 per cent down to mining demand,” asserts Centerprise MD Jon Atherton. “As cryptocurrency rates continue to rise, more people are jumping onto GPU and farms to mine currency.” Suffice to say then that the normal market for highend graphics cards – power users, gamers, overclockers – aren’t getting a look in. And that may be par for the course going forward notes GNR Technology
managing director Dave Stevinson: “PC gamers and enthusiasts potentially will no longer be the largest consumer of high-end VGA cards.” But it’s not just any card that the miners are after, Chillblast sales director Ben Miles points out. “The shortages start at the cards that deliver the best bang for buck, then move onto the one that delivers second best value and so on, along the cost versus compute bell curve. Right now the worst affected cards are AMD Radeon RX 580, 480, 470 and 570. Nvidia cards are now also extremely effected with the 1060, 1070 and even 1050Ti in severe constraint. As these cards dry up, pressure starts to be put upon cards above and below the ‘ideal’ SKUs in the product stack.” And while a new type of buyer is emerging as the key demanding force in the market, different countries are also starting to show an interest in mining. “The shortages are caused by the massive surge in demand – particularly from Russia and Asia,” says Miles. This is a belief reflected by others as well, with
August 2017 |
What’s a cryptocurrency? Pioneered by the darker corners of the web, cryptocurrencies are alternative, decentralised currencies that aren’t bound to one particular country’s economy. Using cryptography (the process of making something secure from end-to-end through protocols to block out third parties), cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum utilise a blockchain – a sort of public ledger – to record transactions and ensure that they are securely made. They have seen a massive boom over the past few years as people have started to see them as a serious alternative to physical currencies. What might have been pennies a few years ago now amounts to serious money. One example a few years ago saw Lily Allen turn down ‘hundreds of thousands’ of bitcoins to play a gig in then-popular MMO Second Life. What was only a few hundred pounds at the time would now amount to hundreds of millions with the cryptocurrency having just crossed over the £2,000 mark for one coin. What a missed opportunity!
The rise of cryptocurrencies has seen Bitcoin’s value rise to over £2,000 per coin
Atherton identifying ‘China, Russia and Australia’ as the main areas commanding stock. As a result of all this, we have seen both AMD and Nvidia starting to produce cards that are specifically designed for mining. But it’s unclear at this point whether that will do anything to alleviate the strain or free up stock for general consumers. “It will all depend on how companies position the pricing and what hashrates the cards produce,” posits Jonpaul Warren, business development manager for Technology Solutions at Beta Distribution. “I’ve also seen a few issues on forums with these cards only offering a three-month warranty, but in reality if general cards are found to have been used for mining the warranty won’t be honoured anyway.” It’s also worth noting that while GPUs are grabbing the headlines, they aren’t the only
“Vendors are very limited in how they can control the Channel” Ben Miles, Chillblast
component type being oversubscribed to. In order to mine currency – which is a time consuming and powerdraining exercise – high-power PSUs are also in demand. “Anything over 1000w is short in the Channel,” says Target Components’ Cory Lees. “We have seen high-end, high-wattage power supplies go into shortage with the likes of Seasonic power supplies seen as a premium,” Warren adds. Ultimately though it’s not really up to the vendors to figure out where the stock is going. If they’re selling a product and someone’s buying it then they are doing their job. But even if a vendor decides to take action, there’s not actually a whole lot it can do says Miles. “Vendors are very limited in how they can control the Channel. Restricting sales to ‘one per customer’ only works when selling direct to consumers. Once out in the field, resellers are at liberty to sell to the highest bidder however they like.” So what can the Channel do to make sure to limit the effect of this surge of demand from the East? It’s all about communication and commitment, concludes Miles. “System integrators and resellers need to make sure their relationships with key VGA vendors are strong and resilliant enough to ensure disproportionate stock allocation at times of constraint by showing loyalty in times of plenty.” www.pcr-online.biz
Enter in to the arena Carving out a niche market space of its own, nSpire managing director Zack Fowler talks to Rob Horgan about the company’s ‘personal’ business plan WITH BIG-NAME distributors operating in the Channel for years, entering the crowded arena can be a daunting prospect. But that is exactly what nSpire did when it set up shop. Based in Dorset, the newly formed distie does everything that you would expect from the well established players. It offers thousands of products to a wide range of IT trade buyers covering over 35 product categories under the IT and PC umbrella. And while managing director Zack Fowler insists that nSpire is ‘extremely competitive’ on the ‘traditional’ front, it is within another area which he believes his company is already excelling. Specialising in refurbished tech, Fowler believes that nobody is as competitive on price and quality as nSpire is. “We are unlike other distributors in as much as we focus a lot of our time of selling refurbished tech and more www.pcr-online.biz
August 2017 |
“The main focus of our business model is to make relationships” importantly selling it at good prices,” he says. “It is an industry that is growing rapidly and there is plenty more room for expansion.” Fowler believes that the refurbished technology market is a potential cash cow for resellers to increase their margins. However, scepticism among many means that a large number of resellers and retailers are ignoring the market altogether. One way nSpire is going about changing that mentality is by offering resellers the chance to trial the system before they buy into it. “If we have a new client who is unsure about refurbished technology then we will let them trial it first,” Fowler explains. “They will perhaps buy one refurbished laptop or a PC and then see how it does. If they don’t sell it within a month, then they can give it back to us, without having to pay a penny. Most of the time, they will sell it – at a big profit to them – and then they will invest more in our products. Another way in which we are encouraging buyers to open an account with us is by giving away £25 in pre-approved credit to anyone who signs up.” And that is the way that Fowler is determined to run his company. While he is realistic and admits sales and profit numbers are ultimately the end goal, nSpire’s business model is set up in such a way that it cannot make money unless its customers are also making money. The way to ensure its customers make money is to get to know each and every one of them before even talking about making a sale. “The main focus of our business model is to make relationships,” Fowler adds. “In general a sale won’t be made until somewhere between the 12th or 15th phone call or meeting with a potential client. It is important for all our account managers to understand a client’s individual needs before selling to them. We are not interested in one-off sales. We want to build partnerships that are ongoing and benefit everyone. The best way to do that is to get to know the client. From where I stand, there is no other distributor who invests as much time in its clients as we do.”
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Xiaomi’s Daydream VR headset
SRP: $716 Out: August 1
SRP: TBA OUT: August 1
An e-ink tablet designed as a ‘paper tablet’ for those who want to ease the eye strain of staring at a screen all day. Created to replicate paper-like reading, writing and sketching, the reMarkable tablet can be securely synced with other devices in order to enable once-click wireless file transfers. The stylus has even been designed to replicate the feeling of using a pen on paper.
Xiaomi’s decision to steer away from its traditional market appears to have led the company towards the VR sector. Releasing its new headset based on Google’s Daydream, Xiaomi’s device has been built to provide the ‘best VR experience’ to users who already use its MIUI system on their smartphones.
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64 SRP: $599 Out: August 1 The Radeon Pro Vega 64 is a graphics card built on a 14 nm process, and based on the Vega 10 graphics processor in its Vega 10 XT variant. AMD has placed 16,384MB HBM2 memory on the card, which is connected using a 2048-bit memory interface. The card measures 267mm in length, and features a dual-slot cooling solution.
Dell Canvas SRP: £1,380 Out: August 3 The Dell Canvas was announced at the CES 2017 show back in January, as a cheaper alternative to the Cintiq Touch (which will set you back over £2,000). A 27-inch, 8K widescreen monitor, the Canvas has been designed with artists in mind. Multi-touch is one area where the Canvas outdoes the Cintiq 27QHD, supporting up to 20 fingers to the Cintiq’s 10. The Canvas can be laid down flat or propped up using its leg supports. www.pcr-online.biz
Intel 12-core i9-7920X
Kogan Agora 4K Smart TV
SRP: $1,199 Out: August 7
SRP: $429 (49-inch), $499 (55-inch), $899 (65-inch) Out: August 18
Part of Intel’s i9 range, the i9-7920X has 12 cores (24 threads) and 16.5MB of onboard L3 cache. It supports 44 PCIe lanes, but as of yet, there is unfortunately no indication of clock speeds. Designed for PC enthusiasts the dawn of the i9 range is built on Intel’s Skylake-X architecture.
Kogan has launched a new range of affordable 4K Ultra High Definition LED TVs that don’t break the bank. Starting at $429 for a 49-inch display, the TVs all have a 4K screen resolution with smart TV functionality to access content online along with a built-in personal video recorder which allows users to record programs to a USB or a built-in hard drive.
Asus ROG Zephyrus XS71 gaming notebook
The Surface Laptop
SRP: $2,229 OUT: August 14
SRP: £279 Out: August 24
Part of the ROG Zephyrus range, the XS71 is the second Asus notebook to make use of Nvidia’s Max-Q technology. Featuring an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor with 16GB of DDR4-2400 memory on an Intel HM175 chipset motherboard, the XS71 comes with a 15.6-inch display and incorporates a 120Hz refresh rate.
Microsoft has unveiled its brand new product line. Known simply as The Surface Laptop, the new device starts with an Intel Core i5 processor along with 4GB of memory and 128GB of storage. Already out in the States it will hit the UK, Australian and many more markets towards the end of August.
August 2017 |
Keeping a close eye From internet-connected security cameras to anti-virus apps, PCR rounds up the hardware and software keeping the world safe
Juniper Networks SRX300
D-Link Vigilance HD Mini Bullet Camera
Distributor: Westcoast SRP: $595 Specs: Firewall with 8GE (2x SFP), 4G RAM, 8G Flash. Includes external power supply and cable. RMK not included
Distributor: Tech Data, Exertis, Ingram Micro SRP: £161.66 Specs: 3 Megapixel progressive CMOS sensor, max. resolution 2048x1536 at 15 fps, supports WDR and 3D noise reduction
The Juniper SRX300 service gateway delivers a networking and security solution that is designed to help support the changing needs of cloud-enabled enterprise networks. Nextgeneration firewall and unified threat management capabilities make it easier for the system to detect and mitigate threats to improve user experience.
The Vigilance range provides high definition surveillance and security solutions that are professional, simple, and affordable. D-link’s latest vigilance camera, the DCS 4703E, is the most recent addition to the range, with a 3-megapixel camera suitable for day or night and is powered via Ethernet connection.
Juniper Networks EX4300 Distributor: Westcoast SRP: $15,495 Specs: Switch with 32-Port 1000BaseX SFP, 4x10GBaseX SFP+ and 350W AC PS (Optics sold separately) The EX4300 line of Ethernet switches delivers the performance and scale required for campus and data centre Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) access switch deployments. Combined with Juniper’s market leading Virtual Chassis technology, the EX4300 scales up to 10 members, delivering the high availability and plug-and-play scale that businesses demand.
HannsG by Hannspree HX194DPB Distributor: Exertis, GNR, Ingram Micro, Midwich SRP: £109.00 Specs: 19-inch LED monitor, 5:4 aspect ratio, 80 Mio:1 active contrast, VGA compatible HannsG’s HX194DPB is a 19-inch Hi-Res LED monitor with square aspect display perfect for CCTV application. It boasts a slim wall mountable design, super low power consumption, built-in speakers and 80 Mio:1 active contrast delivering crisp visuals.
August 2017 |
Ezviz alarm starter kit
Distributor: Spire Technology SRP: £149.99 Specs: Wireless 868MHz control panel, remote controller, wireless PIR detector, wireless adaptive position detector
The Ezviz internet alarm starter kit supports up to 32 detectors with real-time push notifications that connect with smartphone apps. WiFi and internet cloud connectivity is included to keep connected at all times. Open-close detection is available, as well as pet immune motion sensors.
Hiwatch NVR-104(8)A/4P(8P) Distributor: GNR Technology SRP: £94.33 Specs: 4 MP camera, HDMI and VGA dual output Small in size but packed with big features, the Hiwatch NVR supports up to eight channel network cameras, recording up to a maximum of 4MP. The system supports multiple VCA, smart search and playback functions and comes with the Hik-connect mobile app that allows users surveillance of their properties anytime, anywhere.
DJI Spark Hiwatch IPC-T640-Z Distributor: GNR Technology SRP: £129.58 Specs: Weather-proof, 4MP camera, 120db WDR, power via Ethernet The Hiwatch IPC is designed to provide superior vision at night and strong back light scenarios. Powered via Ethernet, the Hikconnect mobile app allows users surveillance of their properties anytime, anywhere.
Distributor: CMS Distribution SRP: £519 Specs: Quick launch with FaceAware, takes photos using hand gestures, intelligent flight modes, DJI GO 4 editing app A mini drone that features all of DJI’s signature technologies, Spark allows users to create footage in the newest way. With intelligent flight control options, gesture control, Spark comes with an integrated 12MP camera that shoots video in 1080p HD. With 16-minute flight battery life, the drone is designed to be easily rechargeable.
STAY SAFE. PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY. Complete protection for your online safety and privacy.
F-Secure TOTAL wins the most innovative antivirus product of 2017 in Digital Citizen Awards. The Best Innovation award was granted to F-Secure TOTAL for combining an internet security product with a full VPN product. @BetaDist
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020 7531 2812 | ITSTeam@betadistribution.com | www.betadistribution.com Beta Distribution PLC Unit 2, Quebec Wharf, 14 Thomas Road, London E14 7AF
Security Software 48 |
BullGuard Identity Protection
BullGuard Premium Protection
Distributor: Spire, Target, VIP, Centerprise SRP: £34.95 Specs: Compatible with all operating systems and any internet-connected devices
Distributor: Spire, Target, VIP, Centerprise SRP: £69.95 Specs: Compatible OS systems include Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and Mac OS X 10.11 or later
BullGuard Identity Protection has a range of tools to help protect children against the dangers of browsing social media on smartphones. Social activity that might be seen as risky can be monitored remotely, allowing parents to take unobtrusive control over their child’s online activity.
BullGuard Premium Protection has a wide range of tools stretching from industry-leading antivirus protection and a powerful firewall and social media protection, parental controls and a range of tools to tune up your PC, detect vulnerabilities and keep it running smoothly.
BullGuard Internet Security
Kaspersky Security Cloud
Distributor: Spire, Target, VIP, Centerprise SRP: £49.95 Specs: Compatible OS systems include Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and Mac OS X 10.11 or later
Distributor: Exertis SRP: £49.99 – £164.99 Specs: Compatible with Android smartphones and tablets, Macs and PCs
BullGuard Internet Security protects PCs, Macs and Android devices with one single licence. Powerful parental controls to monitor a child’s behaviour online are now even more flexible and intuitive, and the latest antivirus protection is stronger than ever before.
Kaspersky Security Cloud is the first ‘securityas-a-service’ solution with a tailored approach for the individual and for family needs. Using cloud-based technology, the new service combines patented adaptive technology and comprehensive protection to defend users from viruses, Trojans, worms and phishing.
BullGuard Mobile Security
Norton Security Deluxe
Distributor: Spire, Target, VIP, Centerprise SRP: Free-£16.95 Specs: Compatible with all operating systems and any internet-connected devices
Distributor: Exertis, Ingram Micro, Tech Data SRP: £59.99 Specs: 100 per cent Virus Protection Promise, malware detection, virus detection
Keeping smartphones safe is important for children’s safety. Bullguard Mobile Security does this by offering flexible parental controls that allow messages, calls and media content to be monitored or blocked remotely with ease. Powerful antivirus ensures that online bugs can’t find their way onto devices, and antitheft controls can help to lock or locate devices that have been lost or stolen.
Norton Security Deluxe provides protection for multiple on-the-go devices, protecting users when paying bills on smartphones, shopping via tablets, or storing important financial information on your laptop. Norton Security Deluxe protects up to three of your devices – PCs, Macs, smartphones, or tablets – with a single subscription.
McAfee Total Protection Distributor: Exertis, Ingram Micro SRP: £79.99 Specs: Phishing protection, anti-spy software, anti-spam filtering, content filters and parental controls McAfee Total Protection allows users to safely pay, shop and manage their finances with zero risk of having their details compromised. It also prevents data theft and blocks malicious pop-ups, allowing users to confidently connect without the fear that they are being spied on.
Norton Security Standard Distributor: Exertis, Ingram Micro, Tech Data SRP: £49.99 Specs: 100 per cent Virus Protection Promise, malware detection, virus detection Norton Security Standard offers comprehensive protection recommended for PC or Mac. It defends against viruses, spyware, malware and other online threats, as well as safeguarding users identity and online transactions. The package includes Norton’s 100 per cent Protection Promise and the company’s 60-day money-back guarantee.
August 2017 |
Coming to Cologne PCR looks at Europe’s answer to E3 and anticipates what is going to happen when Gamescom 2017 gets underway
First look at Xbox One X While Microsoft wooed and wowed the crowd with the specs of the latest entry to the Xbox family at E3 in June, nobody actually was able to get a hold of the One X to try it out for themselves. However, that’s set to change with the company promising hands-on time for attendees. “This will be the first time Xbox One X will be on the ground in Europe and we’ll have a huge line up of 27 playable games for the Xbox One family of devices and Windows 10 PC from developers around the world, including Forza Motorsport 7, Age of Empires:
Definitive Edition and Sea of Thieves”, announced Xbox Wire. “And throughout the week, we’ll be tweeting, live streaming and sharing news and content via social media – twitter, snapchat, Facebook, Mixer, etc, most often using the hashtag #XboxGC. Whether in person or online, you won’t want to miss what we have in store this year!” Ahead of its November 7 launch, the company will hope that letting people try out the console beforehand will persuade them to dip into their coffers and fork out the RRP of £449.99.
Microsoft claims that the Xbox One X will be ‘the world’s most powerful console’
Merkel to make appearance In an unexpected turn, German chancellor Angela Merkel will be in attendance at the event, it has been confirmed by convention organizer Koelnmesse and the German Trade Association of Interactive Entertainment Software (BIU).
2016’s event saw 345,000 attendees, with even more anticipated for this year’s show
“The visit of Dr. Merkel underlines the importance of the games industry for the cultural, digital and business location of Germany” Felix Falk, BIU
While the nature of Merkel’s visit hasn’t been officially stated, it is expected that she will open the show with a speech and tour the venue. “The visit of Dr. Merkel underlines the importance of the games industry for the cultural, digital and business location of Germany,” said Felix Falk, managing director of BIU. “Germany needs a strong games industry in order to also secure itself a top position in the digitalised economy.” www.pcr-online.biz
Sony to show up? The PlayStation-maker always has a big presence on Gamescom’s show floor, but for the past two years Sony hasn’t held its own press conference. But PlayStation Europe’s Jim Ryan has suggested that it is considering a European show this year. “We’re just in the process of looking at that very carefully,” he said in an interview last month. “We didn’t do a European show last year. We made a really conscious decision to pile the content into E3 last year, and without giving anything away it would be nice to do something in Europe this year.
“It would be nice to do something in Europe this year” So that’s something we’re looking at very carefully.” The company had previously opted to focus more on its own PlayStation Experience event, but with a decent gap between E3, Gamescom and PSX, Sony may be tempted into showing off any of its new content.
A cosmopolitan show floor Over 38 countries are set to be represented at the event this year, making it the most diverse in Gamescom’s seven-year history. In a press release, Gamescom organisers confirmed that Astragon Entertainment, Bandai Namco, Bigpoint, CD Projekt, Deep Silver (Koch Media), EA, GREY BOX, Kalypso Media, Konami, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Wargaming and Warner Bros. will all be exhibiting this year. August 2017 |
The AV resource for technology decision makers
The brand new professional AV resource dedicated to end users
Coming September 2017â€Ś
Contact: Ollie Smith firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)20 7354 6026
<Logging off>\\| Out and about in the industry
<On your bike> The Midwich team took to the saddle as part of the Diss Cyclathon. Helping to raise more than £7,000 for charity, 14 Midwich employees donned lycra for the event. Part of 1,000 riders on the day, those taking part could choose between a 25, 50 or 100 mile course. All money raised went to the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
<Halfway heroes> Taking on one of the toughest charity runs around, Mano Parmar, MMD’s UK Channel sales manager, and Stewart Honeywill from Exertis attempted a grueling 100km London-Brighton run. Unfortunately both fell short, with Mano pulling out after 43km with a bad back and Stewart following suit 10km later as his legs gave way. Determined to conquer the run, both men are signing up for next year’s event which raises money for Blind Veterans UK.
<Back to school> The team at Westcoast has gone back to school to promote the IT industry to the workforce of tomorrow. Visting Theale Green School in Berkshire, 10 members of the Westcoast team attempted to inspire the entire Year 8 class to take on a STEMM subject for their GCSEs. Outstanding students on the day received certificates and a brand new tablet for their efforts. More school trips are in the pipeline, with the Westcoast team touring secondary schools in West Berkshire and Nottingham.
August 2017 |
<Running a mile> A total of 114 Onecom staff laced up their running shoes to raise money for mental health charity MIND. More than £2,000 was collected as staff at each of Onecom’s 12 offices took part in a mile-long run. The run was part of the company’s 15th anniversary, with more events planned. And yes, we see you, Luigi.
Who’s who? Jonathan Easton Editor email@example.com Rob Horgan Deputy Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Dan Bennett Designer email@example.com Jason Dowie Production Executive firstname.lastname@example.org Gurpreet Purewal Sales Manager email@example.com Ollie Smith Account Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Dana Radu Sales Executive email@example.com
<Tech-no tunes at Autofest 2017>
James McKeown Content Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Forget Glastonbury or Benicassim, the Channel now has its own music festival. Run by Autotask, partners and customers bobbed their heads as a number of live acts took to the Autofest stage in Richmond. Rasing £5,000 for Greet Ormond Street children’s hospital in the process, more than 200 guests danced the night away.
Stuart Moody Head of Operations email@example.com Caroline Hicks Events Director firstname.lastname@example.org Mark Burton Managing Director email@example.com
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NEXT MONTH The Gaming Issue Gaming is one of the cornerstones of modern computing and with interest in PC gaming at an all-time high there is plenty of money to be made. In September’s issue, PCR takes on the changes in the gaming market as innovations like VR create brand new opportunities for profit, and we’ll look at the even bigger margin-making potential of the esports market. Elsewhere in this issue, we’ll reflect on the big news from Gamescom and stay in Germany to look ahead towards IFA 2017.
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Simple to use Award-winning online protection Rigorous identity and social media protection Comprehensive multi-device licensing – PC, Mac and Android Smart protection for mobile devices Up to 10 devices on a single license
BullGuard’s products are so popular with customers that 85% renew their license every year.
Ronald Schuyten, General Manager Ataf Compu & Co, Brussels.
Total Support in sales and marketing as well as technical • Dedicated Account Manager
We’ve found BullGuard customer service second to none; whenever we need assistance, our Account Manager is always just a phone call away or if our customers need help, then we can rely on BullGuard’s support services to assist around the clock.
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• Resource Kits to promote in store and at events • Quarterly Newsletters with up-to-the-minute insights and customer engagement ideas • Blogs and a Social Media network to keep you in touch with the latest ideas and initiatives around the BullGuard Partner network • Co-branded email templates to send to your customer base to encourage upgrade and retention • 24/7 Chat Support for you and your customers
With a 25% revenue share, now you can have your cake and eat it In addition to award-winning security products that your customers will love, great margins and sales and technical support from a dedicated account manager, we also give 25% revenue share for the life of every product you sell, while you remain an active BullGuard partner. Phew, thatâ€™s a lot of cake! Find out more about the benefits of BullGuard partnership. Sign up today at www.bullguard.com/advantage
Published on Jul 31, 2017