May 13, 2014 By Jean-Paul Bergeaux In Blog

Mind the Gap!

Anyone who has been on London’s mass transit has heard that the expression “Mind the Gap,” which refers to the gap between the platform and the passenger cars in the “the tube.”  But to me it has another meaning, which is finding the gap between customers’ needs and what is offered in the marketplace. SwishData established its formal Cyber Security Practice based on this simple, yet effective, premise.

A little history

SwishData has been known for several years as a true Data Center solution provider. Not a box pusher, not a highly technical point product provider, but a company that strives to focus on the customer’s entire picture and solve the real problems. Because of the trusted advisor status, this has garnered positive attention with Federal customers. As such, we’ve been asked to get involved in some of the most critical security decisions over the last several years and we have obliged.

During those conversations with customers and working with security OEMs, we noticed that there weren’t really any “SwishData” type organizations specifically for cyber security. There are generally three types of cyber security providers in the marketplace. There are OEMs that offer their set of products, but not an entire eco-system built for Federal customers. There are resellers that have a few point products in cyber security that are “hot” at the time and easy to sell. And, finally, there are large systems integrators that sell very expensive services that lead to overhauls of the entire cyber environment, which they want to manage and are ultimately costly to agencies.

A little surprised by discovering this gap in the marketplace, we started asking around to confirm our observations, which were fully validated. The closest proximity was penetration-testing organizations that could suggest improvements or the services-based solutions from systems integrators.

A lot of hard work

So a little more than two years ago, we decided to create our Cyber Security practice to fill this critical need. It turned out to be a much larger project than we anticipated. There is a wide-range of really good cyber security products and companies in the marketplace!  Cyber security is an area of innovation, with great new products and approaches showing up every day. As we started to put together our solution, we were also solving customers’ cyber problems and signing partnerships that would provide solid products for our customers.

Basically, we acted like our own customers would. We read trade materials, gathered independent testing and reviews, met with OEMs, accessed presentations and demonstrations, checked references, and tested out solutions. It’s an exciting time to be fighting the good cyber fight, but I saw first-hand how customers could be overwhelmed with the avalanche of new products and companies. It is also very easy to be overwhelmed by the vast amount of buzzwords that cyber solutions providers use.

Putting a stake in the ground

As a result, we now offer a full suite of products for meeting most any agencies cyber challenge. We also offer the ability to meet them where they are now, while not requiring a huge overhaul of their environment. Our products augment the environment that is currently in place and possibly replace legacy products that are either long in the tooth, or over-priced for the competitive capabilities.

Our summary of the solution is this:

SwishData is filling the gap between Cyber Security OEMs pushing products and large SI’s that mostly offer expensive services and overhauling projects as total solutions. VARs today do not offer a broad enough product selection to enhance or complete a Federal agency’s cyber security environment. Unlike others in this space we are not walking into any conversation looking to “push” any particular product or force a complete overhaul because we have a varied selection of products to choose from. We have multiple solutions that can fit depending on the customer’s current security posture and goals. Our only request is that you let us evaluate your environment, discuss options with you and then offer a proposed plan for a long term achievement of your agencies goals.

With cyber security IT changing so fast, it was hard to finally decide to go live with this solution. You never feel like you have fully completed evaluating products and putting together your solution. As such, we will continue evolving our offering. However, we are really proud to have put our stake in the ground by offering a solution that will truly help agencies detect, manage and mitigate the ever-emerging cyber threat landscape.