DLT Solutions Launches Online Government Cybersecurity Resource

The goal, according to Van Ristau, DLT's chief technology officer, is to have DLT's GovDefenders be a cybersecurity "knowledge portal" -- a resource for federal, state and local government customers whose security knowledge runs the gamut from dilettante to expert.

"We want to talk to these people at a more sophisticated level but not push away those who are less knowledgeable," Ristau told CRN this week. "We can have it be a learning process so that the visitor goes through the site, and -- one of the many avenues we're in the process of deploying -- can take an assessment, figure out where they're at, and get lots of materials from credible, competent individuals who are part of our vendor community."

DLT spent the past year developing the site with contributions from Symantec, Quest Software and Oracle, all of whom are among DLT's top vendor partners in public sector.

For both the vendors and DLT, it's added customer stickiness, he said.

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"From a sales standpoint we'd like to be seen as a thought leader in cybersecurity, not to the extent that we are as knowledgable as the really sharp folks at Symantec, but that we have the right tools and knowledge for the cybersecurity word for a more dedicated customer," Ristau explained. "We can get to the absolute, correct product to their agency."

GovDefenders is not intended for the military side of cyberdefense, but is positioned as a resource for government agency-based employees who focus on security. Users access the content by going to DLT's GovDefenders site and requesting a log-in credential.

The participating vendors provide authored content and their own white papers and other training resources to GovDefenders, Ristau added, and DLT has dedicated staff to support and maintain the site. DLT will also have a social media presence, linking the site to Twitter feeds, LinkedIn discussion and public sector-centric IT forums.

"It's not something that you're clicking through and filling a card with product. That's not the purpose of it," Ristau said. "It's to gain credibility as we go forward in security and help our customers become more knowledgable."

It isn't the first time Herndon, Va.-based DLT, No. 35 on the 2011 VAR500 ranking of the country's top solution providers, has pulled together online resources in an attempt to organize information on topical public sector IT issues. In 2009, for example, the company launched an ARRA-related resource center that was one of the channel's most highly regarded, VAR-led stimulus outreach initiatives.

This time around, DLT investigated many of the cybersecurity-centric resources out there and determined that much of the existing content comes off as inaccessible to employees who aren't already security experts, Ristau said.

"Jargon can be used to keep people out of the conversation," he said. "We wanted to try to take the opposite approach. We want people to hold up their hands and say, 'I don't know what you're saying.' So come to this site in the privacy of your office and home and you can get an answer to your question."