RSA Execs: Future Is Bright For Security Partners

When Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell talks about the EMC acquisition, a lot of the focus falls on enabling business transformation.

That's where the RSA piece of the buy becomes key, said RSA Senior Vice President of Products Grant Geyer.

"Security has been called out as core to this," Geyer said. "Michael Dell has talked particularly about security as the No. 1 issue on the minds of CIOs. It's hard to go through the business transformation without security in mind."

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Over the past year, RSA has been repositioning itself around that message, calling it "business-driven security," Geyer said, building a portfolio centered on identity and access management, threat detection and response, and governance, risk and compliance.

"It's a question now of the opportunities and how do we extend [our new] reach into partner opportunities," Geyer said.

RSA will continue to operate as an autonomous brand under Dell, including its product strategy, strategic relationships, customers and partners, Geyer said. RSA President Amit Yoran will remain in his role leading the company. Geyer said RSA will also maintain its own partner program, which it revamped earlier this year.

RSA will shed more light on future plans at its RSA Charge 2016 conference, to be held in New Orleans from Oct. 25-27, which will include presentations from the company's top technical, strategy, product and vertical leadership, as well as Yoran.

Solution providers said they hope the acquisition by Dell will open the door for more opportunities to work together around services with RSA, particularly as it relates to Dell's managed security services business, SecureWorks.

Jamie Shepard, senior vice president for health care and strategy at Lumenate, a Dallas-based RSA partner, said he sees where customers will bene­ t from technology integration with Dell, and hopes partners will see the same benefits around increased managed services opportunities.

"I would like to see them reach out to channel partners that have a security offering. I would love to see where we better collaborate," Shepard said.

The addition of RSA also adds to a growing emphasis on security at Dell, said Dell Technologies Chief Marketing Of­ficer Jeremy Burton in a blog post. The workforce demands a "security transformation" that addresses the move away from perimeter technologies and a rise in data protection, according to Burton.

"The security posture of organizations must evolve to protect the business without being an impediment to it. Security must be intelligence-driven -- becoming better informed through threat intelligence, analytics and shared expertise. We secure our customers' businesses from edge to core to cloud with RSA and SecureWorks," he said.

RSA will join that strategy, adding to Dell's existing security technologies around its client security business, including encryption, authentication and advanced threat protection, and its SecureWorks managed security services business.

However, by keeping RSA operating largely independently from parent company Dell, Jane Wright, principal analyst at Technology Business Research, said the company can better realize the high growth rates possible in today's security market. Pureplay security vendors tend to grow at a signi­ficantly higher rate (44 percent year to year) over peers that are security business units of IT systems vendors (10.2 percent year to year in the second quarter of 2016), TBR research shows.

"Five to 10 years ago, many IT systems vendors spent billions acquiring security ­firms … but they haven't been able to achieve the security revenue growth of pure-play security vendors," Wright said. "This will change as IT systems vendors give their security business units greater autonomy to help them compete against the more nimble security pure-play companies. Dell is doing this by setting up RSA as an independent entity in the Dell Technologies company."