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Fortinet: Managed Services Most Lucrative Element of Coming $132 Billion Cybersecurity Market

Fortinet's manager for managed security services tells NexGen attendees that customers aren't buying products, they're buying their services.

The massive cybersecurity market is uniquely profitable for managed security service providers—even more so than for vendors and integrators.

And customers aren't selecting security vendors, they’re selecting partners to deliver outcomes, Fortinet's Geoff Kreiling, senior manager for MSSP and Service Enablement, told attendees of the NexGen Cloud conference in Anaheim, Calif.

"Customers aren't buying Fortinet, they're buying you. They're buying the services and operations that you bring to the market. They're buying outcomes as a service," Kreiling said. "They're buying your brand, that's powered by us."

Cybersecurity will grow to a $132 billion market, and the margins for MSSPs are around 50 percent—much higher than on selling products and advisory and integration services.

"That's why you see more and more partners want to pivot into that space" from the traditional VAR model they've employed in the past, Kreiling said.

"Cybersecurity is hot," Kreiling told NexGen attendees. "We make a lot of our partners more profitable by making them more innovative."

Security is too subtle and complex for most businesses to do by themselves, he said, "so they're moving that risk out of their shop to the MSSPs."

For those partners, a strong threat intelligence service—like Fortinet's FortiGuard—is critical for risk mitigation, he said.

MSSPs should also focus on choosing flexibility for their security platforms and establishing service parameters while implementing automation to maximize margins.

Kevin Walsh, owner of Host For You, an MSP based in San Diego, said he's looking to work more with Fortinet because of the sophistication of its offerings.

But it is important to remember, like Kreiling said, that "the clients are ours," Walsh told CRN.

Clients don’t care much about which vendor’s products are operating under the hood, and in cybersecurity, white-labeling their offerings is a great approach for MSSPs.

The bigger challenge is convincing customers that the danger of data stolen or destroyed is mitigated by a better, sometimes more expensive product, Walsh said.

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