We’ve made a fundamental shift in how we provide our clients a critical component of their security stack. Traditionally, one of the most important components of a security approach was to use a business-class firewall which is designed to prevent unauthorized access into or out of a computer network by blocking internet users without access from being able to interface with private networks connected to the internet.
However, modern firewalls aren’t just a box that’s purchased once, rolled out, and used for five or six years with no updates to threat detection scanning or services. It used to be many clients that purchased firewalls thought of the annual maintenance renewals as warranty extensions and would opt out. However, the subscriptions required do not just extend the hardware warranty, but they are a necessity in order to continue to receive updates to protect against ever-evolving threats, as well as allow for updates to the firmware built into the device. In fact, firewalls will often require timely updates for remediation for critical security issues as recently evidenced by the zero-day exploits with FortiOS found on Fortinet firewalls earlier this spring.
The good news is that for most of our clients, we were able to quickly roll out these required updates as all clients who do not purchase firewalls outright but rather subscribe to our firewall-as-a-service offering on their service agreement receive centralized management services. However, for clients who have outright purchased firewalls in the past, manual intervention and scheduling was often required, an inconvenience and delay that affected both us and those clients.
As a result, Suite3 will no longer sell firewalls outright to any client other than those that have dedicated, qualified internal IT departments who will be responsible for their own firewall management practices. For any client that requires Suite3 to manage their firewalls, they will ONLY be available through agreement subscription.
The fast-paced evolution of security services has transformed another aspect of IT from a capital expense to an operating expense, necessitated by the expansion of services required for a firewall to allow you, and us, to Keep Calm and Compute On.