Article | April 19, 2019

Q&A: Perspectives From Channel Partners And Customers On Secure Wi-Fi

By Ryan Orsi, WatchGuard Technologies

WatchGuard Categorizes 2015 Security Trends Into What (And What Not) To Worry About

If you’re not already familiar, “Get to Know Your Customer Day” is observed annually on the third Thursday of each quarter. It’s an opportunity to reach out to your business’s patrons and get to know them a little better. To mark this week’s celebration, we’ve done just that!

As a 100 percent channel-focused company, WatchGuard’s entire business is structured to support and enable VARs and MSSPs. Our channel partners are our customers. From network security and intelligence to multi-factor authentication and secure Wi-Fi, these channel organizations work tirelessly to provide enterprise-grade security to customers of all sizes and industries. With the world’s ever-increasing reliance on connected devices and Wi-Fi connectivity, secure Wi-Fi is a major focus for our channel partners and their customers. As such, we asked a few questions to get to know their perspectives on the top challenges and benefits of Wi-Fi security today.

Q: How important is secure Wi-Fi to your core business?

Dustin McCreight, solution manager at NCR, an MSP that secures nearly 550 million transactions daily across retail and hospitality industries, safeguarding the billions of point of sale (POS) transactions and the systems connected to them: “One of the things that’s very important for us is to be able to deliver enterprise-grade security to our customers who may not have the resources to have a full-blown IT staff… There is a huge movement toward mobile POS platforms. Being able to deliver a secured reliable wireless platform for those POS devices to operate is huge for us.”

Q: How is secure Wi-Fi prioritized by your customer and their clientele?

Cliff Gurdin, owner and director at Eat IT Drink IT, a solutions provider specializing in the bar and restaurant industry: “For most restaurant guests, reliable and secure Wi-Fi has to be on top of the menu, while restaurant owners need to ensure they are fully PCI compliant at all times and able to protect both guest and company data.”

Q: How does putting your trust in security solutions through your IT service provider enable your business?

Alan Wogan, founder and director at Homeslice Pizza: “While people come to Homeslice for our pizzas and relaxed, friendly environment, it’s surprising how upset they can get if they can’t get access a Wi-Fi network, and as a business we can’t afford the risk of a security breach... It means we have one less thing to worry about and can focus on delivering the ultimate pizza dining experience.”

Q: What specific wireless challenges prompted your decision to build secure Wi-Fi into your IT management and networking strategy?

Sarah Wilke, executive director at SIFF, the organizers of the largest film festival in the United States:  “We just weren’t able to get wireless coverage in those spaces. For us to transfer films between our locations, we really needed a robust network… In order for us to use point of sale through the wireless network – we needed something that was reliable, and particularly – something that was safe.”

Q: In what ways has improved Wi-Fi security and performance empowered your organization?

James Priory, former Headmaster of Portsmouth Grammar School: “Being able to create a good wireless network with access points in every third room has been very cost-effective for us, which is an important consideration. Having a strong Wi-Fi signal throughout the school now means that tutors, students and visitors have continual access to key resources and communications wherever they are on campus, helping us to deliver the aims of our curriculum… We now have Apple TV as a learning resource and we’re currently rolling out plans to encourage pupils to bring their own tablets – extending our teaching experience with built-in peace of mind.”

Q: Looking ahead, how will your organization’s use of cloud-managed access points evolve?

Rick Baker, corporate relations manager for SIFF: “We’ve really just scratched the surface... We’re planning to direct users that log-on to our network to our splash page, which in the future may be a portal to give a donation, to tell people about upcoming events and promos, and to offer them tickets to a future showing.”

Q: Why do you think security plays such an important role in Wi-Fi networks today?

Cliff Gurdin, owner and director at Eat IT Drink IT: “Recent events have shown that no company, whatever the size or whatever it does, is secure from potential cyber attacks or security breaches. As well as financial loss, companies can’t afford to suffer reputational damage that can impact revenue and expansion for emerging brands.”

About The AuthorRyan Orsi, WatchGuard Technologies

Ryan Orsi is Director of Product Management at WatchGuard Technologies, a global leader in network security providing products and services to more than 80,000 customers worldwide. Ryan leads the Secure Wi-Fi solutions for WatchGuard. He has experience bringing disruptive wireless products to the WLAN, IoT, medical and consumer wearable markets. As a VP of Business Development in the RF industry, he led sales and business development teams worldwide to success in direct and channel environments. He holds MBA and Electrical Engineering degrees and is a named inventor on 19 patents and applications.

Ryan can be reached via Twitter at @RyanOrsi and at our company website