LightCyber focuses on education with first-ever partner program

Jason Matlof, executive vice president at LightCyber

Jason Matlof, executive vice president at LightCyber

Israel-based LightCyber has launched its first channel program, an effort the active breach detection vendor says will help it grow its channel base both in terms of depth and breadth.

LightCyber has been selling in North America since January 2015, and the company has about 20 partners already, said executive vice president Jason Matlof. Its offerings focus on detecting targeted attacks, the types of breaches typically not registered by current-generation security tools. The technology is different, Matlof said, because it “presumes you will be breached” and works to reduce the length of and damage caused by any breach that may occur.

“24 months ago, nobody would ever take that view. But now, recommendations from analysts are that you spend 50  per cent or more of your security budget on detection and response technology that looks for the attackers with new methods,” Matlof said.

Because it requires “a different mindset” even for solution providers with an existing security practice, the company is building out a bigger and broader channel program than be expected for both its own size, and the size of its expected channel base. Matlof said the company expects to end up with only about 100 partners, even as it adds new regions to its coverage.

Matof said the company is sensitive to channel problems with over-distribution of solutions, and will keep it to between 5 to 10 partners per major market. The company has been, and will remain, 100 per cent channel-driven, Matlof said.

“We’ve all worked in networking and network security, and we know the channel’s the best way to get to the mid-market and medium-to-large-size enterprise,” Matlof said.

For such a small base, the company is working on a lot of education in its first partner program with online training on all its products available free to partners on its Magna Academy Web site. The training includes testing, and hands-on labs, Matlof said.

“It’s a lot of resources for a company of this size, but if we can train our partners, we’re going to stay ahead of the competition,” he said. “It’s hard enough to get our own sales force to get educated, and it’s such a novel technology, we have to invest heavily in training and enablement infrastructure to succeed.”

The company’s portal also includes a variety of customizable data sheets and other marketing materials, and the company offers 90-day deal registration.

LightCyber sells primarily to the enterprise market, with a sweet spot in the 1,000 to 10,000 user market. Because it’s a “novel” solution, Matflod said the company is looking for partners with deep security expertise, and experience selling to that enterprise base.

“There are a lot of network or IT infrastructure generalists that have a line card including everyone, but they really don’t excel or have particular expertise in security,” Matlof said. “We really need experts who are willing to embrace us and understand us to take us to market.”

The company already has one partner in Canada, working with Toronto-based Herjavec Group.

The program features two levels, although even that is a bit of a misnomer. In an effort to keep the program simple, Matlof said any partners that goes through its training reaches Premier level, while a Reseller level also exists for partners who are doing one-offs, particularly when it’s a lead developed by the company itself, and handed over to the customer’s partner of preference.