Czech DLP vendor Safetica launches in North America targeting SMB market

Safetica is the first client of channel vet Luke Walling and his Temprano Techvestors firm. In close collaboration with the Czech head office, they are running the North American’s subsidiary expansion here through the channel.

Luke WallingData loss prevention [DLP] vendor Safetica is not at all well known in the channel in the U.S. and Canada. Changing that is the task of Luke Walling, general manager of Safetica North America.

Several weeks ago Walling, who is well-known in the channel from his work at security software firms AVG and Avast, announced the launch of a new company, Temprano Techvestors, which will work with a small number of European software firms to bring them into the North American market and build up their presence in the U.S. and Canada. Safetica is their first client. Like the security software companies with which Walling has been associated, they are Czech.

“I have significant ties to that region of the world, and am looking for technology which is both relevant for the channel and to their customers,” Walling said. “This is a perfect time to bring a piece of technology like this to the channel.”

Safetica is not completely unknown in North America. Their DLP product is prominently OEMed in Slovakian anti-virus company ESET’s security software, which is widely sold here. Safetica has also done some direct selling here in the past as well.

“They have a number of existing customers in Canada and the US, but the company’s focus, since their inception in 2009, has been in Europe,” Walling said. “That was a smart move. Now, however, is the right time to come into the English speaking world, and so it makes sense to go into the biggest market there.”

While the security market as a whole is very congested, Walling emphasized that the DLP market for SMBs is close to wide open.

“DLP itself is an enterprise term, and DLP has had a very enterprise-focused message,” he said. “That message has been targeted at a CIO, and not at a business person. Positioning to address this issue is key for us. Our technology is competitive with enterprise technology, but is designed to be used by SMBs. This will bring this technology down to the small and midsize businesses in the channel’s market.”

To do this, Walling says Safetica has restructured the basic messaging around DLP, to make it relevant for SMBs.

“Our marketing materials have a very business-centric message,” he said. “We have also changed the way customer inquiries are handled from start to finish, to change the customer experience. Whether through phone, chat or email support, you will reach a live person who can help you on the first call.”

Walling said that today, Safetica’s sweet spot is about 250 seats.

“I have worked on installations in the thousands, and in the dozens,” he said. “The benefits really become seen at around 10 seats. For companies below that, it’s a little much, because there is a management console. Longer term, we would like to address that issue and sell to that broader market, putting this into even smaller organizations.” That won’t happen right away, but perhaps in 2017, Walling added.

Price will be a key differentiator, Walling acknowledged.

“With pricing starting at $46 per endpoint per year, the cost is significantly below our nearest market competitor. The real key for both the channel and customer though is performance. It does the job without creating a bottleneck. This is essential for SMBs, because they don’t have IT people to handle complaints. These typically go to the business owner. The engine is rules-based, rather than content- based, because the latter can create massive performance impacts.”

The Safetica technology is designed to protect against data breaches and theft based on how files are used, a contextual approach to DLP designed to protect without reducing productivity.

“Safetica provides an encryption layer that prevents unauthorized users from sending things out,” Walling said. “It is also designed to protect against mistakes as well as theft. That’s something we focus on squarely with this technology.”

The focus is also on solving problems before they happen.

“It works a bit like a content filter, but is more than that,” Walling stated. “It monitors user behavior to identify potential disgruntled users, doing things like looking for jobs online or spending less time on company sites. We aren’t designed as an anti-phishing solution, but we are an extra layer on top of that too.”

Walling anticipates that the partner base that handles this will be divided about equally between VARs and MSPs.

“Many VARs, especially DMRs, provide this type of solution now, but it’s fairly expensive,” he said. “We can go to customers that wont touch it at prices they have seen.

“For MSPs, this is the service they need to add,” Walling added. “It gives them the ability to protect customers in a way they never have before.”

Walling noted that the ESET OEM deal would continue, and that Safetica would certainly entertain deals with other vendors which would expand their reach.

“As we continue to build our business partnerships are key – and not just with traditional resellers and MSPs. We are interested in partnering with all types of vendors.”