ConnectWise's MSSP Acquisition Will Help MSPs With Cybersecurity

MSPs need all the help they can get in providing their customers with sufficient security to ensure compliance.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

December 6, 2018

4 Min Read

ConnectWise has acquired MSSP Sienna Group as the first step in its effort to lead MSPs into cybersecurity.

Sienna Group’s portfolio includes managed data security services, governance, risk and compliance assessments, sensitive data discovery and classification, and security awareness training.


ConnectWise’s Arnie Bellini

This summer, Arnie Bellini, ConnectWise’s CEO, said with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now in force and similar regulations likely to follow,

MSPs will need all the help they can get in providing their customers with sufficient security to ensure compliance.

Bellini tells MSSP Insider the Sienna Group acquisition will play an important role in the building of the ConnectWise Cybersecurity Center of Excellence as “we lead MSPs safely and profitably into the world of cybersecurity.”

“We’ve worked with Sienna Group for years, and collectively, its team members have more than 130 years of cybersecurity expertise,” he said. “We wanted to get that deep expertise under the ConnectWise roof to allow us to be able to provide extensive education to our partners and the marketplace about how to deliver, implement and administer cybersecurity.”


The 2112 Group’s Larry Walsh

Larry Walsh, CEO and chief analyst of The 2112 Group, and member of the Channel Partners Editorial Advisory Board, said it’s no surprise that ConnectWise acquired Sienna.

“Many have speculated for a while that ConnectWise would acquire a security or backup company to round out the portfolio of managed services offerings under its umbrella, anchored by its professional services automation platform,” he said. “Security was a big gap in the ConnectWise portfolio and Sienna, being a managed security service provider with broad capabilities, fills that gap nicely.”

Rik Turner, principal analyst at Ovum, said there is definitely a trend for MSPs to beef up their security capabilities for a number of reasons.


Ovum’s Rik Turner

“The volume and variety of attacks continue to grow, making the defenders’ work ever more challenging, and there is a well-publicized shortage of qualified security professionals, making them hard to find and possibly even harder to retain,” he said. “This scenario underpins the growth of security services, in particular stuff like managed detection and response (MDR), which is all the rage at the moment.”

ConnectWise said the capabilities and expertise that Sienna Group offers will provide a means for its partners to assess their own business’ cyber vulnerabilities and to learn how to better protect themselves from liability when their customers are targeted by cybercriminals.

The acquisition also supports ConnectWise’s strategy to provide an “ecosystem of security solutions that are accessible and affordable,” especially for its SMB partners that are looking for new ways to expand their set of offerings at “a time when these services represent the next big revenue opportunity for MSPs,” it said.

“We will be able to train MSPs worldwide to effectively deliver cybersecurity services that make both their clients safer and provide themselves with opportunities to increase their revenue,” Bellini said.


Sienna Group’s John Ford

“We’ve been working with ConnectWise for years, and we share both a vision and a commitment to ensuring that MSPs have the tools they need to protect themselves and their clients in a time when a disastrous cyberbreach is often just a single click away,” said John Ford, Sienna Group’s CEO and founder. “We’re looking forward to being part of ConnectWise’s journey to provide a robust end-to-end security solution that will benefit the entire industry.”

Mike Suby, Stratecast vice president of research at Frost and Sullivan, said the same customers that require an MSP for their IT environments are increasingly concerned about cybersecurity, but it’s not core to their operations.

“It’s critical, but they don’t have the talent or wherewithal to be effective in cybersecurity,” he said. “That’s why they’re looking for a MSSP, but that does’t necessarily mean they’re looking for both a MSP and a MSSP, so why not all of those capabilities from one provider. That’s the primary reason for this acquisition. They’re looking for the opportunity to provide a comprehensive solution set to their client base as well as businesses.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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