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Optiv Security Reorganizes, Taps Stu Solomon as CTSO

It seems like Optiv's fast-paced growth over the last two years will continue in 2018.

Optiv Security announced a significant reorganization on Tuesday bringing together its three core business units under one umbrella. Stu Solomon will fill the new role of chief technology and strategy officer (CTSO) overseeing the partners, services, and portfolio and product management divisions. Solomon will be tasked with aligning partner strategies with Optiv’s product and service offerings in an effort to reduce the architectural complexity partners face when designing their cybersecurity solutions.

Despite the intense focus on how best to prevent the type of hacks that have dominated the headlines in recent months, businesses’ cyberdefenses continue to fall short of bad actors’ technologies. Vendors, distributors, and partners alike are throwing immense amounts of resources at security. Why, then, does it seem like hackers are just more sophisticated?

Solomon says it isn’t about sophistication. The sheer number of attacks are dramatically increasing all the time, and over the years, partners have adopted way too many solutions as part of their cybersecurity offering. The complexity of it all slows partners’ ability to respond to and prevent attacks.

“Unfortunately, many organizations have focused on trying to find a silver bullet to lower their cyber-risk,” Solomon told Channel Futures. “They’ve invested millions of dollars in the latest technologies without understanding what they really need to achieve positive outcomes. The complexity of the cyber-security threat landscape coupled with overwhelming information from the security industry has left companies with too much shelfware.”

Security architectures and operations today are “reactive, unwieldy, and product-centric,” said Optiv CEO Dan Burns in a statement. Enterprises and partners must begin to create cyberdefenses that are predictive, measurable, and integrated with other systems. That’s where Solomon comes in, driving a new generation of Optiv services.

“Optiv’s new CTSO role and business unit specifically focuses on driving ROI by allowing clients to maximize their security investments and the impact of those investments,” said Solomon. “Additionally, this also allows our partners to have their technologies be used the way they are intended, making them stickier and the value of those products maximized.

It’s part of Optiv’s determination to provide subscription-based services, capitalizing on the consumption economy and a service-centric channel.

Optiv, a traditional VAR turned MSSP, has leveraged packaged solutions to ease its transition from reseller to service provider, helped in no small part by an infusion of cash it received when it was acquired by investment firm KKR in 2016. Since then, it’s engaged in one acquisition after another as it pushes to expand its reach into new geographies and verticals. Two months ago, it acquired Conexys to strengthen its foothold in the Canadian market and government vertical, and it snapped up Comm Solutions earlier in 2017 to build inroads to the northeast market.

2016 saw the company growing its offerings by leaps and bounds through a slew of acquisitions: it gained identity and access management capabilities when it bought Advancive; third-party risk applications with the acquisition of Evantix; and more robust cloud offerings when it brought Adaptive Solutions into the fold.

The new organization is a part of that growth strategy, says Solomon.

“The creation of the CTSO role and business unit is another example of how Optiv is continuing to invest and adapt as the market and our clients’ and partners’ needs change. The opportunity for Optiv continues to accelerate, and we believe our business growth strategy positions us well for future success.”

If the last three years are any indication, Solomon’s faith is not misplaced.




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