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Datto MSP Technology Day: SMBs Need Strong SaaS Cybersecurity

MSPs need to get their share of SMB spending on cybersecurity.

Edward Gately

March 25, 2022

4 Min Read
cybersecurity strategy
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Datto is stressing the need for MSPs to provide strong SaaS cybersecurity to SMBs as more than half of them shut down after suffering a cyberattack.

That’s according to Tim Weller, Datto’s CEO. He kicked off the vendor’s MSP Technology Day, titled “Elevate your SaaS Security: Defend, Backup, Recover.” It addressed ways MSPs can proactively defend against cyberattacks, limit downtime and prevent critical data loss for their clients.

More than 3,800 attendees from 66 countries registered for the event.

Datto reportedly is considering its strategic options, including a possible sale, after receiving takeover interest from private equity firms. The company hasn’t commented on this.

In January, Datto announced its acquisition of Infocyte, the threat detection and response provider. Datto plans to incorporate Infocyte’s technology in its cybersecurity portfolio.

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Datto’s Tim Weller

“When I was last in front of you at virtual DattoCon in October, I emphasized the urgency of cybersecurity for MSPs and basically looked the camera in the eye and said you’re security companies,” Weller said. “This is wave 3.0 now as you pivot to becoming security at the center and all the rest just fades into the background in so many ways.”

SMBs ‘Incredibly’ Frequent Targets

SMBs are being targeted “incredibly frequently” and their perimeters are much, much lower, Weller said. They’re much easier targets and they’re big enough to pay money anonymously through cryptocurrency.

“You know the risks and the opportunities here,” he said. “The spending from SMBs alone, according to McKinsey, has reached $40 billion annually on defending against cyberattacks. As an industry, we should go get some of that. That shouldn’t just go to large manufacturers. That should go to people on the front lines. And we think it’s going to be in that regard a thrilling and fun ride, but it doesn’t underweight the gravity of the situation and the seriousness of the solutions.”

MSPs’ clients rely on them to protect not just their data, but their uptime environments, Weller said.

“And we for many years have referred to this as securing digital assets, applications and data,” he said. “And those digital assets are increasingly representing the majority of your client companies’ value. Even a simple example, like a restaurant, used to be a cook, servers, food and recipes. Now it’s the delivery app, the supply chain app and the point-of-sale terminals. The technology becomes intertwined with what that restaurant is doing. And needless to say, that’s 10 times that at a car dealership, an insurance agency, a doctor/dentist and so on.”

MSPs Don’t Need to Become MSSPs

One question Datto is asked regularly is whether MSPs need to become MSSPs.

“I think the answer is probably not,” Weller said. “It does mean you need some security expertise. You need to think about your stack and you need to be on that journey leading your clients because they’re going to get their advice from you. But … we are convinced that only a small percentage of MSPs will want to take the full MSSP journey and build up those 24/7/365 monitoring capabilities and deep expertise.”

Many MSPs have been outsourcing things like business continuity and disaster recovery for many years, and it’s the same with security, Weller said.

“Become an expert, find trusted vendors and build your stack, and outsource that so you can spend your front-end time on the value added with the clients,” he said. “Wherever you are in that maturity, Datto will be here to support you. That doesn’t mean we have to sell you anything. It might be just watching things like Tech Day, coming to DattoCon, meeting peers and finding out best practices. We hope you use some of our products. We’re going to make it a standalone value proposition. But we live in the community and we want to be with you on your journey from beginner all the way to expert.”

Continued Investment in Cybersecurity

Datto has and will continue to invest in cybersecurity in its products, Weller said.

“So when you step back and think about our whole portfolio, we’ve now got the identify phase of a NIST cybersecurity framework with our remote monitoring and management (RMM),” he said. “We’ve got protection with RMM and SaaS defense, detection with ransomware detection, (the) response phase is also covered well today with ransomware detection and we’ll be moving Infocyte technology and some in-house developed technology into that white space, and recovery with our business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) and SaaS protection. So we’re fairly confident that the full stack here of security is moving along quite quickly for Datto. And we always start with you and your lense, and then we’ll see how fast we can get high-quality security products out to you.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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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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