The Datto CISO stressed how it’s no longer enough to just talk about cyber resilience and contingency plan.

Allison Francis

October 18, 2021

4 Min Read
Business Continuity

Datto‘s recent virtual event marked the unveiling of two new cloud-based security offerings. One is Datto SaaS Defense; the other, Datto Continuity for Microsoft Azure.

The conference featured a keynote by Ryan Weeks, Datto CISO, that further delved into the new security measures and offerings. 

The Vitalness of Security Offerings

In his keynote, Weeks highlighted two major calls to action — one for MSPs, and one for vendors. For MSPs, Weeks emphasized the great need to hook an immediate right turn onto the path to true cyber resilience. Anyone not doing this runs the risk of getting left behind and faces the ever-growing risk of a catastrophic breach. For vendors, it’s not enough to talk about your security; you now have to prove your prowess.

Ok, so nothing new there, right? Yet Weeks stresses that evolution can happen slowly, and only when there’s a change agent. 


Datto’s Ryan Weeks

“If being under constant, endemic ransomware threats isn’t enough of a change agent, then we need to lead from the front and force that evolution,” says Weeks. “So, we’re trying to bring everyone along on this journey, because an attack on us is an attack on all of us. We can’t continue to let this happen; we need to learn to really acknowledge it. Now is the time for a transformation.”

We sat down with Weeks to try and get a better understanding of how the new products, Datto Continuity for Microsoft Azure in particular, factor into the landscape as it currently stands, and in the future.

The Inevitability of Attacks

“There are going to be attacks or denial of service at some point,” says Weeks. “Whether it’s someone fat-fingering a border gateway protocol (BGP) route, like what happened to Facebook, or just human error, there are going to be disruptions. It is imperative that you diversify your posture, both from a security and a cloud perspective to assure continuity of your business. We think of continuity as the backstop — the last capability in your cyber resilience program.”

Weeks said that historically, when bad things happen, we skip right to the recovery stage. If you don’t have a clear continuity strategy, you’re not set up for avoiding the largest impacts of adverse events. 

To Datto, continuity for the cloud is something MSPs and SMBs need, especially considering the digital transformation that the pandemic has accelerated. This particularly pertains to the moving of workloads to facilitate user access, remote work and security. 

Security Every Step of the Way

“That’s another reason we focus not only on delivering capability, but [Datto Continuity for Microsoft Azure] is one where literally from its inception, security was involved every single step of that journey. And then there’s the commitment to continuity. Like, we acknowledge that phishing in general is a problem. But for you, the MSP, if you’re going to get phished in a targeted attack, it’s likely going to spoof someone in your supply chain, a trusted partner. And so, I think that that extra layer of industry-specific focus is really going to make it a differentiated product for MSPs.”

The time has come for thinking about cybersecurity in terms of protective capabilities, Weeks concluded. It’s time to acknowledge that bad things will happen, even to the companies that have the best security programs.  

“We as an industry are in the middle of this transition toward detection and response, and still having that recovery backstop,” says Weeks. “I think we’re at the point where we’re adding these capabilities, but we’re not necessarily thinking yet about control effectiveness. For example, how effective are the technologies I’ve actually deployed in defending against the things that attackers actually do? We believe in the concept of knowing your enemy (also known as threat management). The one thing everyone needs to do is to have an actual grounded understanding in this. Know your battlefield.”

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

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About the Author(s)

Allison Francis

Allison Francis is a writer, public relations and marketing communications professional with experience working with clients in industries such as business technology, telecommunications, health care, education, the trade show and meetings industry, travel/tourism, hospitality, consumer packaged goods and food/beverage. She specializes in working with B2B technology companies involved in hyperconverged infrastructure, managed IT services, business process outsourcing, cloud management and customer experience technologies. Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from Drake University. An Iowa native, she resides in Denver, Colorado.

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