SolarWinds MSP Ramps Up Focus on Security
(Pictured above: SolarWinds MSP’s John Pagliuca on stage at Empower MSP in Scottsdale, Arizona, Sept. 18.)
SOLARWINDS MSP EMPOWER MSP — Cybersecurity is an increasing need and concern for MSPs and their SMB customers, so SolarWinds MSP is investing more to provide a broader portfolio of cybersecurity services.
That message was conveyed to partners during the first day of SolarWinds MSP’s Empower MSP conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. The vendor has 22,000 partners and customers, and serves 450,000 organizations globally.
“This is the first industry where we refer to each other as partners,” said John Pagliuca, SolarWinds MSP’s senior vice president. “If they grow, we grow … if they lose, we lose. Our job is to empower you folks. And it’s important to empower to stay ahead. Today is the slowest pace of change in the rest of your life. And the last 24 months was the fastest tech has changed. It’s important that you find a partner and invest in technology to keep going on that curve.”
Global IT services spending will reach $1 trillion this year, growing almost 8 percent in U.S. dollars, he said.
“When you look at our space, SMB, it’s even stronger,” Pagliuca said. “They can invest in and have the same technology as these large companies.”
No one is spending more to keep MSPs and their SMB customers safe, he said.
“The same processes, protocol and people [SolarWinds MSP delivers] to the Department of Defense, we’re delivering for you,” Pagliuca said. “It’s important to understand what’s behind the SolarWinds name. It’s all about future-proofing your business.”
At the conference, SolarWinds MSP announced the launch of the SolarWinds Threat Monitoring Service Program. The new offering builds on SolarWinds Threat Monitor with outsourced security operations center (SOC) services delivered via SolarWinds Threat Monitoring service providers. The company gained Threat Monitor through its acquisition of Trusted Metrics this summer.
The Threat Monitor platform includes automated threat detection, active response to security incidents and audit-ready reports. The SolarWinds Threat Monitoring Service Program is aimed at supporting MSPs who have purchased Threat Monitor, but prefer to partner with one of the SolarWinds Threat Monitoring Service Providers (TMSPs) to deliver tandem managed security services to their customers.
Tim Brown, SolarWinds’ vice president of security, said for the past six months his company has been focusing on getting MSPs educated, and getting them more materials “where they’re comfortable on security so they can talk security with their clients, and they can understand if a client doesn’t meet their requirements for cybersecurity hygiene, they should not take that client.”
“Threat Monitor takes them onto the next layer,” he said. “Threat Monitor really takes us into being more proactive in what we’re doing. As opposed to managing reports and managing data that comes in periodically … it’s proactive in the way that you’re managing and you now collect information from many different sources, you put that information in place from many sources, put it together and then alert the MSP real time of, ‘Hey, this is happening.’ The important step there from a security perspective is it now makes them much more real-time from a protection perspective. There’s also a level of automation in there that allows for actions to occur when you see something.”
Denny LeCompte, SolarWinds’ senior vice president of product management, said the security tools featured at RSA and Black Hat are for “Fortune 500 companies, and they assume you have a tremendous amount of security knowledge and tremendous amounts of money to spend on security.”
“Neither of those is true of an MSP or of a small IT operations team,” he said. “If they need to secure, what they need is a tool that is very simple, that will cover the basics and that is affordable budget-wise,” he said. “So we kind of looked at it at SolarWinds and said, ‘Nobody’s doing this well.’ Our relationship with IT is, we provide the tools, and they have a need. We decided we’re going to have to get into this space. So we decided what we are going to build ourselves, but sometimes you want to get to market really fast, so then we go and look at existing small players. And (Trusted Metrics) was the perfect acquisition.”
Falanx Group and Secuvant are the Threat Monitor program’s inaugural TMSPs. Falanx, based in London, brings more than 20 years of experience in security and SOC services to the program, serving a wide range of vertical sectors with a portfolio of security services. Secuvant is focused on providing business-driven cybersecurity solutions to SMBs.
“The SMB is our sweet spot, so becoming a SolarWinds TMSP made perfect sense to us,” said Ryan Layton, Secuvant’s CEO. “The threat landscape is rapidly changing, and MSPs need a way to more easily meet the escalating need for full-on SOC services for companies of all sizes. SolarWinds Threat Monitoring Service fills that gap and is a great opportunity for both the participating MSP and us, as a partner.”
PC Assistance has been a SolarWinds MSP partner for 13 years. Ted Clouser, its executive vice president, said he’s “very excited about the whole security aspect and I think it’s going to be a game changer for a lot of MSPs.”
“We are an MSSP, and it’s a game changer for us as well to really bring that level of expertise into an organization like ours,” he said. “We are responsible for everything that happens, and we have to be forward-thinking, we have to be proactive and we have to anticipate the threats before they really become a disaster. So every tool that we can find that helps us be ahead of it – or at least be able to report on what we’re doing – is huge for us. The bad guys have the resources and the network, and the tools to do things that 15 years ago you just never thought could be reality. So it’s all about trying to predict the future and then react.”