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Former Continuum CEO Michael George Extends His Vision From MSPs to MSSPs

Michael George certainly knows his way around the service provider market. He previously partnered with private equity firm Summit Partners to overhaul, build and scale Continuum — a provider of managed network operations center (NOC), security operations center (SOC), and remote monitoring and management (RMM) software for MSPs in the SMB sector. George further scaled Continuum when the business shifted to Thoma Bravo’s ownership in 2017 before it merged into ConnectWise in October 2019.

Fast forward to present day, and George has set his sights on another service provider opportunity -- and an associated CISO need. This time, the target market is application security. As CEO of Invicti, his thesis is easily summarized: The cloud and other digital trends have made applications ubiquitous. Those applications -- deployed and consumed by businesses of all sizes -- are prime targets for hackers. The result? MSSPs need to offer continuous application vulnerability management services to their end customers.

George has been on-board at Invicti since late 2021. The journey so far has included hiring key executives who previously held prime posts at such companies as Mimecast, Rapid7, RSA and Sumo Logic. Moreover, Gerhard Watzinger -- known for his influence at CrowdStrike and KnowBe4 -- has joined as chairman.

Invicti and MSSPs: Michael George Explains Application Security Opportunity

But where exactly is Invicti heading next, and what are the potential vulnerability management implications for MSSPs and CISOs? Michael George provides answers in this ChannelE2E and MSSP Alert video interview:

Video link

Michael George's Perspectives: What the Interview Covers

The interview covers five chapters:

  • Chapter 1: Introductions
  • Chapter 2: Recapping Each Security Wave
  • Chapter 3: The Rise of Continuous Vulnerability Management
  • Chapter 4: Scaling the Invicti Team for Customers & Partners
  • Chapter 5: The Invicti Journey Ahead with MSSPs and CISOs

Here's a minute-by-minute recap:

Chapter 1: Introductions

  • 0:36 - Looking back (recapping Continuum for MSPs) and looking ahead (where the market is going with Invicti for MSSPs and CISOs).
  • 1:42 - Summit Partners and Invicti: The business relationship.
  • 2:15 - Understanding platform shifts around cloud and ubiquitous applications – and related cyber requirements.
  • 3:37 - Understanding dynamic application security testing.
  • 4:01 - As Marc Andressen predicted: Software ate the world. Now, what that means for security.

Chapter 2: Tracking Each Security Wave

  • 4:25 - Wave 1 - Infrastructure security: What companies have spent on security -- so far.
  • 5:10 - Wave 2- Human security: Rise and evolution of phishing attacks explained.
  • 5:47 - Wave 3- Application security: The target that MSSPs & CISOs must now protect.
  • 6:35 - How ubiquitous application development triggered new security needs.
  • 7:25 - What the ubiquity of websites means for application security issues.
  • 7:58 - The race to redeploy everything on cloud - and the security implications.
  • 8:36 - Roll all that together and cybercriminals have massive opportunities.
  • 8:55 - How COVID and work-from-home further complicated cyber matters.

Chapter Three: The Rise of Continuous Vulnerability Management 

  • 11:01 - Preparing MSSPs  to offer continuous vulnerability management -- what that means for customers and service providers.

Chapter Four: Scaling the Invicti Team for Customers & Partners

  • 14:28 - The Invicti team: Key executive and team hires -- including former executives from Mimecast, Rapid7, RSA, Sumo Logic and more.
  • 17:03 - Cyber pioneer Gerhard Watzinger -- known for his influence at CrowdStrike, KnowBe4 and McAfee -- joins as chairman.

Chapter 5: The Invicti Journey Ahead with MSSPs and CISOs

  • 18:35- Understanding Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST).
  • 20:55 - Supporting Shift Right and Shift Left customer needs.
  • 21:55 - CISOs can have it their way: Consume Invictic directly or via an MSSP.
  • 23:04 - MSSPs are the fastest-growing segment of the Invicti business.
  • 23:22 - A learn, try, buy consumption model.
  • 24:49 - How to differentiate as an MSSP: Test around application vulnerabilities.
  • 25:12 - Gartner Magic Quadrant: The Challenger Position, market growth & company growth
  • 26:17 - The ultimate meaning of Invicti, and finding the company online.
  • 27:21 - Conclusion.
Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.