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Kaseya Security Solutions GM Kevin Lancaster: The ChannelE2E Interview


Kaseya in recent years has pushed far beyond its flagship RMM (remote monitoring and management) software. The big-picture strategy involves an IT Complete software suite for MSPs and IT departments.

Most MSP software providers are also moving into the security market -- through R&D, partnerships and/or acquisitions. That's where Kevin Lancaster enters the picture. As GM of security solutions at Kaseya, Lancaster spends considerable time with the company's product and development teams; speaking with emerging technology vendors; and exploring ways the company can partner more deeply on the security front.

Thousands of MSPs know Lancaster by his other title -- CEO of ID Agent, a dark web and threat intelligence software company that Kaseya acquired in May 2019.

Fast forward one year to present day. How has Kaseya's security strategy evolved since the ID Agent acquisition? And where is the company heading next? Lancaster provides updates in this ChannelE2E interview.

ChannelE2E: It’s been about a year since Kaseya announced the ID Agent acquisition. Rewind to the deal close for me. What were some of your first business priorities the first few weeks after the deal closed, and how did those priorities turn out?

Lancaster: Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been a year already.  So much has happened since then.To answer your question, I’d go back to why I chose to partner up with Kaseya versus  any other interested companies in the first place. From the onset, I fully agreed with and believed in the vision that Fred Voccola, CEO of Kaseya, had for Kaseya’s IT Complete.

Kevin Lancaster,
Kevin Lancaster, GM of security solutions at Kaseya; CEO of ID Agent

As an early part of our M&A discussions, Fred pulled back the curtain and exposed the broader strategy and vision to ID Agent, including Kaseya’s plan for a tightly integrated set of best-in-breed technologies to create a full suite of all the tools a solution provider needs to run a managed services business – and with Security as a pivotal component.

Once we got a chance to understand the corporate vision, explore Kaseya’s entire stack and inventory and assess all of Kaseya’s existing capabilities, we at ID Agent felt it was the clear winner in the space and the right partner to help us continue to drive ID Agent forward. That drive for innovation that Fred laid out for me in our early discussions was hugely important, as I didn’t want to just hand over ID Agent to a company that had no vision and that would squash my team’s drive to innovate.

With that said, the initial priorities from the jump were to fully understand Kaseya’s technology roadmap, go-to-market motions and identify the gaps. This is counter to the strategies of the other vendors with whom we had been speaking. For us, it’s proven to be the right approach.

Fast forward to June 2020. We are executing exceptionally well on Fred’s vision. Our focus on broadening IT Complete and our Security Suite will culminate in several major product launches over the next several months. Some forthcoming product launches will internally leverage solutions through product enhancements and workflow integrations between existing products, and others may come from acquisitions we are currently exploring.

ChannelE2E: What synergies and/or integrations have emerged between ID Agent and Kaseya’s various software solutions? Have MSPs benefitted from those synergies?

Lancaster: Kaseya has a very broad and deep bench of technologies. Some are already commercialized, while some are soon to be commercialized. Our focus has been on creating key workflows between our existing products and augmenting the IT Complete Security Suite.

We’ve executed on several already, including dark web monitoring in our Spanning Office 365 and G Suite backup solutions and adding our integrated secure identity and access management platform, Passly, to our Digital Risk Protection (DRP) Platform.

ID Agent solutions are part of Kaseya’s IT Complete. Together, these integrations give MSPs a comprehensive set of revenue-generating solutions that eliminate the “space between,” which is the valuable time that IT professionals waste moving between disparate applications and processes.

ChannelE2E: You’re now GM of Kaseya Security Solutions. What does that involve beyond ID Agent?

Lancaster: My day-to-day activities have evolved quite significantly. Today, I spend most of my day bouncing between our product and development teams and speaking with emerging technology vendors to see how we can partner with them to add even more value. It’s an exciting time at Kaseya, and we have a busy summer planned.

ChannelE2E: Has Kaseya taken any steps to expand ID Agent globally?

Lancaster: We have taken aggressive steps to broaden our reach globally through localization. People learn better in their preferred language. To that end, our popular and extremely effective BullPhish ID employee security training courses are now available in almost a dozen languages including Dutch, French, Hebrew, German and Spanish.

We’ve also hosted customer events on three continents and have hired sales and support staff in half a dozen countries. I’m proud to say that we are continuing to make cybersecurity awareness training more accessible to users around the world.

ChannelE2E: How has the security landscape changed amid the coronavirus pandemic, particularly as MSPs deploy and manage Work From Home (WFH) systems for customers?

Lancaster: MSPs and their customers have faced increased security threats year over year, however, what we are dealing with now is an epic explosion of cyberattacks due to the pandemic. A remote workforce brings added cybersecurity challenges to the table.

Because MSPs have access to their clients’ IT environments, both they and their clients are  ideal targets. Nearly three in four MSP respondents to Kaseya’s recent MSP Benchmark Survey said that 10-20% of their clients experienced at least one cyberattack in the past year. Cybersecurity is – and frankly should be – the top concern for MSPs.

So, what can a business do? What can MSPs offer?

One word: training. It’s something you hear about frequently in cybersecurity circles because it works. Well-trained staffers are the first and best line of defense that an organization can deploy to stop phishing and other cyberattacks.

Another simple fix is to require stronger credentials than just a password to access systems and data, as 80% of data breaches are caused by stolen or cracked passwords.

Lastly, use a quality dark web monitoring service to discover if you or your customers’ data or passwords are in circulation.

These changes are often not  difficult or very expensive, but leadership must be committed to them for them to succeed.

ChannelE2E: As you look ahead toward the second half of 2020, what are your key priorities for Kaseya Security Solutions & ID Agent?

Lancaster: We operate under a quarterly innovation cycle that includes both major new product releases and also key, truly valuable, feature enhancements. This structure ensures that our customers have access to the most innovative technologies, cutting-edge products and unrivaled workflow integrations. This is doubly true with our Security Suite. Cybersecurity needs to change quickly, and we must too.

I’m excited for the second iteration of Passly, available in early Q3 2020, which will allow customers to identify exactly which employees’ passwords have been compromised and deploy remedying security measures at the individual level, rather than across the entire organization. It’s an amazing feature and one we can’t wait to deliver to our customers.

We’ve also rebuilt the Dark Web ID and BullPhish ID Reporting to provide everything in an easily shareable dashboard. We will graphically visualize trends over time and more. Stay tuned for even more updates.

There are a lot of unknowns in the world today. What we thought 2020 was going to look like has completely changed. What remains is our commitment to our customers, our employees and to doing the next right thing.

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.