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MSP Software Companies Buying Up Security Technology Firms


The SolarWinds buyout of Trusted Metrics, announced this morning, is the latest example of an MSP-friendly software company pushing deeper into the security sector.

> ALSO BREAKING: AT&T Acquires AlienVault

Indeed, SolarWinds MSP and its key rivals -- particularly ConnectWise, Continuum, Datto and Kaseya -- have been scouring the security market for potential acquisitions, investments and partnerships. The overall goal: Help MSPs to automate their security services without forcing those MSPs to find, hire and train expensive talent to manage such services.

Still, M&A is an expensive proposition at the moment. Security company valuations often are sky-high, particularly for next-generation companies that boast artificial intelligence, machine learning and automated services that don't require heavy manpower to maintain.

MSPs: On the Hook for Security

Multiple CEOs in the sector -- particularly ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini and Continuum CEO Michael George -- say MSPs and IT service providers face an ultimatum. All SMB customers now believe MSPs are their core security providers, those executive assert, and that means MSPs will be held responsible for any type of data breach or cyberattack fallout.

Multiple MSPs have already been held accountable for ransomware attacks and associated payments, Bellini asserted during a closed-door meeting with CISOs, MSPs and MSSPs in July. Insurance companies are also taking aim at MSPs and MSSPs that experience customer breaches. One example includes a lawsuit against TrustWave -- a Top 100 MSSP -- though the company says the suit is without merit.

MSP Software Companies Seek Security Acquisitions, Partnerships

Amid those market variables, SolarWinds and its core rivals are building, acquiring and partnering their way deeper into the security sector. Key example moves include:

  • SolarWinds has confirmed the Trusted Metrics acquisition, giving MSPs and MSSPs new threat monitoring and SOC capabilities.
  • ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini met with MSPs and MSSPs during a closed door meeting at the recent Automation Nation 2018 conference in Orlando. He vowed to help partners automate their security services to drive down the cost of delivering such offerings.
  • Continuum recently acquired CARVIR, a SOC provider and master MSSP that works closely with MSP partners.
  • Datto has been developing a unified threat management (UTM) appliance, and the company is in the market looking to make more security moves.
  • Kaseya has doubled down on its AuthAnvil offerings.

More moves are coming. Stay tuned...

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.