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N-able Empower 2022 Live Blog: MSP Software, Cloud and Cybersecurity Partner News

Credit: Joe Panettieri

Several hundred MSPs are on hand for N-able Empower 2022, a partner conference this week in Las Vegas. The event surfaces at a key time for N-able and its managed IT service provider (MSP) partners.

Indeed, N-able continues to grow, the MSP market remains healthy, and MSP valuations have generally held up well despite rising interest rates and inflation challenges. Still, N-able continues to evolve its business for cloud and cybersecurity opportunities -- especially amid potential economic turbulence, CEO John Pagliuca noted during his opening keynote on October 4, 2022.

Later, Pagliuca shared the stage with RMM General Manager Mike Cullen and Chief Security Officer Dave MacKinnon (all pictured above) to describe the opportunities and challenges facing MSPs.

David Weeks, N-able
David Weeks

Mike Cullen

Key N-able moves ahead of the Empower 2022 conference included:

Related from Empower 2022: N-able plans Cloud Asset Management tool to help MSPs manage Microsoft Azure.

N-able CEO John Pagliuca Keynote

During the opening session, Pagliuca described the tailwinds that continue to propel MSPs and N-able forward. But he also provided a reality check to make sure MSPs can navigate a potential recession.

John Pagliuca, CEO, N-able

"How recession proof is the MSP community?" Pagliuca asked. "Nothing is recession proof. But the MSP market is recession resilient."

Among the reasons he noted: Customer demand for cloud, digital transformation and cybersecurity services continues to grow. At the same time, those customers must navigate labor scarcity. The overall result is a growing total addressable market (TAM) for MSPs, Pagliuca asserted.

Nevertheless, MSPs need to take proactive steps to harden their businesses from potential economic turbulence. His five-step guidance included:

  1. Hit the books -- literally -- and truly study/understand your finances.
  2. Think about securing more debt. As the old saying goes: The easiest time to find and secure more money is to pursue it before you need it.
  3. Plan now for 2023 and beyond. As former GE CEO Jack Welch often said: Failing to plan is planning to fail.
  4. Standardize, optimize and automate your stack.
  5. Be an expert, not a commodity.

N-able, Pagliuca said, will align with MSPs to help them:

  1. Manage everything;
  2. Secure everything; and
  3. meet their individual definition of a successful business and personal journey.

On the cloud front, Pagliuca called on MSPs to push beyond SaaS reselling to truly manage all components of the cloud -- including cloud infrastructure, SaaS application sprawl, cybersecurity and more.

Risk Management for MSPs

Dave MacKinnon, Chief Security Officer, N-able

The panel featuring Cullen, MacKinnon and Pagliuca ultimately went down a cybersecurity, incident response and risk management conversation. Attendees asked how much cyber insurance N-able carries -- and whether the figure is enough. MacKinnon provided a dollars-and-cents answer (I don't know if it was on the record for media), and he conceded that any type of cyber insurance likely isn't enough to cover a major breach.

Indeed, MacKinnon pointed to an RSA breach that ultimately cost that company roughly $200 million in business, technology and brand damages.

To help mitigate the risk, N-able is preparing to help MSPs with incident response strategies. One forthcoming move: A tabletop exercise that allows every MSP at the conference to participate in an incident war game (details coming soon). Also, MacKinnon emphasized that MSPs should report incidents to N-able by emailing [email protected]. That inbox is more than a general destination. Indeed, it actually alerts the N-able security team to ensure the right eyes are quickly and effectively checking out the issue, MacKinnon noted.

N-able Empower 2022: Cybersecurity, Cloud and MSP M&A Updates Expected

So what's next? Over the next 48 hours, we're set to catch up with N-able CEO John Pagliuca, Senior Director of Partner Experience David Weeks, and a range of MSP market experts who are focused on cybersecurity, M&A, automation and more.

Stay tuned to this live blog for regular updates throughout the conference.

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.