AI/ML, Governance, Risk and Compliance, Managed Security Services, MSP

Security Update: ConnectWise, Microsoft Partner on AI-Powered Security

Cyber incident alert
  • ConnectWise, Microsoft to Copilot AI-Powered Security
  • Deepfake AI Defense: Former White House CIO Warns on Misinformation
  • Palo Alto Networks Buys IBM QRadar
  • Blackbaud Class Action Lawsuit Denied by Federal Court

Each week ChannelE2E provides our readers with a deeper look into cybersecurity by highlighting some of the top stories at our affiliate site MSSP Alert.

This week we are bringing you some additional coverage from ConnectWise IT Nation Secure. As you know, this is the ConnectWise annual event dedicated to cybersecurity, which is a big and increasing part of the managed services stack.

In addition to our ConnectWise news, we've also got a cybersecurity liability lawsuit and a deeper dive into what happened to customer contracts when Palo Alto Networks acquired IBM QRadar.

ConnectWise, Microsoft to Copilot AI-Powered Security

ConnectWise and Microsoft are all-in on an AI-powered security partnership, and the companies celebrated their collaboration onstage at IT Nation Secure in Orlando, Florida.

Making the announcement in his keynote address, Erwin Visser, general manager of Microsoft Global Partner Solutions, Americas, described how Microsoft Copilot for Security and Microsoft Defender for Business would be guiding the ConnectWise ship going forward. ConnectWise’s business is built around providing MSPs with the platform tools they need to run their businesses of providing IT and security services to business customers.

Visser explained that the rapid pace of AI adoption is transforming businesses, with the convergence of data centers, cloud innovation and hardware technology leading to the development of large language models (LLMs). As such, Microsoft's AI strategy focuses on innovation, platform development and providing customized AI solutions.

Of course, security is a crucial aspect of AI adoption, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and Microsoft has introduced a new AI-powered toolkit to address this need.

Read the full story here.

Deepfake AI Defense: Former White House CIO Warns on Misinformation

IT Nation Secure, a ConnectWise event, got Tuesday morning’s programming going with a real-world wake-up call from keynote speaker Theresa Payton over the growing threat of deepfake videos and voice cloning — threats she believes could potentially wreak havoc on voter confidence in the upcoming U.S. Presidential election.

Back when she was serving the administration of President George W. Bush overseeing IT operations as White House Chief Information Officer, Payton could not have imagined a world when the lines between real and fake would essentially be indistinguishable to the average person. Of course, that’s where the experts come in — the MSPs, MSSPs and cybersecurity vendors in attendance whose job it is to separate fact from fiction and root out misinformation — keeping a keen eye on AI governance.

With the ability to access potent AI algorithms and the widespread availability of ChatGPT, cybercriminals now possess formidable tools at their disposal. These AI advancements have fundamentally reshaped the landscape of criminal operations, offering novel challenges and prospects for the cybersecurity realm. But Payton shows that it’s possible to turn the tables on cybercriminals, as was the aim of her keynote: “Cybercrime is Accelerating: AI, Deepfakes, Voice Cloning — Future-Proof Yourself Now!”

She demonstrated herself how easy it was to create a deepfake video and audio using free tools and low-end computers.

Read the full story here.

Palo Alto Networks Buys IBM QRadar

For devoted customers of IBM Security’s QRadar cybersecurity product line, it was a bit of a seismic shock when Palo Alto Networks recently announced that it was buying the QRadar unit from IBM and changing how customers will get their QRadar services and support.

The May 15 deal came as a surprise because IBM has historically been active in improving and developing the QRadar product line, including a November 2023 announcement that it was retooling its QRadar security information and event management (SIEM) system to help users scale their hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) workloads.

That announcement also included plans from IBM to integrate generative AI capabilities within its QRadar threat detection and response products by tying in its watsonx data and AI platform. And in April 2023 IBM had announced the launch of its then-new IBM Security QRadar Suite, which was built to streamline security analyst experiences across the full incident lifecycle.

But now IBM is changing that earlier strategy by selling its SaaS-based QRadar line to Palo Alto Networks and moving to work with Palo Alto to provide AI-powered security consulting services to customers in the future, according to the companies.

Read the full story here.

Blackbaud Class Action Lawsuit Denied by Federal Court

A U.S. District Court judge in South Carolina has denied a motion to certify a class action lawsuit against Blackbaud, a third-party software and data services provider hit by a large cyber breach in February 2020.

Judge Joseph Anderson Jr. said that a method proposed by the plaintiffs’ experts had not shown how class members would be determined. That was that, inasmuch as the class action, based on the number of records stolen in the high-profile heist, could have reached 1.5 million people. Some estimates put it as high as 20 million individuals.

"Given Plaintiffs' failure to provide this Court with an administratively feasible method of ascertaining class members, this Court declines to join the minority of courts that have certified a class in a consumer data breach case such as this," Judge Anderson wrote.

Blackbaud sells tools for fundraising, nonprofit financial management and education. Its customers include nonprofit organizations, foundations, schools and healthcare organizations. The company claims that more than $100 billion is raised, granted or invested through its software annually.

Read the full story here.

Jessica C. Davis

Jessica C. Davis is editorial director of CyberRisk Alliance’s channel brands, MSSP Alert, MSSP Alert Live, and ChannelE2E. She has spent a career as a journalist and editor covering the intersection of business and technology including chips, software, the cloud, AI, and cybersecurity. She previously served as editor in chief of Channel Insider and later of MSP Mentor where she was one of the original editors running the MSP 501.