Managed Services

SonicWall Acquires SSE, ZTNA Firm Banyan Security

SonicWall has announced its second acquisition in six weeks, snapping up Banyan Security, a provider of security service edge (SSE) solutions aimed at companies replacing legacy architectures with SSE technology and zero trust network access (ZTNA).

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is M&A deal number 2 that ChannelE2E and its affiliate MSSP Alert have covered so far in 2024.

The deal follows on the heels of another in mid-November, 2023, when SonicWall acquired Dale City, Virginia-based MSSP Solutions Granted, SonicWall's first acquisition in more than 10 years. That deal provided SonicWall with a U.S.-based security operations center (SOC)-as-a-service, managed detection and response (MDR) services and other managed security services tailor-made for MSPs and MSSPs.

SonicWall's Acquisition Strategy, PE Ownership

Will SonicWall continue with more acquisitions in the near future? SonicWall president and chief executive Bob VanKirk did not answer that question posed by ChannelE2E. But the company has certainly been making investments in both its products and services as well as its channel partner program.

SonicWall is currently owned by private equity firms Francisco Partners and Elliott Management. The PE firms were part of a deal in 2016 that spun out SonicWall from Dell, making it an independent security company again. While that initial PE investment date puts SonicWall on a timeline for recapitalization soon, it's unclear whether SonicWall's PE owners are pursuing any kind of exit strategy.

By scooping up the San Francisco-based Banyan, SonicWall said it extends the reach of its portfolio to the cloud and provides partners and their customers with more flexibility. The acquisition further underscores the Milpitas, California-based SonicWall’s “best-of-suite” strategy that includes network, endpoint, wireless, cloud email, and threat intelligence under a single, multi-tenant portal, the channel-first company said.

SonicWall's CEO told ChannelE2E that the Banyan Security deal fortifies his company's portfolio.

“By acquiring Banyan Security, we strengthen our portfolio by adding zero trust security relied on by leading fortune 100 companies to small businesses who are replacing legacy architecture for SSE solutions, including zero trust network access,” he told ChannelE2E in an email.

“Our platform will allow an MSP to protect an end-user through simplified workflows and provide unified visibility to threats and alerts, empowering partners to spend more time on what matters most. The addition of Banyan will help us be more innovative as it relates to cloud-based solutions for our partners,” he said.

In the next few months, SonicWall will be opening a Europe-based SOC, VanKirk told the U.K.’s Register, calling it “another key service.” He did not disclose the location and the launch date.

SonicWall Makes Key Hires for Partner Program

SonicWall has been investing in its partner program, including its partner management and marketing team. In August, 2023, the company tapped Michelle Ragusa-McBain to run its global channel operation. Ragusa-McBain is responsible for managing SonicWall's channel ecosystem and helping its partners grow their business. She has more than 18 years of partner experience and led, developed and managed channel ecosystems at Cisco, Office Depot and JS Group.

One month later, SonicWall hired Christine Bartlett as its chief marketing officer. Bartlett will oversee the global marketing team, with responsibility for building the global brand and driving partner marketing. She joins SonicWall from Cisco Systems where she served as the senior director of integrated marketing.

SonicWall Fortifies SecureFirst Partner Program

SonicWall has also recently taken a number of steps to fortify its SecureFirst partner program to help its North American MSSP and MSP partners get the most value out of its products. Some of the program enhancements included:

  • New procurement options, including prepaid subscriptions offered at a discount and a no-commitment monthly service provider model.
  • Personalized dedicated support from level 2 or tier 3 agents.
  • Business discounts for new accounts across all tiers.
  • SonicWall University training options that allow partners to access product-specific courseware, specializations and industry-recognized certifications.

The updated program, which was initially released in North America, will be extended to Europe later this year.

Previously, SonicWall in June 2023 started offering monthly firewall security services bundles to MSSPs and MSPs. SonicWall's MSSP and MSP partners can use these bundles to offer their customers flexible, cost-effective cybersecurity solutions, the company said.

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.