MSP, Networking

ConnectWise Preps Major Cybersecurity, Managed Security Services Partner Push

ConnectWise is quietly strengthening existing partnerships and building new relationships to help technology solutions providers (TSPs) address cybersecurity and managed security services, ChannelE2E has confirmed.

Among the key moves: ConnectWise has partnered with EC-Council, a well-known cybersecurity certification organization, to promote partner training. More details will emerge during an online training and education session for security services on Thursday, May 18. I believe Mike Ferris, CEO of Abacode Cybersecurity, will offer MSSP perspectives during the conversation.

ConnectWise Cybersecurity Strategy for Partners

Andrew Morgan
Andrew Morgan

Gavin Gamber
ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini

ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini planted the seeds for the company's security-centric push during IT Nation 2016 in November. At the time, Bellini shared nine requirements for building a managed security services practice.

Over the past few months, additional ConnectWise executives and team members have been furthering those security efforts. For example, VP Gavin Gamber has been strengthening ConnectWise's existing channel relationships with security vendors, while inking new partnerships.

Moreover, Solutions Strategist for Vendor Alliances Andrew Morgan has been networking heavily within the security sector to pinpoint more opportunities for ConnectWise and its partners.

New: ConnectWise/EC-Council Relationship

Todd York
Steve Graham

Among the immediate results: The ConnectWise/EC-Council relationship. EC-Council launched after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The core thesis: What if the physical attacks of 911 had been carried out in the cyber world? In response, EC-Council launched to help educate the information security community for that emerging threat landscape, notes Steve Graham, senior VP at the organization.

Fast forward to present day, and Graham and Partner Development Manager Todd York continue to bolster EC-Council relationships worldwide. More details should emerge during the Thursday online education session.

Managed Security Services Providers: Established Term, New Opportunities

Mike Ferris

Even before the recent WannaCry and WannaCrypt ransomware attacks, the cybersecurity discussion among VARs, MSPs, CSPs, channel partners and businesses has been growing louder. The common theme: Most businesses -- larger or small -- don't have ample talent or budget to effectively safeguard company assets.

As a result, there has been newfound interest in so-called MSSPs -- managed security services providers. To be clear, MSSPs are not MSPs with security bolted onto the conversation. Instead, true MSSPs have dedicated, fully developed business practices that typically include 24x7 SOCs (security operations centers) and a range of intense security services.

As traditional PC and server monitoring commoditize, managed security services are largely seen as the biggest challenge -- and opportunity -- for IT outsourcing firms of all sizes. From MSP software companies to firewall hardware companies and backup providers, just about everyone is trying to help partners and businesses with a "build vs. buy or partner" decision tree in the MSSP sector.

The MSSP Landscape

Although ConnectWise is taking aggressive steps on the partnership front, rival moves are expected. Continuum, for one, has hinted that it's exploring a potential SOC build-out for partners. At the same time, companies like AlienVault, Barracuda Networks, Cylance, FourVPalo Alto Networks and SonicWall (among others) are strengthening their MSSP engagements.

And in some cases, MSSPs are emerging as master partners to peer MSPs. Key examples include Carvir and Infogressive. We'll share move details about the overall trend on May 23...

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.