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RSA Conference 2017: Live Blog Day 2

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ChannelE2E continues to navigate RSA Conference 2017, with meetings every hour on the hour through 6:00 p.m. PT today. Check this blog for live updates from each meeting throughout the day.

Recap, Day 1: Visit here for a recap of our conversations with NinjaMSP, One Identity and SonicWall. Also, keep checking that blog because we'll add recaps involving BlackStratus, Cisco Systems, Kaspersky Lab and SolarWinds MSP.

Sophos Central: Security Management Dashboard for All?

Erin Malone
Erin Malone

Source: Erin Malone, VP channel sales NA

When it comes to mergers and acquisitions, a lot of security software companies stumble badly on the integration front. A key example: McAfee never quite unlocked the full value of MX Logic, an early leader in the MSP-centric security space. In stark contrast, every step in the Sophos M&A strategy seems to reinforce the company's central management dashboard for partners -- aptly named Sophos Central.

Among the secrets to Sophos's success: Leveraging a partner advisory council (PAC) that provides constant R&D feedback to the company's development team. The PAC meets quarterly, including two face-to-face gatherings per year. And on a broader scale, Sophos remains 100 percent channel only -- leveraging 26,000 partners worldwide.

Thanks to those partner-led efforts, Sophos Intercept X has emerged as one of the most successful launches in history, Malone says. Among the proof points: Poke around and you'll hear about a partner that deployed 5,000 endpoints. The deployments stopped 400 potential ransomware attacks, and the partner's customers have had zero ransomware infections since deployment, Malone says.

Each time a new product like Intercept X launches, the Sophos Central dashboard gains associated management and monetization capabilities for partners. In some ways it's a security app store. In other ways it's an analytics dashboard. And in other ways it's a revenue generation system for partners.

So what else is brewing at Sophos? We'll share more details in the days and weeks ahead. But for now, it's time to run to our next meeting...

Webroot Expands MSP Security Software Portfolio

Source: Frank Price, VP of product

Webroot’s Job One remains security. But amid that mission, the company’s focus involves simple, light, cost-effective solutions that deliver value for MSP partners and their small business customers. “We don’t look at MSPs as a pass-through reseller to our end-users,” Price asserts. “We’re very serious about their success.”

Much of the discussion at RSA Conference 2017 remains ransomware -- including the growth of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS). Alas, RaaS potentially extends the attacker landscape exponentially -- from established hacker experts to hacker novices. Webroot’s recommendation: Protect endpoints, protect the network, invest in data storage and backup, and invest in trained professionals. “The attacks we’re seeing are evolving, and that’s why we’re investing in multiple layers of security.”

For instance, Webroot is talking up new R&D developments at the conference, including Webroot FlowScape Analytics, Webroot BrightCloud Streaming Malware Detection, and Webroot SecureAnywhere DNS Protection. DNS was developed in-house; the streaming technology is patent-pending; and FlowsScape technology comes from the 2016 CyberFlow acquisition.

Partners who test solutions like DNS will notice that it’s “very simple and clean to deploy” -- particularly for MSPs that support SMB customers.  

FlowScape is available for custom integration and evaluation as part of an early availability program. BrightCloud Streaming Malware Detection is available for beta technology partners with general availability scheduled for mid-2017. Webroot SecureAnywhere DNS Protection is in beta and scheduled for general release in April.

More Meeting Recaps

Stay tuned. Check this blog again later today and throughout this week. We've got nearly a dozen meetings to recap here at RSA Conference 2017.

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.