Soft launch of Managed Phishline builds on Barracuda MSP Momentum

Barracuda made Managed Phishline, an MSP-focused version of the technology they acquired from Phishline this year, available to MSPs in July.

Neal Bradbury, Senior Director of Business Development for Barracuda MSP

WASHINGTON D.C.  – In January this year, Barracuda filled in what they considered to be a gap in their anti-phishing defenses, when they acquired PhishLine LLC, which makes a SaaS platform for social engineering simulation and training that trains end user employees how not to fall for phishing attacks. PhishLine LLC marketed to larger enterprises, while Barracuda’s customer base is mainly midmarket and SMB. So in early June, Barracuda responded to partner requests they get something to market quickly for this core base, and introduced Barracuda SMB. It’s an offering scaled down for the sub-1000 seat market, with the main difference being the removal of the enterprise version’s deep customization options. Initial response from partners and customers was strong. Then, in early July, Barracuda brought a new product to market, through a soft launch without a media announcement. Managed PhishLine is a version of PhishLine designed specifically for MSPs.

“When we acquired PhishLine, it was an enterprise product – and an awesome product,” said Neal Bradbury, Senior Director of Business Development for Barracuda MSP. “We then created PhishLine SMB. Now, for the MSP business, we are going to market with Managed PhishLine. It is enterprise PhishLine under the covers. It’s on the site now, and we started to sell it last month.”

The PhishLine offering is a combination of testing of end-users, along with training them about what’s new in the phishing industry, which requires some hands-on campaign planning work. Bradbury said that Barracuda MSP provides this however, not the MSP.

“We do all the work,” he said. “We have a select and separate professional services staff for this. The training for the MSP clients looks like it comes from the MSPs.” Barracuda MSP’s team handles all the campaign creation and oversight, involving phishing simulation emails and interactive training materials, as well as the reporting on who clicked on what, so the MSP can inform their end users.

“Email is one of the biggest threats today, and email security is one of the four pillars of our security offering,” Bradbury said.  “Last year we developed Barracuda Sentinel, our AI-based spear phishing detection tool, which we are using through the MSP business, and acquired Sonian, for email archiving. The security awareness training is the last step. This is something which has broad demand, but anyone who gets audited in particular really needs to have it.

“Core email products are very similar, but hackers force us all to continually innovate and add new capabilities,” Bradbury added. “That why we purchased Sonian and PhishLine, and made the investment in Sentinel.”

While MSP demand for Managed PhishLine has been strong, and the basic service is something that has value to almost all customers, Bradbury acknowledged some MSPs will choose to go another route.

“There are always subtle nuances in how MSPs go to business,” he said. “Managed PhishLine is an excellent service, but some MSPs will prefer a do-it-yourself approach.”

Barracuda MSP was backup vendor Intronis before its 2015 acquisition. At that time, Intronis had almost 2000 MSPs. Today, as Barracuda MSP, the number of partners has increased, but not massively so, to over 2900. However, while the number of partners has not increased substantially, the sales have. First quarter sales bookings for Barracuda Essentials, the company’s all-in-one email security, backup and archiving service,  grew 232 per cent through Barracuda MSP year over year. The increase is thus coming from more business being done per partner, and not just by adding more partners.

“We took the partner base that Intronis had built and led with security,” Bradbury said. “Since the acquisition, we have focused on growing in the UK and Europe, building on Barracuda’s presence in the U.K. “We have had success in Europe, and have a local team selling there, which helps.”

Bradbury was a regular attendee at ChannelCon back in the Intronis days, and he said that even now that they are part of a security company, the essentials of the message he presents at the event is much the same now.

“We view data protection as part of the security stack,” he said. “Being acquired gave us increased visibility and the advantages of being part of a bigger brand. Barracuda has embraced the roots of our MSP go-to-market, and the partner program has stayed consistent to the roots of Intronis. Our momentum numbers show that it’s working.”

Bradbury, who is Vice-Chair of CompTIA’s IT Security Community, said that ChannelCon is always a good event.

“It’s all about helping the community be aware of the opportunities,” he said. “This event is always a good time for me.”