eSentire increases visibility of Managed Detection and Response solution with Sumo Logic partnership

Sumo Logic’s cloud-native capabilities add a whole new range of signals from applications that eSentire’s MDR was not getting previously, significantly upgrading the solution and its value to channel partners.

Kerry Bailey, eSentire’s CEO

Cambridge ON-based Managed Detection and Response [MDR] provider eSentire has announced a significant upgrade of their platform capabilities through a new partnership with application performance management provider Sumo Logic, and their cloud-native machine data analytics platform. The announcement was made in conjunction with the 2018 Sumo Logic Illuminate User Conference, which runs yesterday and today in Burlingame, CA, and where eSentire is exhibiting.

The major announcement comes on the heels of major changes at eSentire in the first quarter of 2018. Kerry Bailey joined the company as CEO in February, with old CEO J.Paul Haynes transitioning to the roles of president and COO, remaining responsible for operations and the technical direction of the company. Bailey’s track record includes being the roles of SVP and GM of Cloud, and also  global channel chief at HPE, where he worked between 2013 and 2017. In March, eSentire also announced a new chief strategy and marketing officer, and a new executive vice president of global sales.

“We are in a new category in modern security, and one with high growth,” Bailey said. “It attracted the interest of Warburg Pincus, a global equity firm who became the lead investor in the company. We were doing very well, growing at a 50 per cent rate, but they saw an opportunity to take it to a billion-dollar business. It was really a scale play.”

Bailey said that eSentire’s general strategy had not changed with the leadership.

“It has remained pretty consistent, reflecting the consistency of the MDR market in general,” Bailey said. “As customers move to a more distributed workload for digital transformation, we provide a new security approach for those workloads. The focus of MDR strategy is how to get more signals in to the machine learning back end.”

That’s something where Sumo Logic can render considerable assistance to eSentire.

“We have had probably 80 per cent of our 650 customers still on-prem, or in a colo centre, but now with the adoption cycle moving more to cloud, they are moving more to cloud and mobile apps,” Bailey indicated. “With MDR, we have been able to monitor endpoints and logs and do the threat hunting that we do. We captured all the information on endpoint packets, and all the information on endpoints.”

Sumo Logic has the ability to look at even more data sources however, which really will enable eSentire to find needles in haystacks.

“Sumo Logic is a cloud-native app, that can collect information across infrastructure apps, and all the other parts of the new hybrid IT world,” Bailey said. We want full spectrum visibility – to see every point of what’s going on. They have that capability, to see all apps, logs, and cloud infrastructure. They have hundreds of connectors that connect to various apps and feed us all the information from applications. We now have full visibility of a customer’s environment. The naked eye can see a certain amount of light, but with Sumo Logic, we can now provide full visibility, which is a major enhancement to signal collection. Now we can find that needle in a haystack, and with our MDR, shut it down in seconds.”

For eSentire’s channel partners, who are a growing part of the business, Bailey said that this announcement is great news.

“For our security VARs who have moved into services beyond firewalls and licenses, this provides them with the ability to detect and shut down those threats, and these enhanced capabilities from machine learning will let them detect those threats more quickly,” he said. “For our 65 plus MSPs doing traditional managed services, there is an increasing expectation from customers that they will be a security expert, and this upgrades those capabilities. Security complexity is one of the major threats today. Partners have a responsibility to their customer to become more of an expert in security, and that means understanding that complexity.”

Today about 30 per cent of eSentire’s business goes through the channel, but that is expected to increase significantly.

“Within a year, we expect it will be more than 50 per cent,” Bailey said. “That’s critical to us. We have put a lot a lot of money into our channel organization, in particular increasing our partnerships with managed IT services companies.

On the technology partnership side, Bailey indicated that eSentire is actively seeking more partners who can bring significant value.

“We are looking for strategic partners who produce signals we can use, so we can put our experts on them to do analytics,” Bailey said. “We announced one with Cyxtera a few weeks ago.” No new announcements are likely forthcoming until the new year, however.