SonicWall signs innovative new MSSP partnership with ADT Cybersecurity

The deal reunites SonicWall with old partner Secure Designs Inc., and expands their channel with a different type of partner than those which they typically work with.

Bill Conner, SonicWall’s CEO

SonicWall has signed a major new MSSP partner, announcing a new strategic partnership with ADT Cybersecurity. It is rather different from a typical MSSP addition, however, not just for the size of the new partner, but around how its business model fits into the market and expands Sonicwall’s channel.

ADT, an old and durable brand, has been in business as a physical security company since 1874. ADT Cybersecurity is much, much more recent. It was originally formed in 2017, when ADT acquired MDR [managed detection and response] provider DATASHIELD and rebranded them as ADT Cybersecurity. Last August, ADT reworked that business with the acquisition of Secure Designs Inc. [SDI], a large MSSP and a SonicWall partner, which immediately began using the ADT Cybersecurity name. Larry Cecchini, who had been President and CEO of SDI, became the Vice President and General Manager of ADT Cybersecurity

“ADT has been in business a very long time,” said Bill Conner, SonicWall’s CEO. “They monitor the physical world. They made a strategic decision to move from physical monitoring into cyber-monitoring and management, and had tried to get into cybersecurity before, but not that successfully. So they acquired SDI, an MSSP that we had as a partner. SDI became the critical infrastructure. A lot of our competitors also tried to get into ADT Security, but they made the decision to go with us, and our platform piece gave them the portfolio that they need.”

The deal is focused specifically on end-to-end SMB offerings, and SonicWall will be the exclusive provider of them to ADT Cybersecurity.

“We will be starting out of the gate with basic firewalls through our TZ Series, our hosted email security, our DPI-SSL technology for encrypted traffic protection, and our Capture Advanced Threat Protection,” Conner said. “We have more things that they like in terms of wireless and cloud applications., but we wanted to start with the core framework and get that stabilized.” Additional SonicWall technology provided as managed offerings through ADT Cybersecurity is very likely down the line, he indicated.

ADT of course has a large consumer install base, and SonicWall has a presence in the home market as well with products like their SOHO 250 firewall, Conner said that the target market for this is the SMB space.

“They have the opportunity to take it to residents or even wider, to bigger enterprises as well, but for now they will focus on the target market,” he said.

Conner stressed the strategic importance of this deal to both parties.

“This is now the largest MSSP that we now have in North America,” he said. “It’s also very complementary to our traditional channel. It’s a different route to market for us. And while SDI was part of our ecosystem before, our traditional MSSPs aren’t trying to combine physical and cybersecurity like ADT is.

“We have also had a very focused strategy with large MSSPs, like Etisalat Digital, a global company based in the Middle East,” Conner added. “ADT Cybersecurity is different in that they are not a traditional MSSP. This is part of our MSSP outreach strategy, looking for new models that are evolving.”

New models don’t always work. When Conner was running Entrust, they became involved in an innovative partnership with a company in Japan that didn’t meet expectation.

“That didn’t work well because the other company didn’t understand cybersecurity,” he said. “That isn’t the case here.

Conner also emphasized the importance of the deal from ADT Cybersecurity’s perspective.

“This is highly strategic for them, in letting them put cyber and physical security together in a major way,” he said. “It’s also significant that they went with best of breed, and are working with us exclusively on these offerings.”

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