Defendify brings SaaS cybersecurity platform for small business to ChannelCon

Defendify offers an automated platform of 13 solutions through a single pane of glass, and is aimed at MSPs who want to expand beyond providing staple services like firewall and AV without adding tons of extra work.

Rob Simopoulos, Defendify co-founder

LAS VEGAS — Portland Maine-based Defendify, which makes a SaaS cybersecurity platform for the sub-500 business market, is at the CompTIA ChannelCon event here this week to show off their platform to prospective partners. The company has been growing rapidly, with a focus on a high-touch model with its channel designed to maximize partners’ chances of success.

Defendify began life as Launch Security, a cybersecurity consulting firm focused on the broad SMB space of around 500 employees down.

“We came to realize that the real opportunity was to digitize the concept, and build a SaaS platform that did all the functionality of the consulting as a platform,” said Rob Simopoulos, Defendify’s co-founder, a transplanted Torontonian who came to Portland for a previous job, and never left. “There are 30 million of these businesses in the U.S. and the opportunity is huge. So we built the platform, brought it to market last September, and rebranded the company at that time.” In June, they announced a $1.6 million pre-seed funding round to broaden the company’s route to market with additional partners.

“Our platform consists of 13 modules delivered through three key layers,” Simopoulos said “One is a layer of foundational policies through which the partner can build procedures and provide for incident response. One is a culture of employee awareness, which includes educational awareness videos and sending phishing simulations to customers. And one is technology that goes beyond the standard firewall and antivirus that most partners offer. It includes things like a cybersecurity health checkup tool to score and grade the customer, which can be used as a pre-sales tool, as well as vulnerability scanning tools and Darkweb scanning tools. What’s really important is that all of this is automated, so that it doesn’t take a toll on the partner’s Help Desk.”

Simopoulous said that this kind of platform fills a major need in the market.

“Managed service providers know they have to come up with additional services to differentiate themselves,” he said. “They could build out a stack themselves to do this, but that requires a lot of extra work on the vendor relations side, and the need for a big Help Desk on the customer side. We do all this work for them, and it’s all automated.”

The modules are a blend of technology that Defendify has developed itself and which it has OEMed from elsewhere, although the majority is their own technology.

“Going forward, we are expanding this with additional vendor integrations, as we have our public APIs coming out,” Simopoulos said. “RMM and PSA integrations are coming down the pike as well.”

A trend among many customers to do third party cybersecurity assessments of their suppliers accentuates the value of the broad services the platform provides.

“We are seeing more of these third-party vendor cybersecurity assessments, both to determine what the impact would be from a new vendor with whom they partner before they do business together, as well as with their existing partners and suppliers,” Simopoulos indicated. “When an MSP’s customer gets a questionnaire with 200 cybersecurity questions from their own best customer, the MSP will have a good portfolio of solutions to help them check the majority of these boxes. MSPs also have the option of allowing the customer into the platform to see the reports, and see things like how their people are doing with their training, which adds some additional stickiness.”

Simopoulos said interest from MSPs looking for a smooth way to expand beyond firewall and antivirus has been brisk.

“We started in the U.S., but as a Canadian, it always made sense to bring Canadian partners on board,” he indicated. “We have had inbound leads from MSPs who want to partner with us, but we also do outreach with teams who reach out to inform MSPs about Defendify. Today we have partners all over North America, and are growing quickly. We have had inquiries from the U.K., Australia and even Africa, and while right now we are focused on North America, we have plans to expand into other countries, and a year from now we expect to be looking beyond North America.”

Working closely with partners to ensure their success is crucial to Defendify’s growth strategy, and is where a good portion of the new funding is going.

“We won’t be successful unless our partners are successful, which means giving them the tools they need to be successful, and that requires investing heavily,” Simopoulos said. “Every new partner is assigned a Partner Success Manager. We believe that you have to invest heavily in the partnerships, to ensure their success with clear success blueprints and marketing collateral. We have a very strong marketing team, and have just started a podcast series on privacy and cybersecurity which is being well received.”

A partner program is already in place to provide the machinery for the partner success team support.

“As we grow and scale, we will bring on more Partner Success Managers,” Simopoulos said. “We will also continue to engage from a thought leadership perspective.”

CompTIA ChannelCon is their first big event as an exhibitor.

“We are excited about meeting everybody, and are building as many good relationships as we can,” SImopoulos noted. “This is an exciting event, and we are pleased to be a part of it.”

Defendify is at Booth #535, where they are doing demos of their platform, and offering visitors the opportunity to have a caricature of themselves as a cybersecurity superhero drawn by a professional cartoonist.