Continuum also adds Fortify for the MSP, security protection at a nominal cost for the MSP’s own protection.
PITTSBURGH – The big theme here at Continuum’s Navigate conference has been the evolution of the company’s automation and orchestration capabilities to allow MSPs to cope with the rise of cybercrime. On a product level, Continuum also made a pair of announcements designed to further this objective. On one front, they announced the expansion of Continuum Fortify with new MDR capabilities through a relationship with Fortinet. On another, they announced Fortify for the MSP, which is the same product as Fortify, but is designed to protect the MSP from attacks, and is priced at a nominal sum to encourage its use.
“We are the only vendor who goes the last mile in solving the skills gap with our NOC and SOC and our tools,” said Fielder Hiss, Continuum’s VP of Product. “The large majority of MSPS cannot build anything like our SOC. Those who can will need less staff, will be able to do more project type work, and will have a higher level of profitability.”
Hiss said that data compiled by Paul Dippell of the Service Leader Institute about 18 months ago found that partners using Continuum’s security model have 8 per cent higher gross margin and 7 per cent higher EBITDA.
Continuum organically built and launched their first security product in 2018, what is now Fortify for Protection, which has compliance reporting built in. Their acquisition of Carvir that same year brought them Fortify for Endpoint and for Networks.
“We now have the broadest set of cybersecurity tools in the industry,” Hiss said.
The new MDR capabilities, which come through Fortinet, will strengthen that further, Hiss stressed.
“We have partnered with Fortinet, around their FortiSIEM,” he stated. “This brings more data together in a centralized view, with full SOC protection for clients. It gives us a much broader view of the world, bringing all that data together in a truly unique way. It lets us be very proactive and outcome oriented. We can discover more advanced threats with more data, and eliminate more false positives. This is something we feel will be game-changing.”
Brian Downey, Continuum’s Vice President of Product Management – Security, explained why they chose to partner with Fortinet for the MDM capability
“We wanted something that would pull from a lot of data sources, and provide a lot of scalability,” he said. “Fortinet just does that very well, with a lot of scalability and a lot of simplicity.”
Downey emphasized how in the same way that Continuum has pulled together what had been a group of siloed solutions into a fully orchestrated suite, FortiSIEM provides that same kind of integrative glue around Fortify specifically.
“Our differentiation as a company has been providing a service as well as the solution,” Downey said. “We have tried to bring fully managed enterprise grade solutions like SentinelOne to our partners, combining our SOC with their software. This Fortinet relationship reflects the broader direction where we see ourselves going. We have created a strong portfolio of products and now use FortiSIEM to provide a suite. We are moving from a siloed strategy to a platform where things can communicate with each other, providing more value to partners.”
While access to Fortinet’s SIEM is not exclusive to Continuum, even in the RMM world, Downey said that Continuum is able to do more with its capabilities.
“FortiSIEM gives us an outstanding foundation, because they have built a really scalable platform,” he stated. “But we are able to feed all the applications from SentinelOne and others into it, and our own experts add in automation reports and make it even more useful.
Continuum’s existing Fortify Network SIEM offering isn’t going anywhere.
“We will continue to offer Fortify for Network,” Hiss said. “It has a different use case. It is focused on SOC management, looking at network logs, and retaining those logs. In contrast, the MDR capabilities with the FortiNET integration brings in all the feeds for all the security tools. It’s a broader footprint and a broader value proposition.”
Similarly, Downey said that the new Fortinet relationship doesn’t really impact Continuum’s relationship with Netsurion and their EventTracker SIEM.
“We leverage EventTracker for a managed SIEM offering, and will continue to do that,” he said. “We use FortiSIEM for a distinct use case around the MDR offering. The new MDR capabilities are critical because they give MSPs the ability to find incidents faster, and simplify the management experience. It helps us provide a simple, easy solution for MSPs supported by our SOC in an extremely cost- effective way.”
The other security announcement, Fortify for the MSP, is aimed to help MSPs protect themselves against the trend to attack MSPs because they hold the keys to entry to their customers’ kingdoms. About 18 months ago, the FBI issued a warning that MSPs were being targeted as gatekeepers, but Hiss said it hasn’t been heeded that well. He referred to an account told onstage by George Anderson, Webroot’s Director of Product Marketing, about an MSP in Oregon who managed dental offices. They were breached, had all the data they held destroyed and went out of business.
“We felt a responsibility to make it attractive to MSPs to avoid those scenarios,” Hiss said. “Fortify for the MSP is packaged and priced for MSPs. It should be a no- brainer for partners to implement and protect themselves.”
So if it’s so important, why not just give it to all their MSPs for free?
“We did consider that, but a nominal fee shows a level of seriousness and commitment,” Hiss stated. “’Free’ tends to diminish the intrinsic value of things.
“Protecting your environments and clients’ environments together is part of our vision,” Hiss told the partners in his keynote. “We are very focused on helping you be the disruptors, and helping you protect yourselves is part of that.”