ConnectWise continues to build up strategic significance of security portfolio with new Fortify products

The major one here is ConnectWise Fortify for SaaS Security, which adds many new capabilities to the Perch platform. ConnectWise has also rebranded the solutions it acquired with Continuum.

The new ConnectWise branding

Today at the ConnectWise IT Explore partner conference, ConnectWise announced new security solutions, as well as a rebranding of the products acquired with Continuum late last year. ConnectWise Fortify for SaaS Security covers Microsoft Office 365 offerings, but the plan is to extend that eventually more broadly into the SaaS world. ConnectWise Fortify for Assessment is more of a pre-sales tool.

The strengthening of the Fortify brand, which came with Continuum, but is now being used for ConnectWise security solutions, is strategically important for ConnectWise, as it builds up its security portfolio and profile.

“ConnectWise has had a pillar around PSA, and another around business automation,” said Jeff Bishop, ConnectWise’s Chief Product Officer. “Our work around Fortify cements a third pillar, around security. We will put a lot of time and effort into that, such as extending ConnectWise Fortify for SaaS Security, to protect SaaS apps in the Microsoft World, but in others as well.”

ConnectWise Fortify for SaaS Security is a complete net-new. It was not a Continuum product, but it rather based on the native Microsoft 365 monitoring platform of Perch Security, a ConnectWise strategic partner, in which it is invested.

“Microsoft has shifted so much of their infrastructure quietly into a SaaS environment, which is great in some ways, but from a security perspective it increases the attack vector,” said Brian Downey, Vice President, Product Security at ConnectWise, who came to the company with Continuum. “With ConnectWise Fortify for SaaS Security, we are focusing on that growing attack vector especially through Office 365.

Downey noted that the new offering is considerably beefed up from the original Perch platform, with added custom alerting, policies, visualizations and SOC support.

“Before we had basic monitoring, which highlighted key alerts,” he said. “Now we have high level correlation of different alerts and full mitigation and response. We didn’t have these SOC monitoring capabilities before.”

That correlation makes a huge difference in MSPs, in being able to pick the key actionable items out of the mass of alerts they get from Microsoft.

“One MSP we worked with in early access had Microsoft kick off 140,000 alerts to them a day,” Downey noted.  “Fortify for SaaS Security determined only about a dozen of these were real incidents. The MSP investigated those and found none of them were real alerts.”

Downey said that for MSPs in particular, these kind of tools are invaluable.

“Let’s say someone logs in from India, that could be something problematic, or completely normal, and the MSP won’t likely know since they don’t know the client’s staff and travel,” he said. “Machines are able to see the trends, and not just the data points.”

ConnectWise Fortify for SaaS Security will be available in July.

The other new product being announced is ConnectWise Fortify for Assessment. It gives a quick view of risk at a client site, through a holistic report of security, risk and data from a vulnerability scanner, and is really designed as a presales tool

“Starting that conversation with a non-IT person is always a challenge,” Downey stated. “Dark Web investigations which are easy to understand, are used for this, but this tool now extends that for vulnerability information. It’s not a deep vulnerability scan. But as a presales tool, it bridges a gap, and does a good job of starting the conversation, by showing the customer where they stand compared to the average.”

ConnectWise Fortify for Assessment is scheduled for release in Q3. Partners interested in participating in its beta program can sign up here.

ConnectWise also announced that the legacy Continuum products have rebranded to ConnectWise, as the next step towards the unified ConnectWise platform. BrightGauge and IT Boost will remain standalone products within the product lineup.

The new product names are:

  • ConnectWise Command, formerly a Continuum solution
  • ConnectWise Fortify, formerly a Continuum solution
  • ConnectWise Recover, formerly a Continuum solution
  • ConnectWise Assist, formerly a Continuum solution