Digital Defense targets front line health workers with free ransomware vulnerability offer

End users need to sign up by July 15. While the offer is targeted at them, it is a channel initiative, and enrollees who don’t have an MSP partner will be introduced to one as part of the program.

Bob Layton, Digital Defense SVP and Chief Revenue Officer

Vulnerability assessment platform provider Digital Defense is now running a free, $1 million dollar offer for front-line healthcare organizations to identify vulnerabilities that would make them susceptible to ransomware attacks. While the deal is directed at end users, it is being managed as a channel program, and leads will be turned over to a partner if the customer does not already have one.

The strategic objective of the program is really to demonstrate an MSP’s value to their customer, so that in the more challenging environment created by the pandemic, they are not as likely to be cast aside as a less essential service.

“Right now, with the issues in the economy created by the pandemic, customers are asking why they are paying for things,” said Bob Layton, Digital Defense SVP and Chief Revenue Officer. “This free vulnerability assessment shows their posture from a security perspective, and shows specifically what actions they need to take to increase their score, rather than showing things like the number of tickets and the number of routers replaced. Showing the security posture has more value. We call that ‘proof of value’ reporting.”

Digital Defense’s view, supported by the first research studies that have begun to appear on MSPs and the pandemic, is that the very early wave of business created in setting up home office environments has given way to a challenging environment where hard-pressed customers are looking to cut costs, looking for cheaper options.

“I’ve worked in the MSP world, and that’s a cash flow business,” Layton said. “If 10% of your base churns because of the pandemic, that’s a harsh, harsh crunch, which is likely to lead to consolidations and buyouts. We want to get our partners engaged. Many of them are losing or churning their smaller clients. This allows the partner to walk in and point to the goodwill they bring by partnering with Digital Defense.”

The end users apply through the Digital Defense website. They need to sign up by July 15, 2020, and they will receive a complete assessment by September 30, 2020.

“We are looking specifically to help organizations on the front line who are delivering care,” Layton indicated. “It includes hospitals but also other front line clinics and community hospitals. It’s not aimed at small dental offices, plastic surgeons, and that type of provider. That’s not the focus. It’s the front line care givers.” Layton noted that this sector has been targeted by ransomware providers, precisely because they are overwhelmed at the moment, so that security may not have top of mind presence.

“It doesn’t matter if they are publicly funded,” Layton added. “They just have to accept our EULA. We are looking at expanding into the UK where the NHS would be involved.”

Digital Defense has had a historically hybrid Go-to-Market model, but has grown its channel business in recent years and now has an explicit channel-first model. While at one time VARs were their channel focus, that focus is now on a range of managed service provider players, and many of their original partners have added managed services components.

“We serve multiple industries from SMB to the enterprise,” Layton said. “Our channel is traditional MSPs that are making the turn to include security, as well as MSSPs and MDR providers, the latter of which is the nirvana right now.”

Layton emphasized that even though the offer is structured to make Digital Defense the contact point, this is a channel promotion.

“When we put that announcement out there, we are acting as a concierge,” he said. We will introduce the customer to an MSP if they don’t have one. We don’t take the deals direct.”

Ideally, this promotion will increase the number of Digital Defense’s Canadian partners.

“We’ve got a few partners in Canada, and are looking for more,” Layton said.

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