Kaseya strengthens platform, gains new synergies, with Graphus acquisition

Graphus makes an email protection platform with a strong anti-phishing component, and the technology has already been integrated into the Kaseya platform to create new synergies.

Fred Voccola, Kaseya’s CEO

On Monday, Kaseya kicked off their virtualized Connect IT event with their latest acquisition announcement, their ninth in the last five years. They have acquired Graphus, a 2014 Reston VA-based startup, whose AI-based platform provides both phishing and email protection. This adds a simple, automated, powerful and cost-effective email security and phishing defense capability to Kaseya’s IT Complete platform.

Kaseya became interested in acquiring Graphus after becoming their customer, and using the Graphus software internally.

“We were getting crushed by all this phishing junk,” said Fred Voccola, Kaseya’s CEO. “Joe Smolarski, our Chief Operating Officer, liked it because it was so easy, and we started using it as a customer. We used it for almost a year with no intention of buying them.

“From the customer lens, the key thing is that the technology works,” Voccola said. “We’ve looked at and used everything out there. We are a 1300-person company, so we are not Microsoft, but we are not a teeny little company either. We have 90 PB of data in our cloud, and Graphus has the horsepower to handle that.”

Voccola acknowledged that Graphus is not that well known, and indicated that’s because they haven’t spent a lot of money building brand.

“Their founder is a product guy and an engineering guy, and that’s where most of the money they spend has gone,” he said. “They didn’t pile on tons of venture money, and burn through it.”

Graphus uses patented AI technology to defend Microsoft Office 365 and G Suite inboxes from a variety of threats delivered through email, including phishing and spear phishing, business email compromise, account takeover, identity spoofing, malware and ransomware.

It provides three layers of email defense: TrustGraph automatically detects and quarantines any malicious emails that break through an organization’s email security platform; EmployeeShield alerts recipients of a potentially suspicious message by placing an interactive warning banner at the top that allows users to quarantine or mark the message as safe with a single click.  And Phish911 proactively quarantines suspicious emails for IT to investigate before an employee can be phished.

“You can start protecting Office 365 or G Suite in a few minutes,” said Mike Puglia, Kaseya’s Chief Customer Marketing Officer. “There is nothing you have to do but turn it on. It automatically uses AI to determine what is good and what is bad.”

Voccola noted that in addition to being simple to operate, Graphus does not require an appliance.

“Some solutions like Mimecast need an appliance and are expensive,” he said. “Appliances also change the way that you do business.  The cost structure of this fits our model as well. We price our modules of IT complete to be 20-30% less expensive than anything else on the market.”

Graphus’ automated email defense solutions have been integrated into the ID Agent Digital Risk Protection Platform. This includes Dark Web ID, a Dark Web monitoring platform, BullPhish ID, a phishing simulation and cybersecurity awareness training solution, and Passly, a secure identity and access management solution.

“We have already integrated our DarkWeb platform, ID Agent, with Graphus already,” Voccola said, emphasizing how this creates new synergies.

“If you go on the Dark Web, one of every four credentials are available for sale there, although not all of those will allow access,” he indicated. “Now that we can determine if something is for sale on the Dark Web, the amount of scrutiny given to it by Graphis can be increased accordingly.”

Kaseya is clearly hoping that these kinds of synergies will increase MSP adoption of what many of them still think of as exotic technologies for their market.

“Most people using our RMM aren’t doing Dark Web monitoring – 87%,” Voccola said. “89% don’t have an automated compliance solution. Even 68% still don’t have IT documentation.”

“We are emphasizing that with out best-of-breed  IT Complete platform, making these all work together is where it can really benefit you,” Puglia said.

Graphus will continue to operate as an independent business within Kaseya, which has become the common model with Kaseya’s recent acquisitions. Manoj Srivastava, Graphus’ CEO and co-founder, will lead the business unit.

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