Kaseya adds managed SOC to IT Complete platform with RocketCyber acquisition

RocketCyber, the Dallas-based startup Kaseya has acquired, was custom-built for smaller MSPs serving the SMB market, and will be quickly integrated with the other Kaseya solutions on their platform.

Fred Voccola, Kaseya’s CEO

Kaseya has added a SOC [security operations centre] component to their IT Complete platform with the acquisition of Dallas-based RocketCyber. The RocketCyber solution is a fairly new one, which was designed for smaller MSPs and to be easy for them to use. It was also designed to integrate easily into other products, which will facilitate its integration into the many Kaseya solutions on their platform.

RocketCyber came out of stealth at the fall ConnectWise Connect event. It is the third company for serial entrepreneurs and co-founders Carl Banzhof, the CEO, and Billy Austin, the President. Their first startup, Citadel Security, which made security compliance software, was acquired by McAfee in 2006. Their second, iScan Online, made an automated risk intelligence solution and was acquired in early 2016 by LOGICnow.

“We looked at just about everyone in the space, but there are a couple of reasons why we decided on RocketCyber,” said Fred Voccola, Kaseya’s CEO. “One is Billy and Carl. They are very talented guys, and a known commodity. We also liked their technology.”

RocketCyber’s platform has evolved since they came out of stealth. Initially, it provided an array of high quality services for MSPs, all designed in house, some of which were provided to MSPs for free, and others offered on a fee basis,  with the aim being to give MSPs more billable services. During 2019, while they continued to introduce new services (and the free ones disappeared from the model) the emphasis shifted to the SOC capability of the platform itself, and the platform evolved into a broader ecosystem which emphasized easy integration with others.

“The platform they have built is by far the most malleable and resilient out there,” Voccola said. “It’s not to handle large volumes of data – that’s a commodity at this point. But it’s very adaptable. We can plug in IDAgent, Graphus, Cyberhawk – so many different solutions of ours to increase the number of vectors we can monitor.”

The location of the SOC was also a plus.

“It’s an in-country SOC, in Dallas, and not in the Philippines or in India,” Voccola said. “We will build another huge one in Miami, and in Dublin.”

Banzhof and Austin, as well as their team, will be joining Kaseya, with RocketCyber being run as an independent business within Kaseya, led by Banzhof. That’s consistent with their selling of Banzhof and Austin’s first two companies, where the two leaders stayed for a transition period.

“They want to be here for the next three or four years and build it into a major business,” Voccola said.

The SOC capability is a net-new for Kaseya.

“Our security business is over $100 million a year, and we have several suites, and a NOC capability, but we have had nothing like this,” Voccola said. “The demand for this is clearly increasing. If you asked me two years ago what percentage of MSP customers wanted advanced threat protection, I would have said about 2%, and those would have been the highly regulated, Today, it’s 15%. We think in four years it will be 50 to 70%. So it’s important to get a security platform that’s flexible, scalable and reliable.”

This type of solution used to raise price objections from MSPs’ SMB customers, but Voccola said those days are coming to an end.

“The average small business owner’s knowledge and awareness of cyber security threats is increasing 100% every few years,” he stated. “Many people who thought this was too expensive now don’t, because they realize the cost of a breach is greater. Regulatory bodies worldwide now hold SMBs more responsible for breaches. Ransomware is real. Five years ago, it was something only Citibank cared about. These trends are not going to change, especially since we think more cyberinsurance policies will demand this type of protection to be valid.”

All of Kaseya’s fistful of acquisitions since they were acquired by a well-heeled venture fund have continued to sell their product to Kaseya’s competitors, and that will be the case here as well.

“Kaseya is always going to be open,” Voccola said. “We will always integrate best with our own products, but they all integrate fully with our competitors as well. IT Glue is a great example of that.”

RocketCyber just entered into their first distribution deal a few weeks ago, with Pax8. That relationship, which was concluded after the deal with Kaseya had been agreed to, although not announced, will continue. It will, however, be supplemented by a more advanced offering which Kaseya will sell itself.

“We are releasing another product – Kaseya SOC, powered by RocketCyber,” Voccola said. “It’s a different and more advanced SOC offering – and more expensive – which our team will be selling.”

Out of the gate as a Kaseya company, RocketCyber will have an integration with Passly that delivers single sign on access to RocketCyber and ingests user login data from Passly for review by RocketCyber analysts. They will also soon have an integration with IT Glue that lets RocketCyber monitor password usage for suspicious activity and immediately alert the SOC in the event of suspicious behavior.

“That’s a very sexy integration,” Voccola noted.

Also on the very short-term roadmap are additional integrations with additional Kaseya companies: ID Agent Dark Web ID, Graphus and RapidFire Tools.

“We are talking weeks here,” Voccola said. “The way we have architected our IT Complete platform, it lets us do these things pretty quickly.”