Barracuda acquires SKOUT to add XDR, SOC services to portfolio

Barracuda’s acquisition of SKOUT brings them both an XDR capability and a 24/7 SOC service, both of which are net new additions for the company.

Barracuda Networks has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SKOUT Cybersecurity, which has an XDR offering and a SOC capability that strengthen the company’s portfolio.

“This is a new component of the Barracuda MSP portfolio, which adds both a managed XDR capability and a 24×7 SOC capability, both specifically designed for MSPs,” said Neal Bradbury, VP, MSP Strategic Partnerships, Barracuda MSP. “We did not have either of these previously. We did offer MSPs the opportunity to get NOC services, but a SOC is something that’s increasingly important for MSPs to be able to offer to monitor their customers. Where the XDR comes in is providing the ability to pull all these solutions together without creating additional management requirements. It removes the noise.”

SKOUT is an MSSP headquartered in the New York City metro region, which started out in 2013 as Oxford Solutions, before discovering ‘Oxford’ is a highly popular brand name which can make a specific Oxford hard to find online.  In 2018, the company was purchased by a venture capital firm, who renamed it as SKOUT Secure Intelligence, and then rebranded in June 2019 as SKOUT Cybersecurity. The company initially started with a direct sales model, but soon transitioned to selling through MSPs. Their focus has been on the SMB space, but the technology does scale, and they have some enterprise customers as well. SKOUT marketed itself as having enterprise quality at an SMB price point.

Barracuda found SKOUT while doing a due diligence search about a potential XDR acquisition.

Neal Bradbury, VP, MSP Strategic Partnerships, Barracuda MSP

“We received feedback from partners that the more we can integrate in and bring more things together, the better off we will be,” Bradbury said. “We surveyed our corporate and business development team and discovered SKOUT as part of that process. It’s their MSP focus that we found really attractive. They have proven they can provide this successfully as a service for MSPs. MSP tend to need help in security, and this provides them with an awesome marriage of both technology and service with the XDR and the SOC. The XDR combined with a SOC will give our MSPs an advantage as we move forward.”

XDR has gotten a lot of press, but Bradbury was leery about estimating how many MSPs are actually offering it today, particularly in the SMB space where there are more likely to be price objections.

“XDR is still an emerging offering, and so it’s likely more green fields than rip and replace at this point,” he indicated.

With the acquisition expected to close in July, subject to the usual regulatory approval, Bradbury said the plan going forward will be to add Barracuda’s application security, networking security and email security into what will be branded as Barracuda SKOUT Managed XDR, all backed by that 24/7 SOC. Their engineering teams will be moving to support that holistic view.

“We will combine the best managed XDR in a SOC focused on MSPs with best-in-class email and network security to provide the best overall service,” he stressed.

SKOUT offered the new services that Barracuda now adds to the platform before, but did so through partnerships with other vendors.

“MSPs will still be able to offer those third-party services, to give customers more choice,” Bradbury said.

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