ConnectWise lays out security strategy at IT Nation Secure event

Security is the focus of the IT Nation Secure event, and, unsurprisingly, security updates and roadmaps were the focus of the opening keynote.

Raffael Marty, GM of Cybersecurity, ConnectWise

On Tuesday, ConnectWise kicked off its first full IT Nation Secure event since its inception three years ago. The company provided an update of what it has been doing on the security front. It also gave partners a security road map of where they are headed.

“This is the first conference where we are back without any restrictions, to discuss the challenges that we are seeing coming,” said Craig Fulton, Chief Customer Office at ConnectWise. “We have over 1200 partners here at the same time that  RSA is going on. Partners are looking for education, and that will be a big theme here, with over 100 sessions.”

Fulton reviewed some of the major changes which had been made, with a key one being the formation in February of three separate business units run by Raffael Marty, GM of Cybersecurity, Jake Varghese, GM of Business Management,  and Ameer Karim, EVP and GM of Unfied Monitoring and Management.

“In April 2022, we released our MSP Threat Report, and in November at our Connect event we made three promises: to make more innovation faster; to invest even more in your growth, and to make it easier to do business with us,” Fulton added.

Fulton then introduced Patrick Beggs, ConnectWise’s new CISO, who explained his security philosophy based on his years of experience at organizations like the Department of Homeland Security, Bank of America and AWS.

“I bring in 20 plus years of experience on the government and enterprise side, including protecting US critical infrastructure after 9/11, where the point was fusion, collaboration, and information sharing,” he said. “I don’t have the same message as other CISCOs. I place a big focus on the application security side of the house, and want to hammer out vulnerabilities before they go into production. I have a  security-first mentality, where my mentality is that we respond to every event and have to prove, with data-driven information, that it is not a security  event. Collaborating internally is the only way to survive, and to make sure that ConnectWise is protected.”

Marty then took the stage to discuss changes to security policies. He began by plugging into the theme of making it easier to do business with ConnectWise by renaming products around their function rather than around their legacy name. “Our security product lineup has not been easy to understand, so we are changing the product names,” he said. “Fortify Endpoint, for example, is now Endpoint EDR.”

Marty also highlighted ConnectWise’s efforts to deal with problematic actors in the Dark Web and the bad corners of internet.

“These sorts of things already exist but most of them are focused on enterprises, while ours is focused on MSPs,” he stated. “We launched this a year ago on this stage. It’s not an added service, but is built into products already.”

Marty then announced a new three-way partnership around the theme of cyber insurance, which also involves  ControlCase and Fifthwall Solutions.

“Cyberinsurance has been harder and harder to get,” Marty said “ControlCase built a free ConnectWise Manage application which lets the MSP create a framework to assess both themselves and their customers to determine good security posture. Fifthwall will then automatically fill out the customer’s quote and will shop it around to over 35 insurance providers, once again making it easier to do business with us.”

Marty said plans are afoot to expand these partnerships further.

“In the next phase, we will collect more data from the tools,” he indicated. “We will increase the Control Case partnership to automatically pull in more and more of this. We will also use ConnectWise Risk Assessment to move more to an evidence driven posture to get better quotes. We had this pre-sales/ risk assessment tool before but it was a more complicated setup, a two page document. One of the big asks was to make things simpler. Now it’s just a link that you send, where they click on the link and you pull up the report.”

Finally, Marty turned to the Asio platform announced last November, and ConnectWise’s plan to ultimately integrate all their products into it.

“Asio is our future, our microservices architecture,” he said. “Risk assessment is the first tool that completely lives on Asio. The goal by the end of the year is to expand the cross-product integrations to have ConnectWise SIEM, SentinelOne and BitDefender all integrated.”

Marty also noted that Sentinel One is now integrated with ConnectWise BrightGauge’s dashboard reporting tools.

“This is the start of a journey,” he said. “We have to integrate more into BrightGauge.”