Providers of platforms that managed security service providers (MSSPs) rely on to fill the yawning gap left by the shortage of IT professionals are aiming to help MSSPs expand the scope of those services. One such example is Continuum, which has acquired CARVIR, a provider of security monitoring tools used to detect threats.
In addition, Continuum has announced it is adding Detect & Respond – Endpoint and Detect & Respond – Network & Compliance offerings to the service it provides via its security operations center (SOC). The endpoint service is enabled by monitoring software provided by SentinelOne, while the network and compliance service is enabled using a security information event management (SIEM) platform developed by EventTracker.
Following the acquisition of CARVIR, Continuum is expanding its SOC by two additional locations in the United States and India, providing location redundancy as well access to additional cybersecurity expertise.
The goal is to make it easier for managed service providers (MSPs) serving small-to-medium (SMB) customers to add security services to their portfolio by leveraging SOC investments made by Continuum, said Brian Downey, senior director of product management for Continuum.
Most MSPs serving SMBs face the same challenges as their customers. The SOC investments required to deliver a managed security service are substantial, and being able to find and retain cybersecurity staff is a major challenge. With its services portfolio, Continuum seeks to make it less costly for MSPs to add security services to their portfolio.
Of course, not every MSP has the intestinal fortitude required to deliver security services. Unlike other IT services, security services typically require a 24/7 commitment that many MSPs are unwilling to make. In many circumstances, MSPs serving the SMB market find it easier to partner with an MSSP that has already made those investments. One way or another, just about every MSP needs to be able to address cybersecurity issues, as most new IT projects can’t go forward or any software deployed in a production environment without proper security.
Continuum plans to continue expanding the range of services its provides MSPs, especially as cybersecurity and data protection become more tightly coupled to deal with ransomware attacks, said Downey. The only effective defense against ransomware is to keep a pristine copy of data that can be recovered in the event data is encrypted by cybercriminals. That creates an opportunity for MSPs to add a complementary set of data protection and services, Downey noted, adding Continuum is looking into data loss prevention as a potential area for expansion, which MSPs would use to identify when data is being exfiltrated.
It’s not clear to what degree SMBs will be willing to rely on MSSPs going forward. The number of SMBs that rely on MSPs today is still estimated to be less than a quarter of the overall market. Many SMBs remain resistant to relying on managed services for a broad range of issues spanning everything from internal IT biases to preferring to pay for IT as a capital rather than operating expense. But as cybersecurity becomes increasing more challenging, it’s expected a much larger percentage of SMBs will rely more on external cybersecurity expertise.