CRN Exclusive: BlackStratus Brings SIEM To SMBs With Exclusive Tech Data Distribution Deal


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Security Information Event Management (SIEM) vendor BlackStratus has signed an exclusive deal with Tech Data that will introduce its services to a wider number of solution providers targeting small and midsized businesses across the U.S.

The agreement between the two companies makes Tech Data the exclusive distributor of BlackStratus’ white-label, cloud-based SIEM service, CYBERShark, to Tech Data's network of U.S. solution providers.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: BlackStratus Launches SIEM Solution For SMB Market]

This deal, finalized on Tuesday, comes six months after BlackStratus launched CYBERShark, its first product focused on what BlackStratus CEO Dale Cline called a "very underserved" part of the market.

"What we have done, is taken the same technologies that are securing government agencies and large enterprises – Fortune 20 companies ... and, for the first time, we are delivering that same adept capability for security and compliance into the mid-market at a very consumable price point," he said.

According to Cline, CYBERShark allows smaller companies to protect their business in a way that was previously out of their financial reach. Now, Piscataway, N.J.-based vendor can now deliver SIEM as-a-service via the cloud instead of building an entire service-delivery system for individual companies. CYBERShark can flag, analyze and report security events, and provide intelligence about the breeches, for only hundreds of dollars a month instead of tens of thousands.

"We are able to offer an affordable option through CYBERShark that gets us to a level where smaller businesses can take advantage and actually have a security defense that is comparable to enterprise customers," said Steve King, COO and Chief Security Officer of San Francisco-based Black Stratus partner Netswitch.

King added that working with BlackStratus has been a great experience since his company decided to stop running its own SIEM and use CYBERShark, leaving all of the "headaches," of managing its own security specialists behind.

And, he said, because of the lower price, small and midsized businesses that Netswitch works with can now afford to leverage the SIEM and the 24/7 security operations center that comes with it.

“Without a service offering like they have put together, it would be impossible for [those customers] to outsource and do it themselves,” King told CRN.

CYBERShark, according to Tracy Holtz, Tech Data’s Director of Security and Information Management, fills a big need in the marketplace for small and mid-market partners of the Clearwater, Fla-based distribution company.

“When you look at [Tech Data’s offerings for] the SIEM space, we have a magnitude of enterprise offerings, but we also have an enormous amount of customers around the SMB and mid-market space that have a need for those technologies, too ... that is why we started to look at the opportunity [with BlackStratus] to fill that gap with our partners,” she said.

Holtz was appointed as the head of Tech Data’s dedicated security practice when the division was formed earlier this year in May. Since then, she said, the distributor has since been looking to strategically fill "certain gaps," in its many security offerings it has recognized since forming the practice.

"BlackStratus has a key differentiator here, to be able to bring [an SIEM] solution to market in a managed security offering to our SMB and mid-market partners. We are excited about that and we see a tremendous opportunity around that space," she said.

For BlackStratus, this deal represents the potential for the company to add "a significant number of new partners," Cline said.

"With CYBERShark, we have a product that is designed for resellers and Managed Service Providers, and being able to get at that available pool with Tech Data; being able to market to them, and sell to them, and being able to solve the problem that their customers are facing, I cannot overstate that this is a very large deal to us and it is very important to us. We are thrilled that Tech Data is partnering with us," he said. 

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