ConnectWise CEO: ‘Cybersecurity Has Reached A Tipping Point’
‘At ConnectWise we are committed to the responsible development and use of AI as we continue to deliver innovative solutions and improve efficiency and value that drives those outcomes for you and your clients,’ says Jason Magee, CEO of ConnectWise. ‘We recognize the importance of ethical considerations, user trust and protecting your data and your clients data.’
ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee said cybersecurity has reached a tipping point and both vendors and MSPs alike must get ahead of the attacks, close the gap and come up with a better game plan to further mitigate risks.
And ConnectWise is taking giant leaps in the right direction, he said.
“At ConnectWise we are committed to the responsible development and use of AI as we continue to deliver innovative solutions and improve efficiency and value that drives those outcomes for you and your clients,” Magee said during ConnectWise’s IT Nation Secure event in Orlando, Florida this week. “We recognize the importance of ethical considerations, user trust and protecting your data and your clients data.”
To get ahead of the curve, ConnectWise has launched an “AI responsible use” statement and an AI oversight committee. The statement outlines its commitment to key principles such as data protection, transparency, reliability, safety, collaboration and compliance.
The committee is responsible for ongoing evaluation and necessary updates to the vendor’s AI practices in response to advances in technology and market developments.
“ConnectWise seeks to promote trust, foster innovation and ensure the responsible and beneficial use of AI technologies for the betterment of our partners, your clients and our industry as a whole,” Magee said.
And all of this is because “cybersecurity has reached a tipping point,” he said.
The growing cyber threat “appears to be breeding a culture of fear in many small businesses.”
According to a ConnectWise survey, 83 percent of SMBs are “either extremely worried or somewhat worried” that their organization will be targeted by a cybersecurity attack within the next six months. Because of that, 78 percent of businesses are increasing their security investment, and will continue to rise, but only 14 percent are prepared.
In fact, 43 percent of attacks are aimed at SMBs.
Through ConnectWise’s Cyber Research Unit, more than 6 million attacks have been prevented over the last year. But the overall industry has to move faster and “close the gap” this year, said Peter Melby, CEO of Denver-based MSP Greystone Technology. Melby shared the stage with Magee during the show’s kickoff keynote.
Melby laid out a game plan that has three key areas: perspective, playbook and partnership.
“We all have good intentions, but we’re still allowing the criminals to be the change makers while we remain change responders,” he said. “Effective results come in and we have many plays to pull from, but we understand that each situation will take the right combination of actions. We need a playbook, not just a single attempt.”
To help with this playbook, the Tampa, Fla.-based vendor announced new capabilities and product features across a whole host of products.
For ConnectWise SaaS security, new capabilities are available including Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace monitoring and alerting, self-service integrations and alert opt-in/out flexibility, which all live within the Asio experience.
ConnectWise Vulnerability Management has now expanded to include seamless vulnerability patching and remediation. ConnectWise SIEM now includes Microsoft Azure monitoring, EDR and IDS dashboards. In ConnectWise SOC Services Hero Report, MSPs can now get advanced visibility within the Asio experience into the ConnectWise MDR service. And ConnectWise RMM will now offer network monitoring and management capabilities through an expanded partnership and seamless integration with Auvik, helping MSPs to easily see and manage their client networks.
Other partnerships announcements include Axcient, an appliance-based and direct to cloud backup, and Prooftpoint to help protect MSPs from email-borne attacks.
Adam Evans, security director at Stow, Ohio-based MSP, is glad that ConnectWise is taking some responsibility in the space to be transparent about how this AI is being used.
“There’s a lot of new stuff going on with it,” he said. “I’m not as concerned about what ConnectWise is doing but how the MSPs are going to use it. We’re already seeing instances where MSPs are putting things into ChatGPT without understanding that that’s publicly making the data available with sensitive information. While I’m glad ConnectWise is taking that statement for themselves, how are they communicating that responsibility down to the MSPs to make sure they’re using it responsibly as well.”