SilverBack: More Support For Managed Security Services On The Way

SilverBack recently conducted its quarterly survey of partners to get their take on the security market and found that its MSPs are expanding their horizons to capture more revenue opportunities, Wolf said.

"We expected a lot of the traditional vendors like Cisco, Symantec and Veritas, but they're also doing quite a bit of Juniper, Watchguard, Check Point," Wolf said. "In a lot of cases, they're starting to ramp up a security service, bundling those services with other things. It's going better than expected and they are getting better dollar value than we expected."

The survey showed that 85 percent of partners offer security services as part of their MSP offerings and 91 percent have a security specialist on staff.

Device-oriented security services—such as managing a firewall—generate about $215 per device per month, according to the survey.

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All the respondents expected their security services revenue to increase this year, led by compliance reporting, (considered by 71 percent of the firms), content filtering (53 percent), e-mail security and IDS monitoring/management (39 percent each).

Thirty-three partners, about 25 percent of SilverBack's total partner base, responded to the survey, according to the company.

As a result of the survey, SilverBack plans to enhance its security offerings, Wolf said. For example, the company has initiated talks with more third-party security vendors to ensure compatibility with SilverBack's platform, he said.

"The three top things we are focusing on right now are compliance reporting, e-mail security and content filtering. E-mail and content will typcially be handled by a third-party device. We've integrated with those from a fault perspective, but there's more opportunity there to make them integrated tighter," Wolf said.

Bill Hood, president of Network Partners, a Dallas-based MSP, said that as managed security services are an increasing part of his business, he was not surprised by the survey results.

"It confirms a lot of my beliefs. We're managing firewalls quite a bit. We've had a lot of success adding security and vulnerability reports that we send to customers once a week. We've had a lot of traction on that. People have more security issues than they realize. When we run the SilverBack tool, it's very unusual not to have multiple vulnerabilities. We can sit them down and say 'You have 14 security problems' and they need those problems fixed," Hood said.

SilverBack conducted a pricing survey in the first quarter and made some changes as a result of the responses, Wolf said.

The company tries to accommodate as many requests as possible, based on the survey results, he said. This time around, he expects to focus on adding security functionality.

"One thing that came out as the leader was compliance reporting. One of the things we'll look do over the next year is augment compliance reporting capabilities," he said.

Network Partners' Hood said he told SilverBack he'd like to see some asset-management features on the company's platform, and to allow other MSPs to share the filters they've manually built for third-party devices.

"If I have a Juniper filter, it doesn't make sense for someone else to write their own set of filters. It's a handy idea to say Bill will contribute this for the greater good. For another SilverBack partner, that's good information to have, especially if I'm not competing against them," he said. "We've been a SilverBack partner for six years. They do take feedback and roll it back in to the product."