CRN Exclusive: Continuum Unleashes Robust Managed Security Bundle To Help MSPs Keep Clients Safe

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Continuum has rolled out a one-of-a-kind holistic managed security offering that will enable MSPs to protect and respond to emerging cyber threats facing their SMB clients.  

The Boston-based IT service management vendor said its two new security offerings are intended to help MSPs customize their security toolkit based on the particular types of threats each customer faces and remediate security breaches by leveraging Continuum's around-the-clock security operations center (SOC), according to Fielder Hiss, vice president of product.

"MSPs who do not transition to become MSSPs or really broaden their security services are going to be stuck in a very small part of the market and a very commoditized part of the business," Hiss told CRN exclusively. "Whether it's two years or four years, MSPs that don't evolve to include managed security services as part of their business will not be in business. The risk is that simple."

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Continuum Unveils Low-Cost Backup Offering Running on Amazon Glacier]

Core IT spending is going down across the industry as clients become more aware of compliance requirements, information breaches and ransomware and therefore invest more of their energy and resources into cybersecurity, Hiss said. As a result, Hiss said MSPs that aren't delivering security at a high level would be undifferentiated and stuck in a very price-sensitive part of the market.   

"This will enable our partners to be first and leaders in a really important category," Michael George, Continuum's CEO, told CRN exclusively. "Defense and remediation are going to be essential IT service elements to any of these businesses today."  

The vendor has been working on its managed security offering for more than a year, according to George. The effort was guided by a desire to simplify the components of cybersecurity into software and services that can be easily delivered by MSPs without forcing them to hire cybersecurity experts or build out their own SOCs, Hiss said. 

"It's about simplifying the offering because SMB clients are not looking to buy the giant Chinese menu of security," Hiss said.

Continuum's products will likely be priced on a per-endpoint basis, Hiss said, with the SOC-centric Detect & Respond offering costing roughly twice as much as Continuum's Profile & Protect offering, which is focused on managing the security tools the MSP already has in place. The offerings will be rolled out to select partners in the fourth quarter, with general availability coming in the first quarter of 2018.

Many MSPs are already reselling security point products such as antivirus, firewalls or endpoint or DNS protection, but lack a management layer that enables the systems to talk with one another, Hiss said. In addition to delivering proactive management, Hiss said the Continuum offering provides threat vulnerability, threat assessment, and user training.    

Continuum's Profile & Protect can be tailored to focus on anything from phishing and ransomware, to internal and external threats, to top exploits. Hiss expects most MSPs to start with this foundational offering, and said it's a good fit for virtually all of Continuum's customers.

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