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MSP Adnet Spins Off Cybersecurity-Focused MSP: MachBlue Defense

‘The big question is, who’s watching the watchers? With cybersecurity as part of Adnet, there is some risk. We’re an independent, audited, SOC 2-compliant MSP. But we realize there’s a relative amount of interdependence. For example, how can we do a good job auditing cybersecurity when we also do clients’ operations? We needed to be able to independently audit cybersecurity,’ says MachBlue Defense CEO Christopher Luise.

Managed services provider Adnet Technologies this week launched a new business specifically targeting cybersecurity services.

The new company, MachBlue Defense, was built in order to separate the management of clients’ cybersecurity from management of their IT operations, as well as to better provide cybersecurity services for other MSPs, said Christopher Luise (pictured), CEO of MachBlue Defense and co-CEO of Hartford, Conn.-based Adnet Technologies.

“The big question is, who’s watching the watchers?” Luise told CRN. “With cybersecurity as part of Adnet, there is some risk. We’re an independent, audited, SOC 2-compliant MSP. But we realize there’s a relative amount of interdependence. For example, how can we do a good job auditing cybersecurity when we also do clients’ operations? We needed to be able to independently audit cybersecurity.”

[Related: The 2021 Managed Service Provider 500]

Luise said another reason to go with an independent company is the relationship Adnet has with other MSPs, particularly those in the ConnectWise Evolve peer group, which was previously known as the Heartland Technology Group before HTG was acquired by ConnectWise in 2018.

“We have a deep bench in cybersecurity,” he said. “And we help a lot of our peers. But there’s also the concern about how we can provide independent security on behalf of other MSPs, and how we can do it without them even remotely concerned about working with us. We need to be transparent and independent and accessible in a way that shows we understand MSP risks.”

MachBlue Defense was formed by Adnet with no outside investment, Luise said. It initially will be co-located in the same office as Adnet, although the two will be setting up entirely separate infrastructures, he said.

Adnet, at any rate, no longer has traditional “offices,” Luise said.

“We are building collaboration hubs for in-person client meetings, or for people who can’t work from home,” he said. “We’re exploring a work-from-anywhere strategy. We have people around the world.”

MachBlue Defense officially opens as an independent company on July 1. However, company executives are scheduled to speak at next week’s ConnectWise IT Nation Secure event in Orlando, Fla.

As the two companies separate, both are looking to hire, Luise said.

“We’ve been hiring for a while, both on the MachBlue Defense and the Adnet sides,” he said. “We’re hiring as many people as we can get positioned and trained. There’s negative employment in this space.”

MachBlue Defense will work directly with its own clients, from SMBs to enterprises, with Adnet clients, and with clients of other MSPs that may need cybersecurity support for their customers, Luise said.

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