SilverSky Buys StillSecure Services Arm To Expand MSP Operations

SilverSky has acquired the Managed Security Services division of StillSecure as part of a major expansion of its managed services.

The Milford, Conn.-based security firm, formerly known as Perimeter E-Security, has built out managed security services in recent years. The firm said the StillSecure division will add new log archiving capabilities and a web application firewall service. SilverSky has about 95 clients in the financial services, retail, healthcare, energy, critical infrastructure and manufacturing sectors with a deal size of more than $25,000, according to Forrester Research. The company claims to have about 6,000 customers.

In addition to bringing on about 40 people, including eight security engineers, SilverSky will also add Superior, Colo.-based StillSecure's two security operation centers located in Denver and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. StillSecure has about 30 clients with a deal size of greater than $25,000, according to Forrester. All of its MSSP clients will be brought under the SilverSky umbrella.

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SilverSky CTO Andrew Jaquith pledged the company's full support of current StillSecure customers and channel partners. The two StillSecure locations will increase redundancy for SilverSky's operations, Jaquith said. Integration of back-end operations is expected to take about six months. Merging the sales and account teams should take about 30 days.

"We're not looking to do anything radical that would make current StillSecure customers unhappy," Jaquith said. "We are bringing their security operations and engineering and sales resources. There will be a fair amount of continuity with the staff."

SilverSky's business consists of mainly direct sales, while StillSecure sales have been nearly 100 percent through the channel. SilverSky's managed security services currently provide network monitoring, security information event management and unified threat management systems. The company can support firewall, IDS/IPS and VPN remote user access services as part of a UTM package or on an a la carte basis. SilverSky will continue to offer cloud-based email security and its Secure Cloud Exchange service for Microsoft Exchange.

Potential managed security services clients look for strong security operations centers for disaster recovery and system redundancy, said Edward Ferrara, principal research analyst at Forrester Research. Ferrara said there has been a strong, consistent increase in businesses turning to managed security services for event monitoring, threat management and device management.

"This is a way for them to extend their business in vertical markets and get additional service capacity from StillSecure as well as enhance their service offerings to better serve their clients," Ferrara said.

NEXT: Mergers, Acquisitions Among Managed Security Service Providers

SilverSky announcement is one in a wave of mergers and acquisitions in recent months associated with managed security services.

Deloitte announced last week that it was acquiring the assets of Vigilant, Inc., a consulting and managed services provider specializing in security monitoring and threat intelligence. The company will operate under the Vigilant by Deloitte brand. Vigilant's customer base consisted of 1,000 global clients, mainly in the financial sector. Meanwhile Chicago-based security firm Trustwave recently announced the acquisition of SecureConnect, an Eden Prairie, Minn.-based security services provider that focused its services on providing PCI compliance and network security for clients in the hospitality industry.

Managed security services is typically a good move on the part of small and midsized businesses that can't afford trained staff to conduct 24x7 monitoring, said Pete Lindstrom, principal and vice president of research at Spire Security. Even larger businesses sometimes outsource certain parts of the business to managed services providers to offset costs and provide support to remote locations, Lindstrom said.

"You not only get all the monitoring capabilities from the MSSP staff, but you get the benefit from the intelligence gathered from other clients of the managed services provider," Lindstrom said.

SilverSky has had a partnership with Alert Logic to perform log archiving. Alert Logic is considered a competitor in the managed security service provider market. Adding StillSecure's log archiving capabilities will reduce complexity, SilverSky's Jaquith said. "We wanted to have a simple, easy-to-use solution to solve the log archiving problem," he said. "The Alert Logic product was in many ways much too heavyweight for the needs of some of our customers."

Jaquith said StillSecure's MSP business was relatively small compared to SilverSky's, which has invested more than $50 million into its platform.

"We want to be the go-to source for many small and medium-size enterprises that are not going to be able to recruit the talented security personnel that many large businesses are going after," Jaquith said. "They'll want one throat to choke and keep them safe."

SilverSky will also acquire SillSecure's PCI Complete and HIPAA Essential branded services, which was an extension of its MSP program. In addition, SilverSky said the acquisition strengthens its reach into telecommunications providers, opening up cross-selling opportunities in the channel.

SilverSky provides extensive support for the Fortinet, Cisco and NSA platforms. In addition to mobile device management, SilverSky also sells a brand reputation service. The company said it will conduct a review of StillSecure's Radar Portal and determine which pieces will be integrated with its ViewPoint portal for its customer base.

Rajat Bhargava, president and CEO of StillSecure, told CRN that the company remains committed to managed security services business. Bhargava said the MSSP businesses required innovation in automation. The direct sales approach that SilverSky has combined with channel sales and support operations will be a good mix to bring in new clients and further expand the business, Bhargava said.

"This is not about exiting the MSSP business," Bhargava said. "We are a highly interested party in seeing SilverSky perform well on a long-term basis."

StillSecure has been aiming its Safe Access network access control platform at companies looking to solve issues associated with bring your own device. StillSecure is looking to compete directly with Bradford Networks, which has a strong presence in education and healthcare.

Bhargava said StillSecure named its CTO, James Brown, as its new CEO. Bhargava said he will still play an active role as chairman of StillSecure.