CRN Exclusive: SecurityScorecard Launches Inaugural Partner Program

SecurityScorecard is launching its inaugural partner program, looking to go from a direct sales model to one that is fully invested in the channel, the company announced today.

SecurityScorecard, based in New York City, offers a SaaS platform that gathers data to determine security risk factors for an organization and assigns the company a risk rating grade. The platform can be used to assess a company's own risk or that of its third-party vendors or acquisition targets.

The partner program is by invitation only, with a tight set of requirements and benefits for partners. It features a net margin model and margin protection for partners. SecurityScorecard has already signed up Gotham Technology Group, Optiv Security, GuidePoint Security, Bayside Solutions and Sycomp as partners, the company said.

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The partner program launch comes shortly after the appointment of Michael Rogers as vice president of strategic alliances and channel sales. Rogers joined SecurityScorecard in September from Tanium, where he was vice president of global VAR, consulting and system integrator partners.

While SecurityScorecard has been mostly a direct sales company to date, Rogers told CRN that the company has been pushing toward a majority channel model since it raised $20 million in Series B funding in June, led by Google Ventures. He said the company, from CEO Aleksandr Yampolskiy on down, is now fully focused on moving business through partners.

Rogers said his philosophy for the channel is to build a "bidirectional value exchange," with both partners and the manufacturer deriving value from the relationship. He said SecurityScorecard will look to recruit partners selectively to find those partners willing to invest and to not oversaturate the market. He said the company will also make careful hiring decisions as it expands its sales teams, hiring those with experience in the channel, sales and security. He said SecurityScorecard will also be shifting incentive with current sales teams to ensure full commitment to partners.

"We want to recruit the right partners and hold them accountable to what they say they want to do but we also have to hold ourselves accountable," Rogers said.

Ken Phelan, chief technology officer at Montvale, N.J.-based Gotham Technology Group, said it is good to see SecurityScorecard moving from a direct sales model to a channel-focused approach. He said he would like to now see the security vendor to get the word out by investing in marketing and training to get customers and partners up to speed on the technology.

"There's a natural lifecycle to companies as they come out of the gate and sell direct … We're excited to work with [SecurityScorecard] and we're catching this wave at the right time," Phelan said.

Rogers said the value proposition for partners is the same as why he joined the company late last year: a solution that can provide a security grade on a company's posture and health non-intrusively. He said partners can use that to help clients determine their own security posture, that of their third-party vendors or offer it as a managed service to their clients. That's a market that is only continuing to grow, COO and co-founder Sam Kassoumeh said, as use cases for the solution expand and events, such as the Yahoo breaches threatening its Verizon acquisition, highlight the need for solutions like SecurityScorecard.

"What we've learned over the past three years after going to market and receiving feedback is the application is much, much more broad than we ever imagined," Kassoumeh said.

Phelan he has already spoken to several customers about SecurityScorecard. He said customers are looking for tools to better communicate the value of their security investments to the executive boards, as well as track the risk of subcontractors and others with third-party network access.

"It's very important from our perspective that were bringing new and interesting technology … [We need the] cutting edge of what the community is looking for," Phelan said.