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Barracuda To Boost MSP Protection With Planned Acquisition Of Skout Cybersecurity

‘All MSPs need to become security-first businesses and security-led, and I think we envision our platform being a mechanism for the market to be able to achieve that,’ says Skout Cybersecurity CEO Aidan Kehoe.

Barracuda plans to buy Skout Cybersecurity to provide MSPs with the technology and manpower needed to respond more effectively to cyberthreats.

The Campbell, Calif.-based cybersecurity vendor said its proposed purchase of Melville, N.Y.-based security monitoring and response company Skout Cybersecurity will help MSPs cull and correlate threat data as well as respond to incidents more efficiently. Skout offers an extended detection and response (XDR) platform for MSPs as well as an around-the-clock Security Operations Center (SOC).

“All MSPs need to become security-first businesses and security-led, and I think we envision our platform being a mechanism for the market to be able to achieve that,” Skout Cybersecurity CEO Aidan Kehoe told CRN exclusively.

[Related: SKOUT Adds Former RSA CEO Coviello As Senior Advisor]

Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed, and the deal is expected to close in the next couple of weeks. All of Skout’s more than 80 employees will join Barracuda’s MSP division, with Kehoe staying on as general manager of Skout products and reporting into Brian Babineau, senior vice president and general manager of Barracuda MSP.

Skout’s response-centric capabilities will complement Barracuda’s existing portfolio of email, network and application security products, which Babineau said are more focused on helping MSPs prevent and detect cyberthreats. There is minimal overlap between Barracuda’s 4,500 MSP partners and Skout’s 250 to 300 MSP partners, and Babineau said MSPs will benefit from the broader set of capabilities.

“To be able to paint a picture on a bigger canvas is a really exciting day for us, giving us the scale to really expand,” Kehoe said.

It’ll take some time to get Barracuda and Skout’s back-end systems connected with one another, but Babineau said Barracuda partners will be able to cross-sell Skout’s products and vice versa as soon as the acquisition closes via referrals and by leveraging each other’s teams. Barracuda wants more planning and technology diligence before deciding what pricing will look like for the combined portfolio, he said.

Skout’s open XDR platform will continue to ingest data from a variety of identity, email and network vendors even after the company becomes part of Barracuda, Kehoe said. The technology integration process will likely start with connecting Barracuda’s email security product with Skout’s XDR platform, and will likely progress to Barracuda’s remote monitoring and management (RMM) and firewall tools.

“I think the market is crying out for a single pane of glass for people to drive all of their security instruments through,” Kehoe said. “As we progress with Barracuda, integration is a natural thing that will happen.”

A significant amount of automation is built into Skout’s SOC platform around alerts and remediation to ensure that analysts are available for more serious issues that require escalation, Kehoe said. The orchestration capabilities built into Skout’s SOC allow MSPs to take remediation actions themselves through a centralized dashboard if they so desire, according to Kehoe.

From a metrics standpoint, Babineau said Barracuda is most focused on the annual recurring revenue from each of its products as well as the number of partners who sell a specific product more than once. Barracuda also plans to track how many of its MSP partners are using more than one of the company’s security products in customer environments, according to Babineau.

“If security is going to be a regular part of their [the MSP’s] business, then how do we help that?” Babineau said.

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