Lacework Debuts New Program For MSP And MSSP Partners

The cloud security firm also unveils enhancements for its broader channel program including complimentary bespoke security assessments for customer cloud environments.


Brian Lanigan, VP of worldwide channel and alliances at Lacework

Lacework announced a new program tailored to the needs of managed service providers Tuesday as the cloud security vendor seeks to accelerate its deployments with MSPs and MSSPs, while also unveiling new benefits for partners in its broader channel program.

The Lacework MSP Program, a subset of the company’s overall partner program, recognizes that “we can’t just pigeonhole that particular route to market and that partner ecosystem into a reseller program,” said Brian Lanigan, vice president of worldwide channel and alliances at Lacework.

[Related: Lacework Names New Americas Channel Chief, CFO, CMO]

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The launch comes a year after Lanigan joined Lacework as its global channel chief, following nearly nine years at Splunk, where he’d headed the vendor’s efforts with MSPs and global system integrators.

At Lacework, Lanigan said he’s seen that “so many of our customers and our prospects just can’t get access to the security personnel themselves, to solve for the problems and solve for the threats that they have.”

As a result, “they’re proactively coming forward to us, asking for the MSSPs that we work with,” he told CRN. “And so we’ve designed a program that incentivizes the partners in this ecosystem, and we’ve designed a comp model that incentivizes our sellers to sell into this market.”

Mountain View, Calif.-based Lacework offers a data-powered cloud security platform that collects and analyzes data from across cloud environments and supplies customers with key insights, such as around threat prioritization. The platform is powered by Lacework’s Polygraph machine learning engine that aims to significantly reduce alert volumes while identifying the most pressing cyber threats.

While MSPs are still registering deals under Lacework’s new program, “we’re looking at the totality of what they’re doing and delivering as a managed service out to their customers,” Lanigan said.

The program also takes into account the fact that for many MSPs and MSSPs, “they actually go to market in the channel,” he said. “So they might deliver a managed service, and yet they might execute with a GuidePoint or an Optiv or somebody else, in terms of the transaction.”

In those types of scenarios, Lacework will now credit both entities — the MSP/MSSP and the transactional partner — for the respective value that they create, according to Lanigan.

“And then the more they get certified on Lacework capabilities, and what they could deliver to the market, the more benefits we’re going to deliver to them in terms of incentives,” he said. For providers of managed services, that is often more about back-end incentives, he noted.

Partner Perspective

Anthony Aurigemma, chief revenue officer at Cyderes, a Kansas City, Mo.-based managed security service powerhouse, told CRN that Lacework’s new program recognizes managed service contributions in a way that’s “great for an MSP.”

“The struggle for some MSSPs is that influence aspect of partnering, when you’re not necessarily in the business of reselling licenses. Some programs don’t recognize that well, because they’re very focused on the resale of their particular product,” Aurigemma said. “One of the things I like about what Lacework is doing is, they’re really focused on the MSPs — because they see that as really the ideal way that they can get adoption, good usage and caretaking of their solution inside of environments.”

Ultimately, it’s clear that Lacework is “catering to MSPs in this program to give them credit and recognition, along with those who are of course reselling licenses,” he said. “That comes up occasionally for us, but we do very, very little of it. So it’s nice that we go into an environment where we know we’re working with a partner who values us, and isn’t solely looking at this as tied to the front-end resale of licenses.”

Lacework’s offering has proven itself to be particularly well-suited for securing heterogenous, multi-cloud environments, where the customer “wants to have some stitching that pulls it all together,” Aurigemma said.

According to Cyderes customer feedback, Lacework stands out by providing both simplicity — the product tends to be an easy tool to deploy and use — and breadth of functionality with DevOps, cloud security posture management and container security capabilities, he noted.

Additionally, the cost of running the Lacework platform “tends to be pretty favorable” compare to some competitors, Aurigemma said.

In connection with the new Lacework MSP Program, Lanigan said the vendor has also put together a technical partner advisory board to receive input about how its technology is being utilized and combined with other technologies.

Lacework initially began its work with MSPs last year, he said. With managed service providers, Lanigan noted, “you’ve got to spend a good amount of time getting architected in their platforms. I would say that they’re on the board [though] they’re not making the major impact to the board right now.”

However, looking ahead, “we see [MSPs] as a significant growth engine,” he said.

Complimentary Assessments

Other updates to the Lacework Partner Program include the launch of a cloud security assessments offering to partners. The offering consists of complimentary access to Lacework experts for one week, during which time the experts will perform “a bespoke assessment of the cloud security posture for the customer,” Lanigan said.

“It really delivers a high value-added, consultative sale capability for the partners that can deliver the CSA and provide them some very good visibility and insights to their cloud security posture,” he said. “And quite frankly, for us, it delivers a high-efficacy pipeline because they’re really running the prospect through using Lacework to solve a real-world problem.”

Additionally, Lacework announced improvements to post-sale services as part of the partner program updates, including new partner certifications for delivering the services, along with a new gamified “capture the flag” enablement tool. The tool offers “a pretty fun way for the field teams and the customers to learn the Lacework platform using real-world business scenarios,” Lanigan said.

Lacework, which has raised more than $1.8 billion in funding and was valued at $8.3 billion in connection with its most recent financing round, ranks at No. 3 on the list of highest-valued cybersecurity unicorns, according to CB Insights, behind only Wiz and Tanium.

The company has recently been setting itself up for a potential initial public offering, including with the hire of Andrew Casey, a finance executive with a background at publicly traded companies, as CFO in November.