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N-able Hires New Chief Security Officer As Spinout From SolarWinds Looms

Joseph F. Kovar

Dave MacKinnon joins N-able as its new chief security officer as the company prepares for life independent of its parent company, SolarWinds, and independent of the issues surrounding the major SolarWinds Orion security breach.

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MSP-focused technology developer N-able has hired cybersecurity industry veteran Dave MacKinnon to be its new chief security officer, as the company nears its spinout from parent company SolarWinds.

Durham, N.C.-based N-able, which was formerly known as SolarWinds MSP, continues to change up its executive team ahead of the spinout, which is expected some time during the second quarter.

[Related: CompassMSP Acquires IT Direct, Gets CEO In The Process]

The spinout comes as SolarWinds continues to grapple with the fallout from the massive Russian hacking campaign that compromised its Orion network monitoring software last year.

MacKinnon started with N-able in April, the company said.

He previously spent 20 years leading a variety of global security teams, most recently as senior director for security operations and response at AT&T/WarnerMedia. Prior to that, he held security leadership roles at Turner Broadcasting System, PhishMe and KPMG.

MacKinnon was not immediately available to talk with CRN. However, in a statement published Thursday, he said he is ready to dive into helping N-able’s product and technology teams continue to manage, monitor and secure the company’s infrastructure.

“The team at N-able has built a great security foundation, and my focus will be to continue building upon that and fully developing a program that is secure by design, so we can keep helping our partners manage, detect, and respond to today’s threats,” he said.

N-able was previously a standalone company that SolarWinds acquired in 2013 to better service MSPs who support SMB clients. In 2016, SolarWinds acquired N-able competitor LogicNow, and brought them together under the SolarWinds MSP banner.

N-able has been going through a lot of changes, and looks to be getting ready for a bright future, said Rocco Guerriero, CEO of Contour Data Solutions, a Doylestown, Penn-based MSP and N-able channel partner for around 10 years.

Guerriero told CRN that seeing N-able becoming independent again as well as other changes is welcome news to his company.

“We didn’t see the value of SolarWinds acquiring N-able,” he said. “We liked it better before the acquisition. And we’ll like it better going forward. That’s nothing against SolarWinds. But N-able has the MSP focus we need.”

Guerriero said he is looking forward to seeing what MacKinnon has in store for N-able.

“We expect more innovation in terms of integrating N-able into more security platforms including Cisco Meraki and Cisco Umbrella,” he said. “N-able has done well on the backup side. I hope to see that success in security as well. MSPs need partners with comprehensive security offerings. Hacking is a real business today.”

Guerriero said while N-able is often associated with parent company SolarWinds, it shouldn’t be. In fact, he said, his company still uses SolarWinds Orion, the software that was hacked.

“We would like to see N-able tie to Orion,” he said. “With Orion, someone made a mistake. But that wasn’t a reflection of the software or the company.”

On Thursday, N-able said it has also hired Peter Anastos as executive vice president and general counsel.

Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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