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Security Startup Vanta Launches Partner Program Aimed At MSSPs, ‘Virtual CISOs’

Jay Fitzgerald

“We‘re partnering with a variety of prominent [channel players] to help their customers get and stay compliant,” says CEO Christina Cacioppo.

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Fresh off of raising $110 million that propelled it into unicorn-status territory, Vanta Inc. is now launching a new partner program, taking particular aim at MSSPs, ‘virtual CISOs’ and other firms providing managed security services.

In a blog post on Thursday, the San Francisco-based Vanta, whose software allows companies to more easily make their systems compliant with data security standards, debuted its new Vanta Service Partner Program that it hopes will significantly boost its channel sales within the next two to three years.

In an interview with CRN, Christina Cacioppo, founder and chief executive of the 350-employee Vanta, said one of the missions of her six-year-old company – and one of the primary goals of the new partner program – is to ultimately help SMBs with their security needs.

“Part of what got me to start the company a couple of years ago was a kind of deep conviction [that small] businesses and medium-sized businesses require and deserve the same level of security protection as large enterprises,” she said.

And part of achieving that goal is to more closely and actively work with channel players, she said.

“We‘re partnering with a variety of prominent virtual CISOs and MSSPs to help their customers get and stay compliant,” she said.

A ‘virtual CISO’ refers to those in the channel and elsewhere who effectively act as outsourced chief information security officers on behalf of their clients.

Elliot Goldwater, Vanta’s recently hired vice president of partnerships, said about 10 percent of Vanta’s revenues are currently generated through the channel.

But Goldwater, who previously worked at Twillo Inc. as senior director - partnering before joining Vanta in May, said he hopes that figure can be raised to about 30 percent within two to three years.

“Given how new this is for us, we‘re going to set an aggressive goal along those lines, and hopefully exceed that,” he told CRN.

Goldwater said that since he joined Vanta this spring, the company’s channel team has grown from about three employees to seven. He said he hopes to grow the channel team to about 15 to 20 employees over the next year.

Though company officials say the new partner program is primarily aimed at MSSPs and virtual CISOs, Goldwater said the company is basically interested in working with any channel player that’s involved with managing security services on behalf of customers.

He said that the lines between MSPs and MSSPs, for instance, have been “getting increasingly blurred over the course of the past couple of years.”

Justin Rende, CEO and founder of Rhymetec, a New York City-based MSSP and Vanta partner, said Vanta has a “great platform” that he thinks other channel players will find attractive.

And launching a new partner program, with various programs and perks that benefit channel players, should help solution providers to grow their businesses, he said.

“They’re a good fit to work with MSSPs and other channel players,” he said of Vanta.

In its blog post, Vanta said some of the key components of the new partner program include tailored training and certification, a flexible commercial model, business and go-to-market support and other features.

“The Service Partner Program offers a large breadth of cybersecurity capabilities with agile features in order for businesses of every size to enhance their security posture,” the blog post reads.

 

 

Learn More: Cybersecurity
Jay Fitzgerald

Jay Fitzgerald is a senior editor covering cybersecurity for CRN. Jay previously freelanced for the Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, Boston magazine, Banker & Tradesman, MassterList.com, Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, the National Bureau of Economic Research and other entities. He can be reached at jfitzgerald@thechannelcompany.com.

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