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SonicWall Debuts Cutting-Edge Dashboard To Ease MSSP Management

SonicWall CEO Bill Conner says the company’s new My Workspace interface gives MSSP administrators robust visibility into the security status of different customers from a central dashboard.

SonicWall has introduced a new dashboard that reduces the management burden for MSSPs by facilitating zero-touch deployment and multitenant administration.

The Milpitas, Calif.-based platform security company said the new My Workspace interface gives MSSP administrators robust visibility into the security status of different customers from a central dashboard, said President and CEO Bill Conner. And from a zero-touch standpoint, Conner said administrators can load information once centrally and have it delivered at the end-user level via a firewall or other tool.

“This gives them [MSSPs] a lot of the tools they need to become much more effective, efficient and repeatable for their customer base and their business model," Conner told CRN.

[Related: SonicWall Revolutionizes Pricing For MSSPs With Pay-As-You-Go Model]

SonicWall introduced zero-touch deployments for its firewalls this year using the Capture Security Center cloud management system, and found the feature made it possible to load something far more quickly without any truck rolls or on-premises work, Conner said. My Workspace is now the dashboard for the Capture Security Center, and can be accessed via single sign-on into the management system.

Unlike competing products that say they support multitenancy, Conner said My Workspace doesn’t require all users within an organization to be on the same release or edition of a SonicWall product. Since people within a company are often running different versions of the same product, Conner said My Workspace helps MSSPs manage customers regardless of what state they’re in.

The new dashboard is all about making tasks more repeatable for MSSPs while requiring less effort, which Conner said should, in turn, reduce their ongoing operational costs and make them more efficient. The operational cost for MSSPs associated with deploying, managing or remediating ongoing customer work should be significantly lower going forward thanks to My Workspace, Conner said.

My Workspace will also provide MSSPs with threat risk data that’s visible, accessible, actionable and usable across multiple tenants, Conner said. SonicWall’s Capture Security Center excels at correlating real-time threat intelligence with what customers are experiencing, according to Chief Revenue Officer Bob Vankirk.

Unlike its competitors, Conner said SonicWall’s My Workspace truly provides a Security Operations Center in a box, delivering visualization and manageability across the entire platform with true multitenancy at the user level.

By facilitating customer management at an operational level and solving many customer needs at once, Conner said SonicWall expects My Workspace will make it easier for MSSPs to consolidate the number of vendors they’re working with.

"We want to make SonicWall easier for partners to do business with,” Conner said. “That means it's easier to manage, easier to visualize, easier to sell and deploy. At the end of the day, that means they [partners] get higher security efficacy at a lower cost point of operations."

The Center for Computer Resources (CCR) has more than 300 customers, and it can be overwhelming for the company’s help desk to have to move between dashboards when serving different customers, said partner and Chief Technology Officer Joe Moore. Multitenancy is more important to CCR than pricing, and the Sterling Heights, Mich.-based solution provider is willing to pay a little more for that capability.

“In our business as an MSP, it’s almost paramount to have a multitenant dashboard,” Moore told CRN. “My help desk is logged into the portal all day long.”

CCR’s customers are also increasingly requiring audits to meet compliance standards such as PCI (Payment Card Industry) or NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), but Moore said the solution provider has struggled to get the pertinent information out of SonicWall’s system. Having access to the raw logs and a description of the actions taken would be very helpful, he said.

Beyond compliance, Moore said CCR gets requests from customers nearly every single week to determine what a particular user was doing on a specific date and time. Better reporting out of the SonicWall system will make responding to these queries much easier, according to Moore.

“Clients want to know what’s going on in their network,” Moore said. “This is pretty huge.”

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