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SolarWinds Security Exec Timothy Brown: MSPs ‘Top Of My Risk Level’

‘The MSP is that crown jewel. There’s a few of them inside the organization. They are the most important one because of the reach, and because of the attack service they present, and the risk that they present. If someone gets to us, they get to the MSPs, they get to the clients, and yeah, people are off living on islands somewhere in the South Pacific.’

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‘Eliminate anything that can do material damage’

Timothy Brown, vice president of security with SolarWinds, talked recently with CRN about the dramatic rise in MSP attacks carried out using ITSM tools as well as the broader security landscape, including how a rise in technicians in the security field, has led to a loss of vision.

“We have a lot of technicians that have come into the security industry,” he said. “One of things we end up missing is something of a vision, and trying to understand what it is you are trying to do, what your mission is. My broad-based mission is to basically eliminate anything that can do material damage to my company. I know I can’t eliminate everything. So, that’s the first rule. So what do I eliminate that would be materially damaging to my company? Then I highlight those to the most of my ability.”

With more than 20 years of cybersecurity experience, including work with Congress and within the halls of the White House, Brown has been on the board of the Open Identity Exchange and a member of the Trans Global Secure Collaboration Program. Before joining SolarWinds two years ago, Brown was named a Dell Fellow while he was CTO for Dell Security. Now as head of security at a major MSP tool provider, Brown said the job is to spread the word about best security practices to the communities that need it most.

“SMBs are one of the biggest targets right now. We have to help them. The only way we can help them is through my MSP channel that can get to them,” he said. “That’s one of my major missions: to get to the small and medium business and help who needs to be helped.”

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