MSSP Alert 2022 Top 250 MSSPs Company Profile: Entara

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Entara, No. 225 on MSSP Alert’s 2022 Top 250 MSSPs list, is based in Chicago, Illinois with 82 fulltime employees, 20 of whom are dedicated fulltime to cybersecurity.

Entara’s journey started in 2001 when its founder, Linda Maclachlan, started “You Just Trade,” which was later renamed to “YJT Solutions.” It was an organization that ensured IT uptime for trading organizations at a time when electronic trading was changing, and the industry was starting to rely more on their underlying systems and networks to make a profit. Early on, YJT built a reputation for excellence in reactive support and grew for ten years by word of mouth alone, according to company officials.

As the needs of its clients changed, so did YJT. In 2018, the company was renamed Entara. Now, as a managed service provider (MSP) utilizing a new platform, the company’s primary focus was on IT service desk services, monitoring and management of infrastructures, and strategic IT infrastructure projects.

Entara focused on being a true partner for our clients, one who leveraged technology to help meet their business needs. As Michael Brunetti, director of Professional Services, explained:

“In 2020, Entara worked on its first incident response project. This was a turning point for our organization as we learned more about the root causes of cyberattacks and correlating best practices to avoid being a target of one of these attacks. The ever-increasing number of breaches and cyberattacks happening globally inspired Entara to further develop our security offerings and build out our security team, including hiring a CISO and developing a new department, security integration.”

Entara’s Path to Becoming an eXtended Service Provider (XSP)

In the end of 2021, Entara shifted its focus to cybersecurity, as the company coined a new category for the industry: the eXtended service provider (XSP).

Recalling the business evolution, Raum Sandoval, chief information security officer (CISO), said:

“XSP was developed because we knew that change in our industry was inevitable and necessary as we noticed the breakdowns in communication between MSPs and MSSPs causing costly delays, the lack of industry cyber security standards, and more. As an XSP, we take a security-first approach to providing cyber security and IT operations that are integrated with innovative IT solutions. Today, Entara works to be an industry-leading resource and partner for our clients and colleagues. We are passionate about sharing why we developed XSP and the importance of integrated security solutions in the managed services space.”

In 2022, Entara made good on its 2021 goal to only work with clients that took security seriously. This meant putting their current clients into a roadmap to help them meet our security standards or letting go of clients that were not ready to take security seriously. Accordingly, Entara took a firm stance and refused to bring further risk work with clients and partners that did not prioritize security.

CEO Pam Diaz expounded on the company’s growth trajectory:

“We hired several new people across departments as we continued to emphasize the importance of proactive services and security-first services. With the addition of team members, there is always going to be a shift in team dynamics and capacity, as people get up to speed or used to working with a new colleague. Throughout the year our fantastic recruitment and hiring teams learned a lot about who is the right fit for Entara while we were experiencing change. Not everyone can thrive in an entrepreneurial environment and learn on the fly. Throughout the year we learned what questions to ask and how to better identify skill and culture fits for our organization.”

Partnerships Expand During 2022

In 2022, Entara significantly expanded its partnerships as the company worked to grow its reputation as a premier partner for clients for managed security services as well as in the incident response space. Diaz commented on the impact of these efforts:

“We were proud to be recognized by MOXFIVE, a leading incident response firm, with several awards. This included Most Valuable Partner, Revenue Rockstar, and Project Manager of the Year. Entara was honored with these awards through a selection process that included both a quantitative review of our performance with MOXFIVE as well as voting from the team members at MOXFIVE.

“Over the past few years, we have worked hard to not only provide excellent but empathetic service as we work with businesses who have suffered from catastrophic ransomware attacks. We work with businesses at their lowest points, and we take pride in being a calm, focused, and organized resource for our clients during what is a very arduous and stressful time.”

What’s Ahead in 2023

In 2023, Diaz and her team anticipate cybersecurity becoming nonnegotiable for small businesses and enterprises alike:

“There will be increased demand for solutions such as microsegmentation, user awareness training, risk-based vulnerability management, zero trust solutions, and vCISO services. There will be a larger focus on governance, risk and compliance, supply chain security, targeted ransomware, Identity Access Management, and insider threats. In order to meet the demands of cybersecurity talent, many businesses will continue to outsource to security professional services to ensure the best possible outcomes.”

Sandoval explained that Entara is a “highly collaborative partner” that delivers integrated managed IT and cybersecurity services as well as project based professional services:

“As the single vendor for our clients’ IT and security needs, we provide centralized accountability and a more efficient technology service. Each month, we perform thousands of hours of incident response work. This work influences our services as an eXtended service provider, and we are constantly evaluating and evolving our IT and security stack to best serve our clients. As a partner and advisor, we bring business value to our clients by supporting a critical function of their business.”

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