Security Staff Acquisition & Development, Content, Channel partner programs

ALTR Hires Cylance Veteran Brian Stoner for Data Security Partner Push

ALTR, which focuses on programmable data security and governance, has hired Cylance veteran Brian Stoner as VP of channels and alliances, MSSP Alert has confirmed.

Brian Stoner,
LinkedIn: Brian Stoner, VP of Channels and Alliances, ALTR

Stoner's move to ALTR comes at a key time. While a large portion of the cybersecurity market focuses on endpoint, network and cloud security, ALTR is tackling the issue from a different angle -- namely, data security.

MSSPs and MSPs can use the technology both externally (as a revenue driver) and internally (to avoid RMM-focused attacks that have plagued MSPs), Stoner asserts.

The ALTR platform, according to the company, provides:

"programmable data security that allows developers to embed best-of-breed products for data monitoring, governance, and at-rest protection in the critical path of data - then hand management of those products directly to security and compliance teams."

What exactly does that mean for MSSPs and various types of partners? Stoner provided answers in this interview with MSSP Alert.

MSSP Alert: How did you hear about ALTR, and what attracted you to the position?

Stoner: I was extremely lucky to be referred to ALTR by a colleague. When I initially met with the leadership team and learned about the ALTR mission I knew right away that they shared my passion for security, the channel, and driving outcomes for customers.

There is a lot of noise in the security space today but most of the technology is focused on reacting to threats after the fact. There are too many examples where customer proprietary data has been exfiltrated in a breach. DB technology, security, and encryption have not changed in over 30 years. The attackers take advantage of this every day.

ALTR has a revolutionary new solution that secures data where the applications access the DB and provides the customer with peace of mind and immutable proof that their data is secure. We will also be taking a revolutionary approach to the channel, and we will NOT be rolling out the stale precious metals channel programs of the past. We will be providing opportunities for partners to earn certifications and margins based on the value they provide to the sales cycle, implementation, and the ongoing relationship with their customers.

The channel is changing rapidly and I am very excited to have the opportunity to build innovative new partner programs to fuel the success of our partners!

MSSP Alert: ALTR focuses on data security. Is the platform focused on only a specific database family (say, Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle)? Or is ALTR holistic/able to support multiple types of data systems?

Stoner: ALTR focuses on the key data assets of any enterprise – the application data housed in structured databases – and is compatible with all major data stores from traditional relational databases to newer non-relational and document-based databases. There have been some recent examples where attackers have been able to breach an RMM tool's SQL database and access the customer data. ALTR prevents the attackers from getting access to that data.

MSSP Alert: Let’s focus on some use cases. Can ALTR assist partners with data migrations to the cloud?

Stoner: The primary concern every customer has when moving their critical applications to the cloud is security. Because ALTR is embedded, it provides visibility, control, and added security to give them confidence and demonstrable proof that their critical data is secure regardless of infrastructure choices. The next concern is performance and how they will have to change their applications to work in the cloud. ALTR makes this transition easier too since it can be installed in virtually any application. It is frictionless and we add no noticeable latency.

MSSP Alert: What role, if any, does ALTR play in privacy and security compliance – particularly as it pertains to GDPR and other regulations?

Stoner: ALTR helps narrow the scope of proving compliance by ensuring that their data security controls meet all of the relevant compliance requirements. We have one customer that we helped achieve PCI compliance for all of their cloud-hosted applications. On the privacy side with GDPR, CCPA and future regulations, we provide the ability to not only audit and report who accessed private data and why, we also allow customers to implement policy that dynamically masks data to limit “privacy leakage” - consumption of privacy data when its not necessary. ALTR provides an immutable record of every database transaction and can stop unauthorized access immediately.

MSSP Alert: Is ALTR mainly for large, data-intensive enterprises? Or are there midmarket and small business use cases as well?

Stoner: Nearly every company holds data that is sensitive, and ALTR works for any company that wants to get visibility and control of their data regardless of size. For the SMB market we can be implemented in their applications quickly and easily to provide the protection they need quickly. For the enterprise we provide visibility and control very quickly. The ALTR Govern module will also allow them to instrument their policies at a deeper level than is available today from any other solution.

MSSP Alert: Where will you personally focus your efforts through the end of 2019 with ALTR?

Stoner: Currently we have interest from the MSP market, Resale with traditional channel partners like Sirius, consultants that focus in cloud transformation, IR firms that recommend additional security post breach, and OEM from ISV and SAAS providers.

MSSP Alert: How will your personal focus evolve at ALTR as you move into 2020?

Stoner: Currently we are evangelizing with the partners. As we move into 2020 we will focus on developing innovative profitable programs and execution.

MSSP Alert: What types of partners does ALTR expect to attract?

Stoner: In the MSSP space I have been talking with partners that provide SaaS applications and cloud transformation as part of their offer to their SMB customers. With those partners we are an addition to their security stack and give them demonstrable control over the customers critical data. We also work with them to build a private blockchain network that they host and manage for their customers.

MSSP Alert: Does the partner opportunity mainly involve reselling and IT consulting? Or are there some MSP- or MSSP-type recurring revenue service opportunities for partners?

Stoner: This is absolutely a recurring revenue opportunity for partners both for providing the solution and a private cloud for the customer to store their data. The channel is going through significant changes and the ALTR technology fits into those new partner and revenue models very nicely.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.