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Cofense Joins Microsoft Intelligent Security Association, Gains Bridge to MSSP Partners

Cofense, a phishing detection and response (PDR) solutions provider, has joined the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA). In addition to working more closely with Microsoft, the move could allow Cofense to more rapidly build relationships with MSSPs (managed security services providers).

Indeed, MISA is an independent ecosystem of software vendors, MSSPs and managed detection and response (MDR) providers. Together, MISA members leverage their security solutions to find the best ways to protect their partners and customers against cyberattacks, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft's MSSP Partner Ecosystem

MISA had 67 MSSP members that  supported 165 managed security services as of August 2021. MISA also included 176 independent software vendors that delivered 259 integrations as of July 2021.

Now, Cofense is stepping into the MISA ecosystem. It received a nomination to join MISA based on its PhishMe phishing attack simulation platform's Recipient Sync feature, the company said.

Recipient Sync lets organizations automatically provision and update users from their Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD) to their PhishMe master recipient list, Cofense indicated. It also allows organizations to leverage Azure AD to activate single sign-on.

Even before the MISA relationship, Cofense was pursuing partnerships with MSPs. Indeed, the company in July 2021 released Cofense Protect MSP, a phishing detection and response (PDR) solution that enables MSPs to deliver cloud-native, artificial intelligence-based email attack protection and employee training to their customers.

AWS Eyes MSSP Partnerships

Of course, there's more than one cloud doorway into the MSSP ecosystem. Along with Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is expanding its MSSP partnerships.

AWS in August 2021 announced the Level 1 MSSP Competency for AWS Partners that provide security and monitoring as a fully managed service. Several Top 250 MSSPs and Top 40 MDR providers have already earned the competency, including:

  • Accenture
  • Alert Logic
  • Arctic Wolf
  • Deepwatch
  • Deloitte
  • eSentire
  • IBM Security
  • Proficio
  • PwC
  • Sophos
  • Secureworks

AWS Partners can earn the Level 1 MSSP Competency after they complete a validation process and evaluation of multiple customer references specific to AWS managed security services, the company indicated. Also, AWS Partner Solution Architects validate AWS Partners' technical proficiency and architecture for customer use cases and thought leadership across managed security services.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.