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SolarWinds CEO Sees Threat Monitoring MSSP Opportunities

SolarWinds already has about 22,000 MSP (managed service provider) partners. Now, the IT management software company is opening its arms to MSSPs.

SolarWinds CEO Kevin Thompson
SolarWinds CEO Kevin Thompson

During an earnings call with Wall Street financial analysts earlier this month, SolarWinds CEO Kevin Thompson and his executive team mentioned security and associated MSSP opportunities at least 19 times. Thompson also drew some clear lines between the traditional MSP market for small business IT outsourcing vs. the MSSP market, where more experienced security partners are likely more apt to offer threat monitoring capabilities.

"We've been searching for the right opportunity to enter the infrastructure security and market for several years," Thompson said. "And in the third quarter, we identified that opportunity. We have set our sights on the vulnerability and threat monitoring portion of the security market and we were pleased to announce our entrants into the infrastructure security market with the release of SolarWinds Threat Monitor during the third quarter of 2018."

Indeed, SolarWinds Threat Monitor is positioned for IT operations teams and MSSPs to consume and run. Instead of promoting that software to all SolarWind MSP partners, the company is taking very deliberate steps -- working closely with only a few hand-picked MSSPs for starters. Early partners include Falanx Group and Secuvant, a Top 100 MSSP for 2018 and 2017.

What Is SolarWinds Threat Monitor?

Threat Monitor allows MSSPs to monitor, respond to and report security threats through continuously updated threat intelligence data, log correlation and network and host intrusion detection, Thompson asserted during the earnings call.

"We have a lot of excitement for the MSSP market," Thompson said, because it's the main go-to-market for threat monitoring services. He also believes a number of more traditional SolarWinds MSP partners "have a desire to provide some amount of security services," though Thompson didn't estimate how many of the company's 22,000 MSPs would push beyond basic endpoint security into threat monitoring and management.

A lot of traditional MSPs may lack threat monitoring expertise, Thompson conceded, but a good number of MSSPs are ready for an affordable, robust threat monitoring solution, he asserted.

SolarWinds also is promoting a newly acquired technology -- Access Rights Manager -- to help partners provision, audit and manage user access rights, Thompson added.

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.