Sophos has expanded the lineup of solutions available through its MSP partner program and rolled out additional integrations between its products and leading RMM and PSA platforms.
The enhancements to the security vendor’s MSP Connect program increase the range of products that qualified channel pros with recurring revenue cash flow models can pay for via monthly fees, and make administering those systems easier as well.
Effective now, both Sophos Managed Threat Response (MTR) and Sophos Cloud Optix are eligible for subscription-based pricing via the Sophos’ MSP Flex licensing program.
Introduced in October, Sophos MTR is an outsourced threat hunting, detection, and response service powered by artificial intelligence and staffed by certified security experts. Partners without security analysts or a security operations center of their own can leverage the offering to augment their in-house threat mitigation capabilities. Thanks to today’s announcement, MSPs can also build the service into a managed security bundle without sacrificing control over their customer relationships, according to Scott Barlow, vice president of global MSP at Sophos.
“We will either notify the MSP that there is something that needs to be addressed, we’ll collaborate with them, or the MSP can pre-authorize Sophos to take action,” he says.
Cloud Optix, which debuted in April, helps organizations discover and protect workloads in Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. The system automatically confirms that cloud-based resources are in compliance with security policies, and uses artificial intelligence to detect suspicious activities that could be linked to an attack. Optional risk remediation functionality can act on that information automatically to accelerate incident resolution times.
Per standard procedure for all products available through MSP Connect, fees for Cloud Optix and MTR will be charged in arrears on a pay-as-you-go basis tied to the number of active users at the end of each month.
New integrations between Sophos Central, the vendor’s consolidated management interface, and managed services line-of-business tools include enhanced monitoring and scripting support for RMM and PSA systems from Kaseya, Datto, and ConnectWise. Sophos plans to introduce additional integrations in the future.
“We’re looking to integrate with all of the vendors in the MSP ecosystem,” Barlow says. “The overall goal is to help the MSP lower their cost and improve their operational efficiency when working with Sophos products.”
Those were the objectives for MSP Connect generally when Sophos introduced it in 2016. According to Barlow, the program’s robust growth proves that it’s fulfilling that mission. MSP Connect currently supports over 8,000 MSPs worldwide. Billings through the program rose 83% in the first half of Sophos’ fiscal year to produce $33 million in annual recurring revenue. †
The addition of MTR and Cloud Optix to MSP Connect gives partners broader access to Sophos’ “next-gen” family of security products. Other solutions in that portfolio include Intercept X, a behavior-based endpoint security system introduced in 2016 that gained endpoint detection and response functionality last year; the server version of Intercept X; and the Phish Threat anti-phishing solution. Products that protect wireless access points, mobile devices, email systems, and more are available through MSP Connect as well.
In October, private equity firm Thoma Bravo announced its intention to acquire Sophos for approximately $3.9 billion. That transaction, which was formally approved by the company’s shareholders with unanimous encouragement from the Board of Directors on December 3rd, is slated to close early next year.
“We expect Sophos to accelerate its evolution and leadership in the next-gen cybersecurity market under Thoma Bravo’s ownership and with their support,” Barlow says.
Thoma Bravo holds stakes in multiple makers of security software, hardware, and services for MSPs, including ConnectWise, Continuum (which ConnectWise acquired in November), and Barracuda Networks.