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Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


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March 20, 2024 |

Q&A: What’s the Impact of the New FutureSafe/Cork Partnership on MSPs?

We interviewed Cork and FutureSafe to understand how their cooperation agreement will give MSPs peace-of-mind as they traverse today’s AI-enabled cyber battlefield.

ChannelPro spoke to Jason Whitehurst, chief cybersecurity evangelist of FutureSafe and Carlson Choi, CEO of Cork, to discuss the news they broke at Right of Boom in Las Vegas this month: a strategic alliance to enhance protection for MSPs and their SMB clients against AI-driven cyberattacks.

Similar to last year’s strategic alliance with Liongard, Cork’s partnership with FutureSafe promises MSPs a unique, comprehensive cybersecurity solution — Heimdal, which is distributed exclusively through FutureSafe — and Cork’s cyber warranty protection.

As a result, MSPs can help their customers ensure business continuity even in the event of a successful breach.

ChannelPro: Why should an MSP work with an MSSP like FutureSafe?

Whitehurst: FutureSafe is a managed security service provider (MSSP) for MSPs offering personalized and comprehensive cybersecurity services. We work behind the scenes to provide our clients with a white-glove experience, tailoring our cybersecurity stack and services to meet their unique requirements, even across multiple unrelated products.

Our seasoned team of cybersecurity experts ranges from CISO-level staff to cybersecurity engineers. Combined, our team has about 70 cybersecurity certifications. We provide day-to-day management, monitoring, and support across all of their product and solution sets. We also operate a security operations center (SOC) to ensure our clients receive the best possible cybersecurity protection.

Jason Whitehurst FutureSafe

Jason Whitehurst

ChannelPro: How is partnering with Cork a win-win for both organizations and the channel community?

Whitehurst: It benefits both the MSP and their client. If [the client does] not have cybersecurity insurance and experiences a cyberattack, the Cork warranty offers immediate funding to cover the expenses of restoring regular operations.

In cases where the client does have cybersecurity insurance, even though the MSP invests a substantial amount of time and resources into restoring their client’s business operations, they are not typically compensated by the insurance company if a breach occurs. Cork’s cyber warranty covers the costs of having the MSP restore its client’s operations and ensure that their environment is safe and secure.

ChannelPro: How are the two organizations collaborating going forward?

Whitehurst: One example of our collaboration with Cork is the alerts it sends in real-time when there’s a problem or vulnerability that affects the community as a whole. Due to the company’s visibility into the environments managed by our MSPs, it also helps identify which clients are impacted by these vulnerabilities.

Cork doesn’t just provide a platform; it offers an additional layer of security oversight that’s essential in maintaining consistency throughout the lifecycle of the relationship.

ChannelPro: Are there eligibility requirements for an MSP to take advantage of this?

Whitehurst: MSPs taking advantage of Cork must use the full Heimdal solution stack across their client base. They must also have multi-factor authentication (MFA), Office 365, and a backup solution in place.

ChannelPro: What are the financial incentives for MSPs to transition their existing SMB clients to Cork-backed Heimdal security solutions?

Whitehurst: We’ve found that MSPs can save an average of 20% by leveraging Heimdal’s full security stack, including Cork’s cyber warranty offering, compared to purchasing solutions individually. Another financial benefit of using these platforms is the reduced recovery time for internal teams.

Without the need to manage, monitor, and operationalize individual platforms, the team can focus on other important tasks, which saves the company money in terms of acquisition and support, as well as internal operations. This, in turn, can add margin for the time spent managing a breadth of products.

ChannelPro: What specific types of cyber crimes are the Heimdal solution designed to protect against? What’s the approach?

Whitehurst:  Heimdal protects against various types of cyber crimes, such as ransomware and malware. Its email security module, for example, offers protection against business email compromise and infrastructure-type compromise attacks. Heimdal also safeguards against these attacks by collecting and analyzing risk data across all modules in a single dashboard. This makes it easier for the Heimdal SOC to promptly detect and address any issue that arise.

ChannelPro: Can you provide examples of how the Cork cyber warranty has supported MSPs following a breach or attack?

Carlson Choi Cork

Carlson Choi

Choi: Cork’s unique active loss prevention monitoring platform has alerted Cork MSP partners over a million-plus compliance events to prevent an attack from happening. Cork is not only there to provide immediate financial relief at the time of an attack, but it also serves as a preventive notification to the FutureSafe team proactively to address an issue before it turns into a cyber incident.

ChannelPro: How are Cork and FutureSafe utilizing automation and artificial intelligence?

Whitehurst: A significant amount of automation is involved in the Heimdal solution to enable organizations to identify, address, and protect against potential cyberattacks. The Heimdal solution also uses AI components across multiple modules, and AI intelligence is used heavily in risk analysis.

Choi: Cork leverages AI to identify the leading indicator/signal from the most vulnerable endpoint and/or users within a particular environment. Then, it will notify and prioritize these notifications for the FutureSafe and Heimdal team for immediate action.

ChannelPro: Can MSPs customize Heimdal security solutions and Cork cyber warranty offerings to fit the specific needs of their SMB clients?

Whitehurst: The Heimdal solution and its security modules are available separately, so users can choose from any number of modules they want while integrating with other third-party solutions, such as patch management and RMM, and adding Cork cyber warranty as an additional layer of protection.

ChannelPro: What measures are in place to ensure the privacy and data protection of MSPs’ clients?

Whitehurst: Heimdal’s client data is stored in data servers located in the United States and protected through double-encrypted methods. Cork has visibility only into the environments it protects within Heimdal. The client environments licensed for MSPs allow them to view all their clients in one place, with their downstream centers from within the Heimdal SOC.

ChannelPro: Can MSPs and their SMB clients expect any new features or enhancements in the near future?

Whitehurst: Heimdal is adding more features and capabilities to its platform that enable MSPs to secure their environments, and we expect to see some features and enhancements later this spring.

Image: iStock

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