IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Spanning Adds Optional Dark Web Monitoring to Office 365 Backup Solution

Aimed at medium-sized businesses with in-house IT departments, the new service offers Spanning resellers a fresh source of recurring revenue while helping end users turn a solution for recovering from data breaches into a tool for preventing them as well. By Rich Freeman

Spanning, Kaseya’s cloud-to-cloud backup unit, has introduced a dark web monitoring add-on for its Office 365 data protection solution.

Intended principally for IT administrators at medium-sized businesses, the new service automatically issues real-time alerts whenever user credentials for an account protected by Spanning’s software turn up in the cybercrime underworld. That allows a platform for recovering from data loss to serve as a tool for preventing it too, according to Joe Noonan, vice president of products for Spanning and Kaseya’s Unitrends BDR division.

“We have the ability now to help you proactively take action on one of the most common ways that data gets breached and corrupted and impacted,” he says. 

Technicians who receive an alert can use audit reporting tools in Office 365 to determine if any of the compromised user’s data has been damaged, Noonan observes, and then use Spanning’s backup application to restore that information if necessary.

Like the Office 365 backup solution it augments, Spanning Dark Web Monitoring, as the new product is officially known, is designed to be an easily installed and operated resource for overstretched administrators with wide-ranging responsibilities.

“They’re very hands off,” Noonan says of both solutions. “There really isn’t any management.”

For Spanning resellers who serve or wish to target medium-sized businesses, Noonan continues, the new product offers an incremental source of recurring monthly income. “It allows them to continue to build their revenue stream in that world of SaaS data protection,” he says. Spanning defines medium-sized business as organizations with 51 to 4,000 users.

Spanning Dark Web Monitoring lists at 50 cents per user per month. Partners who wish to deploy the service must buy one license for each user whose data they protect through Spanning’s backup software.

Security experts often describe backup as the last line of defense in a multi-layered strategy for safeguarding data. Spanning sees the addition of dark web monitoring to its backup offering as a differentiator from competing alternatives. 

“We’re not the entire strategy. You want to make sure that you have all the layers covered,” Noonan says. “But our layer, we think, is better than some of the other folks that are out there.”

Kaseya bought Spanning late in 2018, and then bought dark web monitoring vendor ID Agent about seven months afterwards. Spanning Dark Web Monitoring draws on capabilities in ID Agent’s Dark Web ID solution, but offers only a fraction of that system’s functionality.

“It’s a portion of the technology that is purposely reconfigured and integrated for the Spanning customer,” Noonan says. While ID Agent is expressly designed for use by MSPs as well, he adds, the new Spanning add-on is tailored to the needs of end user IT departments.

Kaseya is investing heavily at present in efforts to drive cross-pollination across products from its family of brands, which in addition to Spanning, ID Agent, and Unitrends, includes security and compliance management vendor RapidFire Tools and documentation vendor IT Glue.

As ChannelPro reported recently, each of those business units is now required to devote 20% of its R&D budget to the seamless source-code level connections that Kaseya calls “workflow integrations.” The company highlighted the addition of dark web monitoring to Spanning’s Office 365 backup service as a forthcoming example of workflow integration in that conversation, along with another that will feed status information from the Kaseya Compliance Manager solution directly into the Kaseya VSA remote monitoring and management platform.

“We’re leveraging technology within the portfolio to enhance our existing products that may have originally served other markets or other needs,” Noonan observes.

Kaseya Compliance Manager gained streamlined support for in-app provisioning of cyber insurance policies two weeks ago.

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