In a major expansion of its solution portfolio that vaults it into a high-growth market category, managed services software maker Continuum has unveiled a new security product line tailored to the needs of SMBs and the MSPs who serve them.
Collectively named Continuum Security and due to enter general availability in the first quarter of 2018, the new offering combines software for erecting and managing a defensive perimeter with threat detection and response technology, all backed by 24/7 security operations centers in Pune and Mumbai, India.
Continuum introduced the new product family yesterday at its 2017 Navigate partner conference, which is currently underway in Las Vegas. The Boston-based company also announced an agreement to integrate DNS protection and end user security awareness software from Webroot Inc., of Broomfield, Colo., with that offering.
Continuum Security includes two main components. The first, called Profile & Protect, provides centralized oversight of vulnerability scanning, anti-virus, firewall, and other security assets from both Continuum itself and third-party suppliers.
The system allows MSPs to create service delivery profiles with customized blends of safeguards against ransomware, phishing, insider threats, and other dangers. That feature reflects the different needs of clients in different industries, according to Continuum CEO Michael George, who notes that retailers and other customers that process credit card transactions face different threats than clients in the healthcare or financial services verticals.
“Treating everybody the same is just foolish,” he says.
Continuum is still determining which third-party security solutions Profile & Protect will support upon launch. The more popular a given system is among MSPs, however, the more likely it is to make the list. In the firewall category, for example, products from Fortinet Inc., SonicWall Inc., and Cisco’s Meraki unit are strong candidates for inclusion, according to Fielder Hiss, Continuum’s vice president of product.
The second major component of Continuum Security, named Detect & Respond, is designed to find and eliminate attacks that penetrate a business’s outer defenses.
“No matter how good your protection is, stuff’s going to get through, so we’ve got to monitor the activity to see the stuff getting through so we can catch it ASAP,” Hiss says.
The system uses behavior analysis technology informed by data from both Continuum’s one million-plus endpoints under management and multiple open source threat intelligence databases to spot anomalous activities. MSPs themselves or technicians in Continuum’s SOC can then use Detect & Respond to investigate and remediate those threats.
The inclusion of SOC services in Continuum Security is one of the new offering’s strongest selling points, according to Allan Jocson, owner of Agilitec IT LLC, a managed services provider and Continuum partner located in Las Vegas. Outsourcing security tasks to Continuum, he notes, spares him from competing for scarce and hence costly security staff.
“Security people are expensive [and] hard to find,” Jocson says. “As a growing business, we don’t have the capital to afford a security professional in house.”
Jocson also appreciates that Continuum Security integrates closely with the vendor’s RMM and BDR systems.
“The less vendors and tools we have to use and the less dashboards my techs have to log into is going to create greater efficiency,” he says. “That’s the only way we can compete now.”
Webroot’s role in Continuum’s security platform is the latest manifestation of an alliance relationship that extends back to 2015. Continuum Security will integrate with both Webroot’s SecureAnywhere DNS Protection solution and the Webroot Security Awareness Training offering the security vendor rolled out in August.
“Webroot’s a great partner,” Hiss says. “We think they’re doing something pretty unique on the user training and phishing simulation side.”
Pricing for Continuum Security has yet to be determined, and will be based on field trials of the product with partners.
Continuum plans to add a regulatory compliance module to its security platform in the second half of 2018. That product will include policy setting, configuration, auditing, and reporting tools for customers subject to HIPAA and PCI DSS mandates, as well as the European Union’s forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation, among other laws.
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