2021 IT Nation Secure keynote recap

| By: Craig Fulton

At IT Nation Connect 2020, we discussed the Silos of Chaos that continue to keep MSP’s businesses segmented and inefficient. It’s always been a goal of ours at ConnectWise to knock those silos down. This year at IT Nation Secure, we’re coming full circle to help you control the chaos that surrounds cybersecurity. So, let’s dive into the highlights of the ConnectWise keynote at IT Nation Secure 2021. 

ConnectWise’s progress in the cybersecurity space 

We kicked things off with our fearless leader, ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee, taking the stage to share the progress ConnectWise and The IT Nation have made to tackle the emerging cybersecurity threat landscape. 

You and other members are taking charge to address cybersecurity issues critical to MSPs and their clients. Jason announced that 8,000 people have signed up and taken IT Nation Certify cybersecurity certification courses. Knowledge is powerful in the battle against cyberattacks, so it’s great to see so many of you getting certified. Along with that, we’re expecting 500 IT Nation Secure attendees to take part in our Capture the Flag event simulating a real cyberattack. 

We’re dedicated to providing the right tools, training, and support for every partner to deliver cybersecurity, and we’re by your side no matter where you’re at in your journey. Last fall at IT Nation Connect, we announced the acquisition of Perch and StratoZen. With those acquisitions and continued improvements to other ConnectWise solutions, Jason revealed that ConnectWise will continue to be the most dedicated vendor for TSPs and their evolving needs in cybersecurity. This is big news, and there’s more. We’re working hard to move all our offerings to a single, unified platform where your RMM, PSA, and cybersecurity solutions work together in one place. 

Finally, Jason announced the latest addition to the ConnectWise BCDR (formerly Recover) product line, ConnectWise Co-Managed Backup™. ConnectWise Co-Managed Backup simplifies third-party BDR solution management by bringing all those solutions into a single tool. Along with simplified management, the ConnectWise NOC helps support the day-to-day management of backups to take the burden off your in-house staff. 

How cybersecurity is shaping the IT industry 

Next, I came up to talk about how cybersecurity is shaping and changing IT and to define what ‘cybersecurity chaos’ is. I explained that cybersecurity chaos includes the growing number and severity of threats and the mess they make, the growing number of client demands, and the growing number of cybersecurity solutions. That all adds up to a lot of confusion, which explains why many MSPs find cybersecurity so daunting they decide to stay away from it altogether. 

With cybersecurity making a huge impact on the IT industry, I reminded The IT Nation that we must work together to ensure customers are protected, productive, and growing. Cybersecurity is the future, and it will take a team effort to tackle all the challenges it brings. With that in mind, I brought up Jay Ryerse, VP of Cybersecurity Initiatives for ConnectWise, to talk about the MSP side of controlling the chaos. 

Controlling the chaos in your MSP 

To start, Jay proclaimed 2021 to be the year of cybersecurity. It’s clear to see why. Many high-profile attacks have made the headlines, and there’s no sign of them slowing down. Analysts have been writing about it for years. You, your team, and your clients all know cybersecurity is here to stay. It’s time for the industry to rally and solve these challenges together. 

2021 is also your year to build, grow, and accelerate your cybersecurity business. The high attendance of IT Nation Certify cybersecurity certification courses shows you understand that and are ready to make a change. Now, we all need to take action. 

To start, you need to control the chaos inside your MSP, and Jay shared what that looks like at different levels in your organization. 

For owners, it’s about protecting your house from attacks, not waiting for something to happen to your clients to take action, and not falling behind the competition because you waited to get started. Service delivery teams need to sift through large amounts of data the growing number of cybersecurity solutions throw at them every day. Sales and marketing need to realize how to capitalize on the growth opportunity cybersecurity presents for your MSP. 

How is ConnectWise helping you control the chaos? Jay shared how we’re creating an ecosystem of cybersecurity tools, programs, and education to make sense of it all and help you jumpstart your cybersecurity business. 

Controlling the solution chaos 

Wes Spencer, VP of CISO for Perch Security, came on stage to cover the solution side of cybersecurity. Wes shared his continued excitement for Perch joining the flock and becoming a member of the ConnectWise family. With Perch comes an incredibly powerful threat detection tool and a wealth of cybersecurity knowledge and insight, including the Perch MSP Threat Report. 

Wes shared findings from the most recent report. First, what the past few years have been like. MSPs were blindsided at first but have become more resilient and understanding of cybersecurity needs. Looking ahead, regulations and compliance will put a lot of pressure on MSPs to provide sufficient security to businesses around the country and worldwide. Perch has a track record of seeing what’s coming on the cybersecurity horizon, so it’s best to listen to what they have to say. 

Next, Wes echoed ConnectWise's commitment to creating a holistic cybersecurity solution ecosystem and how each acquisition fits into the overall ConnectWise cybersecurity solution platform. Years of industry experience, advanced certification, and evolving tools create a very powerful solution stack for MSPs to grow their cybersecurity practice. 

Finally, Wes introduced a unique addition to ConnectWise’s cybersecurity resources, the ConnectWise Cyber Research Unit (CRU). The ConnectWise CRU is our team of threat analysts who take in threat intelligence and turn it into actional information for MSPs. 

ConnectWise Partner Program

Natalie Suarez, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Perch Security, took the stage to showcase the value of the new ConnectWise Partner Program. This program is the next step in ConnectWise’s legacy of building strong partnerships with MSPs across the industry. Cybersecurity isn’t something MSPs should have to go into alone. The ConnectWise Partner Program delivers next-level benefits for members, including a dedicated Partner Development Manager who will guide members through each step of their cybersecurity journey. Other benefits include customizable marketing resources, sales enablement materials, certifications, and more, and they can all be found in the ConnectWise Partner Program Portal for easy access.

Partner Q&A with Tim Weber of ADNET 

Finally, I talked with ConnectWise partner Tim Weber of ADNET. Tim shared how ADNET started as a traditional MSP in 1991, and over time began offering security until they built a dedicated cybersecurity practice in 2017. We discussed how ADNET built their own practice and the challenges they faced in the process. 

And with that, the 2021 IT Nation Secure keynote was a wrap. If you couldn’t make it to the keynote or IT Nation Secure, we sure missed you. Don’t miss out on future IT Nation events. Head over to The IT Nation page to learn about upcoming events, including IT Nation Explore in July and August, IT Nation Connect in Australia in September, and IT Nation Connect in Orlando, FL in November.