ConnectWise Acquires MSSP to Help MSPs With Cybersecurity



ConnectWise has acquired MSSP Sienna Group as the first step in its effort to lead MSPs into cybersecurity.

Sienna Group’s portfolio includes managed data security services, governance, risk and compliance assessments, sensitive data discovery and classification, and security awareness training.

This summer, Arnie Bellini, ConnectWise’s CEO, said with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now in force and similar regulations likely to follow, MSPs will need all the help they can get in providing their customers with sufficient security to ensure compliance.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
ConnectWise's Arnie Bellini

ConnectWise’s Arnie Bellini

“The acquisition of Sienna Group will enable us to form the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence to educate MSPs on best practices of every aspect of cybersecurity,” he said. “The Sienna Group has more than 130 years of combined cybersecurity experience and understands how to provide those services to SMBs. Our mission is to leverage this expertise to educate, support and consult MSPs in the delivery of cybersecurity services because we want every MSP to learn how to safeguard its clients’ systems and critical data.”

The 2112 Group's Larry Walsh

The 2112 Group’s Larry Walsh

Larry Walsh, CEO and chief analyst of The 2112 Group, and member of the Channel Partners Editorial Advisory Board, said it’s no surprise that ConnectWise acquired Sienna.

“Many have speculated for a while that ConnectWise would acquire a security or backup company to round out the portfolio of managed services offerings under its umbrella, anchored by its professional services automation platform,” he said. “Security was a big gap in the ConnectWise portfolio and Sienna, being a managed security service provider with broad capabilities, fills that gap nicely.”

Rik Turner, principal analyst at Ovum, said there is definitely a trend for MSPs to beef up their security capabilities for a number of reasons.

Ovum's Rik Turner

Ovum’s Rik Turner

“The volume and variety of attacks continue to grow, making the defenders’ work ever more challenging, and there is a well-publicized shortage of qualified security professionals, making them hard to find and possibly even harder to retain,” he said. “This scenario underpins the growth of security services, in particular stuff like managed detection and response (MDR), which is all the rage at the moment.”

ConnectWise said the capabilities and expertise that Sienna Group offers will provide a means for its partners to assess their own business’ cyber vulnerabilities and to learn how to better protect themselves from liability when their customers are targeted by cybercriminals.

The acquisition also supports ConnectWise’s strategy to provide an “ecosystem of security solutions that are accessible…

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