MSSP : SonicWall’s Partner Program


By Debasish Mukherjee; Vice President, Regional Sales APAC, SonicWall Inc

According to research, the global MSS market size is projected to grow from USD 22.8 billion in 2021 to USD 43.7 billion by 2026, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.9% during the forecast period.

In India, the MSS market is set for robust growth in the next 5 years due to the strong push from the government on digitisation nationwide. Rapidly rising frequency of cybercrimes in India is making organisations feel the pressure to take preventive action against potential threats. Sectors such as banking and finance, manufacturing, aviation, healthcare, and retail are increasingly adopting digital practices as they are all faced with threats. Exposure points and personnel needs growing at a pace their budgets and actual headcount can’t keep up with, IT departments are increasingly relying on managed security service providers (MSSP) to fill the gaps, especially in these Pandemic Times.

For nearly three decades, SonicWall’s been a 100% channel company. With more than 17,000 channel partners worldwide and more than 2500 partners within India region this global family of SonicWall SecureFirst partners including MSSPs, are the lifeblood of its business.

To ensure their success and to help protect more than 500,000 customers worldwide, SonicWall is always innovating with its partner community in mind. Therefore combining  expanding set of threat intelligence solutions with  flexible set of pricing options is a great mix to help MSSPs grow profitability.

Learning is an ongoing process at SonicWall. Adding program enhancements such as simplified operations; automated provisioning and billing;  unified visibility and security management; and pre-defined threat analytics, reporting and workflows, the company offers MSSPs the opportunity to meet goals more easily than ever.

Further, the MSSP program offers its own curriculum and accreditation with access to L3 Premier Support and full technical knowledgebase. All program participants benefit from an assigned partner manager and sales engineer, while those in the Top Tier also have access to a solution architect. The goal is to help simplify the daily operations of MSSPs and provide them with the support that they need, exactly when they need it.

Through the three MSSP program tiers — MSSP Protect, MSSP Powered and MSSP Powered Plus, partners benefit from the following :

  • Expanded annual and monthly pricing model licenses
  • Aggressive volume–based pricing based on assets under management
  • Priority access to Premier Support Tier 3 engineers
  • Increased access to MDF, including accruals for Powered Plus partners
  • Support from a new and expanding MSSP strategic account management team

On the business side, lets address some important questions on the role of MSSPs:

What can MSPs do to protect their customers from cyberattacks?          It’s important to consistently employ basic best practices: patching, updates, segmentation, etc. For MSP/MSSPs, the reality is that customers need help with this. So, developing services that take care of the basics is a great place to start. From there, you can scale your services and offerings to enhance their security postures.

What kind of margins do email security solutions offer for MSSPs?        While there are many variables in play here, an MSSP could expect a margin of 10-15 percent for an email security product, or 30-50 percent margins if you provide email security as a servce.

How can MSSPs use artificial intelligence and automation to detect threats, trigger alerts, troubleshoot and address security situations?

The reality is that building your own artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities is probably not realistic unless you are a very, very large MSSP. So, ideally, you want to rely on the AI already built into security products to help you identify and block cyberattacks to protect customers.

For example, SonicWall engineered very smart AI that we integrate into the real-time engines that power our Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) sandbox capabilities. This can allow you to leverage AI without the overhead and complexity of building it yourself.  Then you can use an intelligent SIEM to help make sense of the logs and alerts.

How can MSPs provide enhanced security without adding complexity and overhead?

In a way, MSSPs are supposed to take away the complexity and overhead. We talk a lot today about getting the basics right and the transition from MSP to MSSP. Complex, enterprise-class MSSPs have lots of money, but if you are making the transition from MSP, start with taking the burden of the basics off the customer.

Make sure security devices are installed correctly, patched and have good policies. Make sure good endpoint security is deployed and managed. Provide useful reporting so customers know how well they’re doing. Removing the complexity from the customers is absolutely critical to success.

How does compliance figure into being an MSSP?                                    This is massively important. A lot of mid-market MSSPs focus almost exclusively on a vertical like  healthcare-focused MSSP or others targeting financial services (e.g., PCI). Compliance regulations drive need, so focusing on a vertical is definitely an option — particularly for MSSPs that can’t quite scale to solve all security challenges across an untold number of industries.


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