Hal Lonas, CTO SMB and consumer at Webroot is aiming to take a bigger share of the backup market later this year. The company, which has been through a couple of ownership disruptions, launches a security-based product based on the technology that its sibling company Carbonite brings.
“This is an enterprise-level solution for the SMB market,” he tells IT Europa. “Ransomware has recently been found disabling the backup process. It may then be weeks or months before the ransomware triggers and all that work is lost; we think we now need to incorporate the same anti-virus type protection into backup. So now we can bring the security world into backup and using the Carbonite products bring it all into the same console. So one example is in endpoint security where malware will try to disable the anti-virus. We have had to be aware of that with Webroot, so that the agent is not disabled. Now we are thinking about backup – where they have not previously felt the need for that sort of protection, so we can bring them together.”
“We are focused on the MSP opportunity and this has not changed following the acquisition by OpenText. We will continue to work on partner programmes and reaching MSPs. You will see the Carbonite backup products appear on the Webroot portfolio later this summer.”
“We are excited about the future – we have been on a good track with security and backup and OpenText wants us to accelerate our plans.”
He is seeing demand for backup across the cloud and SaaS areas, especially in Office 365. That will be the first Carbonite product to appear under the Webroot brand.. “Cloud-based Office 365 will be exciting for the MSPs to take tt customers and is a great opportunity,” he says.
Then he is looking at further Carbonite products to bring in – endpoint backup, integrating the server backup etc– Webroot is working out when to bring these to the MSPs. “And we will be pushing security awareness training especially for those working from home where we have added new measures. For example, we have just added Evasion shield looking at script attacks using macros, PowerShell or Java which have become popular with the bad guys. Customers are already using that against new attacks and we have a roadmap with that capability for later this year.”
One the current crisis he predicts a busy time ahead: “We’re seeing many businesses able to carry on – small operations, especially in healthcare are starting to re-emerge. But we are seeing a lot of blending of computing assets at home and those provided by the company. We have been working to ensure that all those assets are protected. If data is propagated onto a home device, it needs protection and MSPs are getting that message and promoting it to customers.”
“I think of the transition to home working as a track we were on and one that has jumped forward about five years in one go. This has accelerated and is a permanent change. Some workers will come back to offices, but the work from home idea has seen a seismic shift.”
How does this change Webroot’s plans? The cyberresilience track that Webroot was on has accelerated as well, he says. “When we think of ho we deliver security and data protection, we see a spectrum and layers of security. What we see now is the ability to supply a layered solution with additional layers through the Carbonite backup products on the Webroot platform. We aim for a single deployment, management and monitoring system either with our console or an API, so that whatever happens on the networking or endpoint, or a hardware failure. We aim to absorb that and get the business back up quickly.”
MSPs with any spare time should be looking at the whole area of cyber resilience and concepts of risk. It is a matter of educating and staying aware of how attacks are changing. “Those are what the MSP should be thinking about - and looking at automation so they don’t have to have to do break-fix in this environment, and should not need to become a lot more expert on security. The more that can be done remotely is better for customers, the MSPs and everyone,” he says.
“The way we help the MSPs sell the concept has changed and we are doing a lot more online and to educate them. We are getting out there with messaging around risk and security and Webroot has had a strong brand awareness.- but most MSPs just want to simplify their lives, spending less time fixing problems and automate more so as to increase profitability and grow the business. We have understood that and are set to continue it in the future.”