SilverSky was launched today as a premiere provider of managed security services via the cloud. SilverSky is not your usual startup, though. SilverSky is a merged brand of Perimeter E Security and USA.net. They have a blue chip investor pedigree, as well as a distinguished management team with multiple prior successes under their belt. More than that, though, SilverSky is the attempt to finally bring together a rather far-flung group of assets acquired via M&A over the past years. The special sauce, though, may very well be some of the homegrown services they have developed themselves.
The genesis of today's SilverSky was a rollup in the MSSP space starting back around 2005 or so by Brad Miller. With Goldman Sachs as an investor, Perimeter made a series of acquisitions in the managed security services space. The largest of these acquisitions was probably USA.net whose business was based on providing email services primarily to financial institutions. While this brought many customers to the bottom line, frankly it never meshed with the meat and potatoes managed security services that most of the other acquisitions offered. As a result, Perimeter had almost a dual personality the last few years with both email hosting and managed security service. In the meantime, they had spent tens of millions of dollars on acquisitions, which some say they struggled to integrate.
The picture began to change when a new management team was brought in. Led by Tim Harvey, along with other security industry veterans, such as Randal Skipper, John Viega and Andrew Jaquith, they brought not only fresh blood, but fresh energy and ideas into how to assemble this collection of assets into one company. One of the only holdovers from the old regime to remain on the management team is Richard Dubrow, the founder of Guarded Networks, which was an early acquisition of Perimeter and was located here in my neck of the woods in South Florida. Richard is now General Manager of the Asia Pacific region.
All too often what happens in these cases is it becomes a game of Jenga, trying to stack all of the disparate services and products as high as one can. However, that is not the case for SilverSky. I had a chance to catch up with my old friend Andrew Jaquith to discuss this yesterday. Andy is the CTO of SilverSky. Prior to joining the company a few years back Andy was a well-known and respected security industry analyst.
SilverSky has actually consolidated and paired down its card of services. More than that, they have re-architected many of the solutions to align with their vision of being the premier provider of cloud security solutions. Andy says they are taking the technology and expertise garnered from hosting millions of mission-critical email accounts for some of the biggest financial institutions in the world and applied that expertise to their managed security solutions. This allows SilverSky to offer the same secure service that have let their USA.net services receive certification from just about every compliance and regulatory body you can imagine.
On top of this, Jaquith was really proud of the new SilverSky "Email Protection Suite." The suite includes SilverSky's own technology for an email-based DLP (data loss protection) that "offers content-aware policies normally reserved for standalone enterprise DLP solutions."
In fact, the SilverSky portfolio is a mix of integrated third-party technologies and solutions and homegrown services and IP. The combination is one of the fullest featured lineups available today for managed security.
Of course, there is more to integration than rebranding and a pretty new name. From what Jaquith told me and what I have seen, it seems SilverSky has finally brought all of its pieces together. If so, they could be a juggernaut in the industry. I remember when it seemed that SecureWorks, which is now a part of Dell, didn't seem like it would compete with Perimeter. But it seemed that SecureWorks and other MSSPs passed them by. Now, SilverSky may finally take its rightful place in the market.
As co-founder and Managing Partner at The CISO Group, Alan Shimel is responsible for driving the vision and mission of the company. The CISO Group offers security consulting and PCI compliance management for the payment card industry. Prior to The CISO Group, Alan was the Chief Strategy Officer at StillSecure. Shimel was the public persona of StillSecure as it grew from start up to helping defend some of the largest and most sensitive networks in the world.
Shimel is an often-cited personality in the technology community and is a sought-after speaker at industry and government conferences and events. His commentary about the state of security, open source and life is followed closely by many industry insiders via his blog and podcast, "Ashimmy, After All These Years" (www.ashimmy.com). Alan is now also a regular contributor to The CISO Group’s security.exe blog and podcast.
Alan has helped build several successful technology companies by combining a strong business background with a deep knowledge of technology. His legal background, long experience in the field, and New York street smarts combine to form a unique personality.
Disclosure: The CISO Group sells a software-as-a-service PCI compliance application called SAQPro. The company is independent and does not represent any other vendor's products as a reseller.
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