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Why we acquired a Managed Security Services Provider

In a recent public announcement, Gamma disclosed its strategic acquisition of Satisnet, a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP), a move aimed at launching a cybersecurity suite that is available to our customers. While we’ve long integrated cybersecurity measures into our existing portfolio of voice and networking solutions, we felt that the precariousness of the current landscape warrants a specialised cybersecurity package that can be an add-on to the services already being purchased by organisations we work with.

Rich McPhee, our Solutions Director here at Gamma, sheds some light on the underlying motivations for this significant acquisition. According to Rich, two major factors drove the decision: the widening gap in cybersecurity skills and the escalating complexity of cyber threats.

He begins, “We’ve actually been offering security solutions to secure our services, but more on an internal basis.” He goes on to mention that Gamma already has an established client base in this area, with “over 100 enterprise customers consuming managed firewall, for example.”

Rich also touched upon the changing dynamics of the market, particularly the shift towards cloud-based solutions. This transformation provided Gamma with an opportunity to extend our offerings. He notes, “However, as the market has gone to the cloud, this has become an adjacent fit for us,”

Importantly, when we reached out to our existing clientele to gauge interest in an expanded cybersecurity service, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Rich continues, “We asked our customers if this were a service they would need and expect from us, and the answer was an overwhelming ‘yes’.”

The Satisnet acquisition and the subsequent expansion into a publicly available cybersecurity offering are exemplars of our proactive approach to addressing the ever evolving challenges of the cybersecurity landscape, as well as our commitment to responding to customer needs, particularly at a time when cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

It’s only a matter of time

Cyber threats are a given. The question is no longer if an organisation will face an attack, but when, and more importantly, how successful that attack will be. This heightened awareness among our extensive client base – comprising circa 1,000 customers – definitely inspired the overwhelmingly positive response when we asked their opinion on the need for enhanced cybersecurity services.

Rich signposts this collective mindset as a major consideration in Gamma’s search for an acquisition target. “The expectation that an attack will come led Gamma to Satisnet because of its detection capabilities,” he explains. The move is of course indicative of our strategic shift towards a more proactive security model that hinges on early detection and rapid response.

To operationalise this approach, Gamma’s MSSP unit will integrate Satisnet’s specialised capabilities. Satisnet brings to the table its managed Security Operations Center (SOC), predominantly built on Microsoft Azure Sentinel, along with its robust Managed Vulnerability Management services, powered by Tenable.

Rich further explores the escalating complexity of cyber threats, pointing out that this has even led to security becoming a focal point in boardroom discussions. “They’re becoming more advanced and complex to deal with,” he observes, “Almost every organisation has this as one of their top five risks.” Rich explains how the perception of cybersecurity has evolved over time: “It’s often been seen as an unwanted expense because it doesn’t generate a return on investment, but there’s now greater awareness of the impact of cyber-attacks and an increase in demand on supply chain security.”

The stakes are high, and the repercussions of inadequate cybersecurity measures can be absolutely devastating.

“The consequences of getting it wrong can be catastrophic not only from a data loss perspective but from the risk you run from customers that could cease trading with your organisation if your standards are not up to scratch,” Rich warns.

He further notes that organisations are now facing financial penalties for failing to ensure that their suppliers adhere to stringent cybersecurity norms: “Organisations are being fined because their suppliers haven’t got adequate security. So, organisations are looking for suppliers they’re requesting, and even mandating strict security policies.”

Our multi-faceted approach here at Gamma, from acquisition to integration and customer engagement, evidences our understanding of the evolving cybersecurity landscape and a commitment to safeguarding not just our interests but those of our clients and partners.

A View to a Skill

Sadly – and concerningly – the cybersecurity sector is grappling with a significant skills gap. This scarcity of qualified professionals is making it increasingly challenging for organisations to recruit and retain in-house cybersecurity experts. This conundrum has sparked interest in outsourcing cybersecurity needs to third-party MSSPs.

This skills gap was a major contributing factor in the decision to acquire Satisnet. By bringing them into our fold, we aim to offer organisations we work with an alternative to maintaining internal cybersecurity teams – a major challenge when the roles are nigh on impossible to fill. Instead, companies can outsource their cybersecurity requirements to us – lifting the pressure on vetting, hiring, and retaining staff.

Rich is well aware of the inherent risks in relying solely on a small internal team for cybersecurity: “Hiring a few skilled people internally also poses a potential risk because your security lives and dies by their ability and intentions,” he points out. Rich instead advocates for a balanced approach. “It’s actually a safer bet to have some element of this contracted out.”

According to Rich, the trend towards outsourcing cybersecurity is gaining momentum. “MSSPs are on the rise because Cyber Security is complicated and it’s hard to keep enough skilled people in-house. Most organisations are looking to outsource now.”

The skills gap in cybersecurity is clearly pushing organisations to reconsider their staffing strategies. We’re hoping that our acquisition of Satisnet offers organisations a viable alternative to in-house cybersecurity management, mitigating risks and addressing the ongoing talent shortfall.

So what does the future look like?

Sure, it’s early days, but our MSSP offerings are already attracting interest, particularly among our existing customer base. According to Rich, the immediate priority for Gamma will be to solidify our cybersecurity services among current clients. However, we also have plans to extend these services to prospective customers in the near future.

We’re also exploring a channel-centric business model that allows our partners to resell Gamma’s cybersecurity solutions, while integrating them with their own offerings. This is, of course, part of a broader strategy to secure and support our channel clientele, making the service more widely accessible.

Rich outlines Gamma’s comprehensive vision for customer engagement and support in cybersecurity: “Our aim is to help customers assess their current security, understand where their gaps are, then look at how we can help them build a stronger security posture by utilising what they have better or filling gaps.”

As an added layer of protection, Gamma will incorporate our SOC into this service portfolio. This SOC is designed to be human-centric, focusing on providing contextual insights into security events within a customer’s environment.

“Our Managed SOC layered onto this provides a human-centric service and will help give our customers context of events happening in their environment to limit the impact of any potential breach,” Rich adds.

As ever, Gamma is proactively looking towards the future, with plans to not only solidify our position among existing clients but also to expand our reach. Our acquisition of Satisnet is a significant step in our journey to provide comprehensive, human-centric cybersecurity solutions.

By focusing on early detection, rapid response, and contextual understanding of cybersecurity, we want to protect and empower our clients, ensuring a safer, more secure digital future for us all.

Not only that, we’ve set our sights high – we hope, over time, to redefine the cybersecurity paradigm, growing into our role as a leader in the field and demonstrating our unwavering commitment to safeguarding both the digital assets and reputations of our clients and partners.