Dual-track certification program aimed at sales pros, engineers
ConnectWise is offering technology solution providers (TSPs) a cybersecurity education and training program designed to give them the expertise to better help protect their SMB customers.
The Lowdown: The managed service platform and portfolio company is aiming the ConnectWise Certify program at TSP owners, sales professionals, and engineers with the goal of enabling the creation of cohesive teams that can address all of their clients’ needs.
The Details: The free dual-track certification program, announced this week, addresses a range of cybersecurity areas, including standards, best practices, and technology alignment. There are sessions tailored specifically for sales professionals and engineers, and the courses are updated regularly to address new cyberthreats and current events, a key consideration during the COVID-19 pandemic. The two tracks are:
> Cybersecurity Fundamentals for Engineers: Through this track, engineers learn about the NIST framework, critical security controls, incident response planning, and intrusion detection and malware analysis. The next Fundamentals for Engineers is scheduled for April 24 as a virtual event.
> Cybersecurity Fundamentals for Owners and Sales Professionals: This track addresses how to best have a risk-based conversation with clients and enables TSPs to sell their security services and solutions to SMBs. Participants learn how to minimize fear-based selling and address objections that come up during sales conversations. They also learn about presenting action plans that prioritize security gaps and vulnerabilities. The next Fundamentals for Owners and Sales Professionals training sessions are scheduled for May 6 and May 15, both as virtual events.
So far, more than 500 people have completed the training and attained their certification.
The Impact: ConnectWise has been focusing on cybersecurity over the past year as MSPs and other channel players find themselves under increasing attack from cybercriminals that see service providers and partners as entry points to end users. Cybersecurity has become increasingly important as bad actors look to take advantage of the global coronavirus outbreak, using such tactics as e-mail phishing and ransomware to steal data and money.
Background: The company last month bulked up its security posture and upgraded its security testing during software development. In January, ConnectWise strengthened its remote desktop software after a security consultancy uncovered some flaws.
The Buzz: “We’re excited to offer the very first cybersecurity training that has been created specifically for TSPs. The customized curriculum for each track consists of a full day of live training, an accompanying workbook, and an exam at the end of the day,” said Joy Beland, senior cybersecurity education director at ConnectWise. “This training was developed with the goal of teaching TSPs the most important cybersecurity knowledge that will be useful and can be implemented immediately.”
“We take a unique dual-track approach with ConnectWise Certify because it’s equally important for TSP owners and sales professionals to understand cybersecurity as it is for engineering staff – but for different reasons,” said Jay Ryerse, vice president of cybersecurity initiatives at ConnectWise. “Take risk assessment, for example. The owner or salesperson will need to be able to have a conversation about risk and the business impact with the client, while the engineer will need to know how to run the tools and compile the necessary information to generate a report and workplan for how to secure the environment and mitigate risk. Together they would compare notes and decide what data is the most valuable – and also the most vulnerable – and align with how that’s presented to the client.”
“Zephyr Networks takes our clients’ data security very seriously, and with the cyberthreat landscape always changing, we continually review and update our security standards. Last week, five of our engineers participated in the ConnectWise Certify training and received their course certification,” said Eric Monroe, principal at Zephyr Networks. “We saw tremendous value in aligning our understanding of the crucial security pieces that MSPs must excel in and it gives us an additional layer of differentiation from other MSPs. This full day of training is one of the best resources we have been provided in the MSP community and speaks to ConnectWise’s commitment to cybersecurity education and training.”