There has been more consolidation in the managed security and hosting space. On Monday, True North Networks and RightSize Solutions announced their merger to become Visory.
Prior to the merger, both firms specialized in technology management and cybersecurity support to independent RIAs and other types of financial services firms, though they were competitors.
Both had also been portfolio companies within Connecticut-based private equity firm Bluff Point Associates, of which the merged company remains a part.
“Hosting is just a small aspect of the solution we bring to market,” said Bob Hollander, CEO of Visory, speaking about one of the firms’ early drivers of business.
“Hosting became cloud, and now software as a service, however, the rest of the stack still warrants integration support and security, Visory is the full stack IT integrator of technology,” he said, “and trying to unlock the power of the cloud the big guys have used for years is hard to do for a smaller firm.”
WealthManagement.com spoke with Hollander, Wes Stillman, the founder of RightSize Solutions and now Visory’s chief technology officer and Steven Ryder, the founder of True North Networks and now the chief strategy officer of Visory.
Visory has both a managed service provider (MSP) and managed security service provider (MSSP) offerings.
MSP provides defined, remote IT services for businesses that cannot afford or lack the internal expertise to manage their systems, databases and applications in-house, which can often be the case for many RIA firms.
With an MSSP, a firm is receiving security monitoring and management services specifically to ensure they are protected from cybersecurity threats and includes threat monitoring and intrusion detection, firewall management, patch management, endpoint protection and penetration testing among other services.
“I think it is really more IT as a service rather than hosting or cloud-based. Our job as advisory is to discuss with them how they best want to secure their environment, it could be hosted, hybrid,” said Ryder.
The men said Visory supports solo practitioners up to firms with hundreds of employees—the sweet initial spot is a firm with five to 100 advisors or employees.
“For the smaller shop, we will be their IT team and as you get larger and larger we can compliment their internal team,” Hollander said.
“We do the tough stuff and that’s one reason we ended up with the Visory name, we want to come in to complement them and what their needs are,” he said.
Asked about the current threat environment and what advisors should be most concerned about, phishing attacks remain the No. 1 most commonly reported threat.
“The social engineering aspect of the attack vectors are there and the smaller the firm the more likely they are to fall for it,” said Stillman, noting how sophisticated various threats have become and how good they are at accessing personal information, whether through social media or compromised databases from third-party providers or from other illicit sources.
Ryder emphasized the point that all antivirus is no longer equal, something he said too many other providers fail to note.
“We’re running Sentinel, it is AV on steroids, it is not your mother’s antivirus,” he said, naming one example of the sophisticated technology the firm employs and noting its ability to manage, monitor, and provide remediation.