SonicWall MSSP Program: Blueprint for Filling the Cyber Security Skills Gap


The demand for experienced cyber security professionals is at an all-time high. These highly skilled assets are essential in helping businesses protect customers, networks, sensitive data and intellectual property in a fast-moving cyber arms race.

But according to a recent ESG study, 51 percent of respondents claimed their organization had a problematic shortage of cyber security skills. I have watched this deficiency consistently grow the last five years.

Organizations are struggling to understand their own risk, which threats to focus on and where to put more of their security, resources and people to protect their environment.

When deploying new software, systems and architecture to run their business, companies find themselves redefining their cyber security strategy. They become focused on combating the cyber criminals and threat actors attacking their vulnerable web applications, systems, networks and connected devices. And they lose focus on their core business.

Annual ESG surveys are identifying an alarming trend in the cyber security skills gap. More than 51 percent of respondents claimed their organization had a problematic shortage of cyber security skills. This figure has more than doubled since 2014, according to CSO Online.

They must procure, implement, manage and optimize numerous cyber security tools and solutions that are running on different platforms and providing data in various formats. Security manageability and accountability becomes an operational challenge.

The absence of coordination, central collection, normalization and analysis of disparate data often leads to an incomplete and incoherent view of what is happening in the organization. This lack of visibility and awareness inside the security environment further impairs an organization’s ability to identify and remediate security gaps.

The absence of an in-house security team often compels organizations to outsource their entire security program to a capable managed security service provider (MSSP). It is all about managing and reducing risks, and responding fast to security events. For a majority or companies, this is a smart approach.

Managed security services (MSS) come in many different flavors and degrees of complexity. In fact, according to Research and Markets, the global MSSP market is predicted to exceed $31 billion by 2019 and the escalating cyber arms race is a primary catalyst.

Thankfully, I already see that many SonicWall SecureFirst partners have implemented managed security solutions to fill the skills gap. Others are in the process of doing so.

SonicWall continues to be committed to enabling partners to grow their services practices, and it’s the core reason we’ve just rolled out the SecureFirst MSSP Partner Program.

The SonicWall SecureFirst MSSP Partner Program

We designed our MSSP Program with the flexibility to ensure SecureFirst Partners across the spectrum of MSSP maturity models could participate and gain significant value from participation in the program.

Available to SecureFirst Silver, Gold and Platinum Partners, the SecureFirst MSSP Partner Program includes options for monthly billing through SonicWall’s popular Security-as-a-Service pricing model, multi-tenant capabilities and go-to-market branding opportunities. The SecureFirst MSSP Program will help eligible partners:

  • Design, launch and scale their MSSP offerings
  • Defend customers against evolving threats
  • Grow deeper customer relationships that place partners in a position of trust and thought leadership
  • Increase profitability by offering recurring, consistent revenue streams
  • Help customers reduce or eliminate upfront product costs

A constant struggle for MSSPs today is managing their operating costs, which makes security solution selection critical in helping minimize man-hours responding to incidents. With SonicWall Capture Labs threat intelligence data, SonicWall empowers MSSP partners with the critical threat visibility to offer customers real value through automated, ongoing and proactive protection in today’s ever-evolving threat landscape.

The MSSP ‘blueprint’

Recognizing that time to revenue is critical, our MSSP program offers MSS blueprints to help Partners jumpstart their managed security service offerings quickly and cost effectively. These blueprints provide the training, tools and support required to deliver a range of managed service offerings based on SonicWall solutions they already trust.

The program helps SonicWall partners offer a range of managed security service offerings either by implementing SonicWall MSS blueprints for high-demand managed security solutions or by jointly developing custom MSS offerings that build on your existing managed service core competencies and expertise.

Jumpstarting MSSP offerings

I strongly believe that proactive MSSPs are agile, responsive and skilled. They have the mindset to deliver valuable security outcomes, which are more realistic and cost-effective than customers taking their cyber security efforts in-house.

Following the Partner Enabled Services program SonicWall launched in 2017, the SonicWall MSSP Partner program is focused on helping partners — of all MSS maturity stages — jumpstart their managed services offerings to quickly fill their customers’ cyber security skills gap.

One of our trusted partners told me, “More of our customers are looking toward end-to-end managed security services to protect themselves.”

It’s just one of the many candid pieces of feedback I receive when talking to our partners across the board. As a 100 percent channel company, I knew the SonicWall MSSP Partner program was the next step to support our loyal channel community.

Ready to Enroll in the SonicWall MSSP Program?

Eligible SecureFirst Partners may register for the SonicWall SecureFirst MSSP Program online at For additional information, please download our complimentary program brochure.

Robert (Bob) VanKirk on Twitter
Robert (Bob) VanKirk
President and CEO | Sonicwall
SonicWall’s President and Chief Executive Officer is Bob VanKirk. Under his guidance, SonicWall delivers more security-rich, cost-effective, partner-centric and user-friendly products and services than ever before. His articles bring together his vast knowledge of the cybersecurity marketplace and technology. In addition, he draws on his expertise in sales effectiveness and efficiency, partner strategies and marketing. His work helped deliver year-over-year growth for SonicWall, including record sales for FY2022. Before joining SonicWall, Bob was the Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing with Silent Circle and served as SVP of American Sales and Service at Entrust. Bob received a B.A. from Davidson College and master’s degrees from North Carolina State University in Business and Policy.