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Datto acquires Infocyte to expand threat detection tools

Datto picks up Infocyte for its threat detection capabilities, targeting a growing customer demand in the face of a growing skills gap.

Datto Inc. sought to strengthen its portfolio of cloud and endpoint monitoring through the acquisition of Infocyte this week.

Infocyte's threat detection software and managed services expand the capabilities of Datto's own cybersecurity software by enabling managed service providers' (MSPs) greater visibility of incoming threats to end users, such as ransomware. Specifics of the deal, including the purchase price, were not disclosed. Datto specializes in data protection products sold through partner MSPs.

The need for MSPs to provide improved cybersecurity defenses to clients is expected to grow, according to Christophe Bertrand, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, a division of TechTarget. Few SMBs can afford employees with the skill sets to fend off cyberattacks, making MSPs capable of handling such issues more attractive to customers, he said.

Christophe Bertrand, senior analyst, ESGChristophe Bertrand

"It's spot-on from a market strategy standpoint," Bertrand said. "Cybersecurity is the top skills shortage in the market. Even if you try to do it yourself, you might not find the people."

Products in the Datto catalog include cloud-based backup, recovery and business continuity software. The company also sells Wi-Fi and networking hardware.

A focus on threat detection

Infocyte sells its threat detection service both as a standalone product and as a managed service through channel partners.

Datto's purchase of Infocyte complements its other recent acquisitions, such as BitDam last March. Infocyte, like BitDam, enhances Datto's threat detection capabilities, according to Ryan Weeks, chief information security officer at Datto. Tools like these can enable MSPs to track potential client network intrusions and unusual network behavior patterns.

"You still need to know something bad is happening and how to respond to the damage," Weeks said. "There's a gap in capabilities that SMBs need."

Cyber resilience is often overlooked or wrapped into cyber recovery, Bertrand said, but protection from an attack and information about its origin before it breaches an email inbox is equally important.

You never want to be in a cyber recovery situation. You really want to try to stop stuff before it happens.
Christophe BertrandSenior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

"A lot of [MSPs services have] been associated with recoverability, but Datto is adding [resilience] capabilities," Bertrand said. "You never want to be in a cyber recovery situation. You really want to try to stop stuff before it happens."

Infocyte services will continue without interruption for existing customers, according to Weeks. He said he wasn't aware of changes to headcount at Infocyte and expects the company to continue as-is during integration with Datto, calling Infocyte's technology a "really important capability" for Datto's portfolio.

Datto will remain focused on providing software and services for MSPs catering to the SMB audience into the near future, Weeks said.

"We're not trying to adapt an enterprise-grade tool," he said. "We're obsessive about the MSP experience."

The MSP market will need more threat detection capabilities, according to Bertrand, making more acquisitions inevitable.

"That's 100% where the market is going," he said. "I expect [these vendors] to be doing more in cyber recovery and traditional recovery as well. It's unlikely we'll see a slowdown on ransomware and cyber events."

Tim McCarthy is a journalist living in the North Shore of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.

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