OpenDNS Launches Platform To Ease Security Management For MSPs


OpenDNS, a San Francisco-based security company that offers malware, botnet and phishing protection over the DNS layer in the cloud, will roll out a new management console for managed service providers Wednesday.

The offering provides a centralized multitenant dashboard that supports single-click provisioning, monthly billing, license management and volume pricing in addition to the company's IT security capabilities.

Branded "Umbrella," the service blocks an estimated 80 million requests for malware, botnets and phishing sites and can be customized to suit the needs of the end customer. The technology is backed by the company's own research lab, which helps to identify new and emerging threats.

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"The Umbrella dashboard is set up to have several tiers," explained Dima Kumets, MSP product manager at OpenDNS. "A single MSP can have virtually any number of customer organizations that can be managed either individually or collectively through a single pane of glass. The MSPs own the seats themselves. We make it easy for them to have a consistent single bill for all of their seats, and they can either charge the customers or include the cost within their security services.

"A lot of security vendors make the mistake of thinking about the channel as one single thing," Kumets continued. "We are really focused on the MSP model. Many customers, especially among SMBs, do not have adequate in-house security expertise, and the bad actors on the Internet are increasingly targeting them because they are usually more easily penetrated and can often be used as gateways to larger targets. So I feel that managed security is the way to go for SMBs and the midmarket, and having it delivered to the cloud is the way to get it in a way that is real-time, proactive and, in our case, allows you to protect users whether they are on the network or roaming."

In some cases, channel partners involved in offering's beta testing have already launched comprehensive services around the platform.

"We've designed a managed service package around it, which basically pairs it with another antivirus software, and with those two combined, we can tell our customers that if they do get malware, we can remove it for free," said Dave Bell, vice president at Cyber Solutions, LLC, a St. Paul, Minn.-based managed services provider. "We've only been doing this for about a month, but so far it's been very well-received and very successful. Once we get the agent installed, which is very easy to do with our RMM software, it's all very manageable, and we get reports every day that shows us what has been blocked, and there is very little need for interaction after that."

The company claims a customer base of more than 20,000 companies, ranging from small companies to large enterprises, served by 1,400 managed service providers. The company was launched in 2006 and began developing business services three years later.

Pricing for Umbrella is based on scale and can reach levels of $20 per user per year.

PUBLISHED JUNE 5, 2013