I have a lot to be thankful for in 2020 — and it starts with the MSP community.
Thanksgiving 2015: I was a punk with hacking skills but hardly knew SMB security (let alone MSPs). The MSP community had SMB skills but hardly knew security (let alone hacking).
Thanksgiving 2020: I’m still a punk, but my hacking skills have helped educate 10,000+ aspiring MSP teams. The MSP community still knows SMBs, but their security skills are helping protect 100,000+ businesses.
It’s easy to say 2020 was a flop, but I couldn’t be more thankful for the growing community dedicated to elevating SMBs above the cybersecurity poverty line. Despite all the political division this year, I’m proud that we united around the common goal of going head-to-head against hackers and fraudsters. Damn it’s impressive how much stronger we are together!
A lot of people made an impact on the MSP community this year and I wanted to highlight those who I’m personally thankful for.
Jason Slagle, Kelvin Tegelaar, Tom Lawrence, Matt Lee and Mendy Green: You gents represent everything I dreamt of in 2015. You’re strong technical leaders that fellow MSPs can look up to.
Most importantly, you publicly share your expertise and find satisfaction in mentoring others. I kindly ask you to keep making a difference and work to reach the underrepresented in our community.
Wes Spencer, Ryan Weeks, Kevin Lancaster, Chris Loehr and Jay Ryerse: I’m ridiculously thankful to have you renegades by my side in this community. There is little chance MSPs would’ve come together as quickly if it wasn’t for each of us paddling in the same direction. It’s not easy to be a vendor and use your position of power to educate the community when it doesn’t always perfectly map to increased profits.
Despite those hurdles, you’ve made your actions speak louder than words and our partners’ skills have benefited from it. Let’s leverage this remote environment as an opportunity to provide more accessible virtual training in 2021.
Jonathan Crowe, Gary Pica, Dave Sobel, Arlin Sorensen, Jennifer Bleam and Andrew Morgan: Despite not coming from security backgrounds, the six of you work your absolute butts off to facilitate conversations, build communities, and highlight the best practices to protect our MSP community and our SMB clients.
Your voices manage to cut through the technobabble and get straight to the root business problems presented by nefarious hackers. For me, it would have been impossible to stray from my core competency to educate others. However, each of you have done it with impeccable style and I’m thankful for your leadership.
My one ask for each of you is to continue resisting corporate influence, select your partnerships based on proven experience and positive intent, and help others replicate your success to better the community.
O’Ryan Johnson, Lawrence Abrams, Catalin Cimpanu, Colleen Frye, Rich Freeman and Joe Panettieri: Security researchers couldn’t possibly educate the masses without the awareness journalists bring to the topic. However, the six of you go above and beyond the typical call of duty.
I’ve sincerely appreciated every interaction with each of you and admire the passion you bring to your stories. During a time where the media has been constantly questioned on their bias, you folks have enabled me to clearly and credibly reference important lessons learned to the small and mid-sized businesses who needed it the most.
Your articles influence non-technical decision makers to finally invest in their security posture and you never get the proper credit for your effort. Please except this giant “thank you” on behalf of myself, my partners, and the MSP community.
Huntress team, ForgePoint Capital, Gula Tech Adventures and Blu Ventures: Thank you for helping me so much this year. 2020 was the first year where I felt every team member, investor, and advisor was forced to carry more than their weight to maintain the momentum of change moving forward.
We have made some epic accomplishments during this crazy COVID year and it’s insane to think that our tiny company may now be the largest influencer on MSP/SMB security. If we keep this up, every one of us will be able to look back and say, “100+ billion dollar companies failed to raise the bar for SMB security, and our MSP community and team of badasses did what they couldn’t.”
I’m thankful that each of you have given Huntress your all this year, and it motivates me to keep going as well. I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving weekend and can’t wait to continue this journey with you!
Lastly, thank you to the racially diverse, gender fluid, differently abled, and underrepresented security practitioners that ignore the haters and bring a much-needed voice to the MSP community. It’s not lost on me that 20 of 22 folks I highlighted are white males and I’m working hard to shake this up. Next year, we’ll fill ~100 positions in an environment that appreciates you for you. We’ll also be evaluating every event we sponsor and whether it represents the core values of what Huntress stand for. Thankfully, this community and the people I’ve highlighted have reassured me that I’m not alone on this journey.
I feel confident that we can overcome anything, and that is what I’m truly most thankful for.