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50 Fastest Growing Companies of the Year 2020

An Interview with Jeff Schmidt, Avertium CEO: ‘We Take a Show-no-Weakness Approach to Cybersecurity and Our Managed Security Service Provides Extended Detection and Response’

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“Avertium draws on its rich experience and in-depth industry expertise to help organizations with their cybersecurity needs so that they can manage their business.”

Enterprises’ spending on cybersecurity continues to grow, defying the pandemic-driven economic downturn impacting global IT spending. While Gartner predicts IT spending will decline by eight percent this year, dropping from $3.7T in 2019 to $3.4T, security and risk management (cybersecurity) is predicted to grow 2.4 percent, down from a projected growth rate of 8.7 percent earlier this year.

In light of the foregoing, we’re thrilled to present Avertium — a provider of managed cybersecurity services. Although the company was founded in 2019, the more than 160 well-certified Avertium consultants and CyberOps-focused analysts have deep roots in cybersecurity. Many possess over two decades of experience in the discipline. Today, the company serves 2500 customers nationwide and operates three CyberOps Centers of Excellence that offer 24/7/365 monitoring, detection, and response.

The company is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.            

Jeff Schmidt, Avertium CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Explain your services in brief.

From a full-stack suite of managed security services (managed -SIEM, -Vulnerability Scanning, -Endpoint Detection and Response, and -Zero Trust Network), to a comprehensive portfolio of security and risk assessments to governance and compliance services, Avertium is the single source for cybersecurity and compliance needs.  

Q. What motivated you to reinvent enterprise network security services?

With industry research indicating that 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs will go unfilled by 2021, mid-to enterprise organizations are affected disproportionately as they compete with large enterprises for the same pool of cybersecurity specialists. Additionally, smaller IT budgets, an ever more complex regulatory compliance landscape, and the continued rise in the volume of threats create the perfect storm for IT and security leaders at these organizations. Avertium draws on its rich experience and in-depth industry expertise to help organizations with their cybersecurity needs so that they can manage their business.

Q. Where do you think the modern enterprise security system is lacking behind, and how is your company filling the void?

Status Quo: Traditional Managed Security Services Providers are known to be alert factories where customers are bombarded with a large volume of alerts the majority of which aren’t relevant. Each of these must be investigated by the customer taking up time and depleting scarce resources.

Avertium Difference: Avertium takes a show-no-weakness approach to cybersecurity and our managed security service provides extended detection and response (XDR). Delivered with more rigor, more relevance, and more responsiveness, we take managed security service customers through a 4-Part Process:

  • The Avertium team performs a health check to assess an organization’s existing processes, policies, and security program with NIST CSF and the MITRE ATT&CK framework as the underpinnings. This health check identifies the gaps within a customer environment
  • A unique security maturity score against Avertium’s proprietary security scorecard is assigned and a customized three-year security roadmap that focuses on the customer’s present and future goals is developed
  • Avertium applies its exclusive approach to providing extended detection and response (XDR) to remediate the threats and offer more visibility into data across networks, clouds, endpoints, and applications. Experts at the Avertium CyberOps Centers of Excellence collect and correlate data across a wide array of datasources so that threats can be analyzed, prioritized, contained and remediated faster and more accurately
  • Avertium hosts an annual workshop for each customer to collaboratively assess the milestones achieved on the security roadmap and adjust based on changes to the customer’s goals. Between these annual sessions, Avertium provides quarterly reports tied to the strategic security roadmap

Q. Modern cyber attacks are equally automated. How do you help organizations to fight fire with fire?

Avertium developed a proprietary platform, OmniQ that drives intelligence within its CyberOps Centers of Excellence and ensures customers are sent relevant alerts with more consistency. This platform has first-gen robotic process automation, and the team at Avertium continues to add components in the development process to increase the relevant alerts and remediate the problems encountered by the customers.

Q. There are other reputed companies in the market, how are you a better service provider?

In addition to what has been mentioned above, Avertium provides the full compendium of cybersecurity consulting, virtual CISO, and governance and compliance services through its professional services arm. Managed security services customers can tap into Avertium’s professional services team of consultants and vice versa without having to onboard a new team.

We have also been recognized by the industry for excellence in the field of cybersecurity.

  • ‘AT&T Cybersecurity North American Partner of the Year’ three year in a row – 2017 to 2019
  • ‘Sophos Americas MSP Partner of the Year 2020’
  • Named to ‘Channel Co’s CRN MSP 500’ in 2019 and 2020
  • Named a ‘Top 50 MSSP by MSSP Alert’ in 2018, 2019 and 2020
  • Named to ‘Channel Futures’ MSP 501’ list in 2018 and 2019

Q. Bigger the network, the bigger the issue. Do you think your services are ready to cater to the needs of never-ending digital transformation?

As a company 100 percent focused on cybersecurity, Avertium continues to invest in its talent. More than 160 professionals at Avertium collectively hold several hundred certifications. During the pandemic where many other companies froze hiring, we continued to grow the team. As part of the strategic talent investment, in the third quarter, we acquired 1440 Security, a nationally ranked MSSP with deep expertise in the deployment, configuration, and management of the LogRhythm NextGen SIEM Platform.

Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?

We recently added Vulnerability Scanning-as-a-Service, Zero Trust Networking-as-a-Service, and Multi- Factor Authentication-as-a-Service to the portfolio.

Q. What are your plans for the development of your company?

We are maniacally focused on serving our customers’ cybersecurity needs, and to meet market demand, we will continue to add services and will look to acquisitions to ensure we help companies to show no cybersecurity weakness.

Jeff Schmidt: A Bankable Leader

Jeff Schmidt is a successful operator who has led high-growth technology companies spanning large global enterprises to startups. He was appointed CEO of Avertium by growth equity firm Sunstone Partners when it acquired founding companies Terra Verde, TruShield, and Sword & Shield. Jeff is responsible for establishing and driving the vision for Avertium as well as developing and executing the company’s growth strategy to drive employee, client, and shareholder value.

During his distinguished career spanning almost three decades, Jeff has led companies at the forefront of technology, and specifically, cybersecurity innovation. As a chief operating officer of SQS North America, Jeff helped drive significant growth in the US. During his two-year tenure, revenues grew from $2 million to $20 million. Before SQS, Jeff led BT’s global security solution practice (BT Assure), which included customized products and managed security solutions for BT’s clients globally. This included the launch of BT’s Assure portfolio which when he left accounted for over $250 million in annual revenue and growth rates north of 20 percent across the portfolio. Under his leadership, BT Assure received accolades and recognition as a market leader in security by key industry analysts. His team developed and deployed ‘visual analytics’ for intrusion detection and the early adoption of cloud-based security solutions, which enabled ‘bring your own device’ capabilities for enterprises globally.

Before joining Avertium, Jeff was CEO and president of Authomate, an identity and access management technology provider. He held leadership positions with prominent companies such as Home Savings of America, Lucent, California State Automobile Association, Paramount Pictures, InCode Telecom Group, and International Network Services. Additionally, Jeff has worked closely with many industry-leading consultants and has presented at events held by Gartner, RSA, InfoSec, and Cisco.

“Avertium developed a proprietary platform OmniQ that drives intelligence within its CyberOps Centers of Excellence and ensures customers are sent more relevant alerts with more consistency.”