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Cork CEO On Overwhelming MSP Response: ‘We’re Going To Grow Pretty Rapidly’

CJ Fairfield

‘We’re going to grow pretty rapidly. Cork is not here to create more competition. Rather, we’re here to help them fortify the security perimeter further for the client,’ says Carlson Choi, CEO of cyber warranty service provider Cork.

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Cyber warranty company Cork has seen “10x over what we anticipated” after launching in May and opening a priority waiting list for fall 2023 general availability.

Boston-based Cork is a cyber warranty service provider that offers an inside-out approach to active risk monitoring, detection and remediation, using real-time data telemetry to scan and underwrite cyber risk protected environments.

“We’re going to grow pretty rapidly,” Carlson Choi, Cork CEO, told CRN. “Cork is not here to create more competition. Rather, we’re here to help them fortify the security perimeter further for the client.”

[Related: CISA Leader Tells MSPs Cyber Insurance Market ‘Fueled Rise In Ransomware’]

After its launch, a host of MSPs were able to get into the company’s Early Access Program where Choi (pictured) he wants to make sure his team has adequate time to onboard, process and enable MSPs to sell the Cork offering. It was also designed to help Cork get a glimpse of the prospective market as well as garner feedback from those in the program.

MSPs not on the Early Access Program will be put on a waitlist for general availability set to launch the U.S. in the fall. The waitlist currently has 300 to 500 MSPs on it, Choi said.

One aspect he believes resonates with MSPs is what he called BYOSS - bring your own security stack.

“They don’t have to have one brand for all security environments from backup to MFA to EDR,” he said. “They can mix that as long as they integrate to the Cork environment.”

And it doesn’t have a deductible, but rather a minimum claim rate.

“It’s friendly to those who have cyber insurance and for those who do not have cyber insurance,” he said.

The company currently has about 10 employees and works with about 20 third-party resources. But Choi plans to hire more full-time employees by the end of the year.

“We’re going to grow pretty rapidly,” he said. “Cork is not here to create more competition. Rather, we’re here to help them fortify the security perimeter further for the client.”

Chad Gniffke, CEO of Orange County, Calif.-based MSP BriteCity, which is in the Early Access Program, saw the opportunity right away.

“We’re all in the business of selling,” he told CRN. “We’re always trying to figure out how we can we capitalize on what [customers are] already spending. When I initially saw [Cork] I thought, ‘This could be a way for us to get our hands, our leadership and our capabilities into this whole cyber insurance space that we deal in with a lot with our clients.’

“This gives us a little bit more ownership, knowledge, understanding and the ability to capitalize financially,” he added.

It also was a “huge differentiator” for his business as he said his competition isn’t having the conversation about cyber insurance or cyber warranty in their first or second meeting with a potential client.

“It’s a strategy play as we now sound more industry aware,” he said.

Derrek Ogden, CEO of Hobe Sound, Fla.-based MSP WOM Technology Management Group, said Cork is, “a validation of everything that we do because of our knowledge of what’s happening in the cyber realm.”

“We don’t have to necessarily articulate so much that they’re safe with us, it kind of takes care of that whole part of the conversation,” he told CRN. “We just have to explain why they need it and make sure they understand what the risks are. It makes our job easier. And then on the competitive advantage side, it’s kind of a no brainer.”

 

CJ Fairfield

CJ Fairfield is an associate editor at CRN covering solution providers, MSPs and distributors. Prior to joining CRN, she worked at daily newspapers, including The Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey and The Frederick News-Post in Maryland. She can be reached at cfairfield@thechannelcompany.com.

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