My Squad: Nothing You Could Say Could Tear Me Away From My Squad

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A little while ago one of our long term customer’s contracts came up for renewal and they asked for a six year contract extension. Yes, you read that right, a six year contract extension. Sure, a piece of this is locking in our rates, but the customer wouldn’t have requested this had we not proven our value to them in the last few years of our partnership. I asked our customer what the main driver behind the six year contract request was, and she answered: “Your squad model. You truly are an extension of my team.” On our weekly team call, I congratulated the customer’s squad for a job very well done and how proud we are for the customer wanting to work with them for six years. Someone on the call, ok it was our marketing guru, started singing Mary Wells:

Nothing you could say could tear me away from my SQUAD,
(My SQUAD)

Nothing you could do ‘cause I’m stuck like glue to my SQUAD,
(My SQUAD)

I’m sticking to my SQUAD like a stamp to a letter,

Like birds of a feather, we stick together,

I’m tellin’ you from the start I can’t be torn apart from my SQUAD.

My first reaction was:

But then it inspired me to write about our squad model and why we are proud of our squads. Allow me to explain what our squad model is and how we collaborate with our customers to truly become an extension of their team and work together to secure their network and focus on outcomes.

How the deepwatch Squad Service Model Was Born

deepwatch was founded by a group of visionaries with deep experience working for Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs) and for customers who had hired legacy MSSPs. Many of us were Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) in previous lives. At the time most Managed Security Solution Providers (MSSPs) adopted a help desk model to deliver security incident and event management (SIEM) services and treated their customers as just a number or another ticket in the queue. Customers were ill-served and were looking for someone who would care about their needs and be a true extension of their team. The legacy approach just didn’t work. Organizations and experienced CISOs want and need a 24x7x365 Security Operations Center (SOC) that collaboratively:

  • Provides incident monitoring and reporting coverage;
  • Understands the Threat Landscape;
  • Identifies threats and assesses risks; and
  • Safeguards information assets from risks associated with the configuration, stability, and resilience of the computing environment.

deepwatch was founded to change the managed security services game and has done so successfully since 2015. The deepwatch approach can be summarized in three points:

  • Proactively drive security operations maturity through quantitative analysis and industry benchmarking;
  • Maximize the customer’s cybersecurity team by partnering with a named squad who embed themselves within the organization; and
  • Focus on outcomes by leveraging proprietary and curated best-of-breed third-party technologies integrated into the security operations platform.

deepwatch has had explosive growth and we successfully secured a venture capital investment with ABS Capital to continue our growth and meet the market demand for our services.

Consistent Collaboration: The Key to Success

deepwatch believes that cybersecurity is a collaborative process. We assign a team of seasoned security experts to each customer organization. These security experts are dedicated to the customer. Our team is proud to build strong relationships with their customers. Our customers know who to call and collaborate with if there is an issue or a security event. The Squad Model provides the following roles and team members with very specific roles and responsibilities to provide unparalleled customer service in a world where customers need it the most:

  • Customer Success Manager
  • Squad Leader
  • Threat Hunter
  • Security Analyst
  • Squad Support Services

Deep Customer Experience

Each squad is highly focused on understanding the nuances of their customer’s environment. It is this contextual knowledge that allows deepwatch and our squads to provide a new level of service. The assigned squad works directly with their customer throughout the lifetime of the service engagement, which:

  • Ensures continuity in context among shifts;
  • Provides seamless coverage of all aspects of monitoring the customer’s security operations without delay; and
  • Allows squad members and customers to get to know each other personally.

Our founders noted when they were customers of MSSPs, they never knew any of the analysts or engineers that protected their networks. They and their staff never worked with anyone on a personal level. The deepwatch model was built to be different and ensure the customer experience from the legacy MSSP model is a night and day difference. Our analysts talk to our customers in Slack during their shifts. Some of our customers and our analysts have come up with nicknames for each other. I have always found that creating nicknames showcases a level of comfort and mutual respect. We are truly proud of our team for this approach to connecting and being part of the team.

Real-time Communications & Collaboration

Our customers have visibility into everything we do on their behalf, including:

  • Full access into their environment;
  • Full access to the logs collected; and
  • The ability to search and run queries as needed.

We invite our customers to communicate securely and conveniently 24x7x365 with their named squad via Slack. We will, of course, accommodate our customers and collaborate via videoconferences, email, phone, and ServiceNow, but have found that Slack is the best way to build solid nickname level relationships.

In Closing

We are truly proud to collaborate with our customers’ security teams in such a powerful way. By working closely with our customers as one team, we are able to lower Mean Time To Detect (MTTD) and Mean Time To Restore (MTTR). Our squads and our customer teams are closely aligned to achieve the same goal:

Protecting networks and critical assets collaboratively in the most effective and efficient way.

Let me close out by singing:

As a matter of opinion, our SQUADs are the top.

Our opinion, our SQUADs are the cream of the crop.

As a matter of taste to be exact, our SQUADs are ideal as a matter of fact.

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