ConnectWise CEO: ‘AI is making its way through our business bloodstream’

ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee and IT Nation’s Gregg Lalle onstage at the IT Nation Secure conference in Orlando, Fla. this week.

When it comes to the latest attack vectors, ConnectWise is focusing on how AI and cybersecurity interconnect and how the company can help MSPs stay ahead of the new threats AI poses for IT environments.

“It’s bigger than us,” said Jason Magee, ConnectWise CEO, at the vendor’s IT Nation Secure conference in Orlando, Fla., this week. “In just 12 months AI has taken a leap and, naturally, there’s an expectation that we’d all go from novices to experts in that short time. But unfortunately, that’s not the case; it’s not realistic.”

Magee, who shared the stage with Gregg Lalle, senior vice president and general manager and of IT Nation, said AI “has changed the game” and is the “ultimate sidekick or disrupter.”

“AI is the driving force,” Lalle said. “It’s morphing every day to automate every function in our lives, and it seems like a bit of an echo chamber.”

Some companies have already implemented AI processes and the rules needed to adopt the technology and are focusing on the security-driven aspects.

“AI is making its way through our business bloodstream. It is here to stay,” Magee said. “It is an accelerant, one that will also complicate and compromise our ability to stay secure among the chaos. Today, we feel more out of control with more blind spots and tool sprawl than ever before. And what’s on the horizon? More threats that are even bigger, more sophisticated and faster. Threat actors are unchained and unrestricted, not bound by the same processes or rules that we all have.”

To help combat this, he encouraged MSPs to embrace innovation, act swiftly and lean into the community, like IT Nation, to learn more.

Magee also gave an update on what’s been happening with the community-focused IT Nation.

“The IT Nation has multiplied,” he said. “Because of that, we are aiming higher than ever before to align our vision to bring you a best-in-class set of conferences and thought leadership, a platform to showcase a variety of voices and to deliver on an open ecosystem.

“We recognise that we don’t have all the answers,” he added. “We don’t have all the solutions, products or tools but we do believe that our partners need the depth and breadth of options to remain nimble, effective and growing.”

There has to be a balance, he said, to unite the human element and decision-making of AI.

“We’re standing directly inside the technological renaissance where artificial intelligence has become the backbone of innovation,” he said. “Cyberthreats are advancing and it is universal and powerful. It’s unyielding and it’s still immature. And while I can’t predict that future or what will happen next, I can tell you with a level of absolute certainty that AI has influence on security and unpredictability is our future.”

Darren Schmidt, technical solutions manager at South Jordan, Utah-based MSP Executech, said he appreciates the approach of Magee and ConnectWise in that it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to bad actors and cyberthreats.

“[ConnectWise has] always been very applicable and very approachable,” he told CRN. “It’s, ‘These threats are very real. This has become something that you need to be paying attention to and here’s how we can help you educate yourself.’ It’s never a sales opportunity; it’s an education conversation.”