How kobalt.io provides big security for small businesses with Vanta
BIG SECURITY FOR SMALL BUSINESS
Leading MSP Kobalt.io makes top-tier security solutions accessible to small businesses.
SPEED TO SCALE
Vanta streamlines compliance prep for Kobalt.io’s fast-growing customers with limited resources.
FAST GROWTH TOGETHER
Partnership with Vanta delivers more certifications, happier customers, and business growth for Kobalt.io.
Managed compliance and security services
Kobalt.io is a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) with the mission of developing and managing cybersecurity programs for small and mid-sized businesses, making big-budget security affordable to smaller organizations. It builds on world-class frameworks and toolsets, combining the power of the cloud and data at scale to address the complexity of cybersecurity for small businesses.
The company works with over 200 client teams who have limited security resources but lots of innovation. It augments their resources with technology and team members to allow them to remain focused on their business and not on security noise. Kobalt.io helps them achieve compliance and maximize their growth potential.
Lack of scalability to assist fast growing clients
Kobalt.io’s customer base comprises innovative, fast-growing companies with an urgent need for more resources. Their customers came to them for gap assessments, ISO audits and other measures to help them establish and maintain a strong security posture. Even with all of the resources and support the company could deliver, it was still a heavy lift for their customers to attain compliance.
“Our customers are small teams with limited time and resources. And it takes a lot of effort to gather the evidence and prove compliance and do all the needed security things,” said Michael Argast, Kobalt.io Co-founder and CEO. “Although we were providing our customers with a lot of expertise, the work on their side was still significant.”
Building a security foundation based on Vanta
Kobalt.io was created to solve cybersecurity for small and mid-sized businesses. To achieve their goal means doing this at scale, reaching hundreds of clients, and building repeatable, scalable models. Vanta has a culture of velocity. They decided to partner with Vanta because it is “clear market leader, defining the category, and innovating faster and more thoroughly than anybody else in the market,” said Aargast.
Without automation, achieving compliance for Kobalt.io’s customers had been a hard, lengthy, resource-heavy process. With Vanta, what would normally be an 18-month to two-year process became instead a six month journey. “We shrink it down and customers start to recognize the economic benefit of compliance in six months, and they get their ISO first, for example,” observed Argast. “Then they get their SOC 2 three months later, and then they get their GDPR, followed by all these other standards. It's a win, win, win.”
When Kobalt.io’s customers attain compliance in a shorter period of time, they recognize the business value of achieving ISO 27001, SOC 2, and other forms of compliance. Argast continues, “Working with Vanta makes the whole process of understanding the customer's security posture [quicker] and allows us to deliver a higher value of service to our customer in a shorter period of time, at less cost.”
Stronger client relationships and accelerated business growth
The benefits of working with Vanta have been many. First, Kobalt.io’s customers have achieved numerous forms of compliance more quickly and easily, solidifying the managed service provider’s role as a critical, trusted partner to their businesses.
Second, as a Vanta Partner, Kobalt.io has enjoyed increased efficiencies with one consolidated console to create, access and manage all of its customers’ Vanta accounts. They’ve also saved time by eliminating multiple logins, manual deal registrations, and the headache of waiting for account provisioning. Vanta’s solution has made delivering security and compliance certifications to Kobalt.io customers easier.
Most importantly, however, has been the increased growth in Kobalt.io’s business. “From day one Vanta has brought us opportunities,” said Argast.
“As a combined solution, our expertise with Vanta’s ability to offset the customers’ effort delivers a much better total solution to the client. We hope to see us able to serve a broader set of customers more efficiently and more effectively because of your tool.”
“Ultimately, security is not a static environment. You need an organization that's willing to adapt and change and adjust and I really see that in this partnership.”
“Kobalt.io is super excited to be a launch partner with Vanta in this new MSP program. We've had a chance to work closely with their team, working on everything from MSSP product, go-to-market, service design, customer success. Vanta has top notch people and a true focus on solving real customer pains and problems. Since we announced our partnership, we have connected with nearly a hundred companies in just three months to help accelerate their compliance/cybersecurity journeys. We look forward to making a dent with Team Vanta in trust, security, privacy and compliance in 2023 and beyond.”
Michael Argast, Co-founder and CEO, Kobalt.io
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PCI Compliance Selection Guide
Determine Your PCI Compliance Level
If your organization processes, stores, or transmits cardholder data, you must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), a global mandate created by major credit card companies. Compliance is mandatory for any business that accepts credit card payments.
When establishing strategies for implementing and maintaining PCI compliance, your organization needs to understand what constitutes a Merchant or Service Provider, and whether a Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) or Report on Compliance (ROC) is most applicable to your business.
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Identify your PCI SAQ or ROC level
The PCI Security Standards Council has established the below criteria for Merchant and Service Provider validation. Use these descriptions to help determine the SAQ or ROC that best applies to your organization.
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A SAQ A is required for Merchants that do not require the physical presence of a credit card (like an eCommerce, mail, or telephone purchase). This means that the Merchant’s business has fully outsourced all cardholder data processing to PCI DSS compliant third party Service Providers, with no electronic storage, processing, or transmission of any cardholder data on the Merchant’s system or premises.
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A SAQ A-EP is similar to a SAQ A, but is a requirement for Merchants that don't receive cardholder data, but control how cardholder data is redirected to a PCI DSS validated third-party payment processor.
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A SAQ D includes over 200 requirements and covers the entirety of PCI DSS compliance. If you are a Service Provider, a SAQ D is the only SAQ you’re eligible to complete.
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A Report on Compliance (ROC) is an annual assessment that determines your organization’s ability to protect cardholder data. If you’re a Merchant that processes over six million transactions annually or a Service Provider that processes more than 300,000 transactions annually, your organization is responsible for both a ROC and an Attestation of Compliance (AOC).
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Learn more about how Vanta can help. You can also find information on PCI compliance levels at the PCI Security Standards Council website or by contacting your payment processing partner.
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