How Our Passion for Cortex XDR Paid Off

Post by
John Snyder

At Net Friends, it’s no secret we are huge fans of Palo Alto Networks’ firewalls. Three years ago, we began exploring an extension of their firewall that is installed on workstations and servers: a tool called Cortex XDR. We discovered how much more effective it was above anything else at detecting and preventing attacks like ransomware. Unfortunately, in 2017, we couldn’t bring this superior technology to the majority of our small business customers. Cortex XDR required a minimum installation of 200 licenses per customer, expertise to setup and tune the software, and the price was cost-prohibitive for most customers.

In early 2020, we saw an opportunity to bring Cortex XDR to our customers when we secured our MSSP partnership with Palo Alto in March. We expected our MSSP agreement to grant us the access to purchasing Cortex XDR licenses in bulk and thus at a discount, so we could deliver this technology to our customers.

It was such a straightforward plan... that took 6 interminable months to finally achieve breakthrough when we finally purchased our first round of licenses! You would think that a vendor would be eager to land any straightforward large sale during the pandemic, but we found Palo Alto oddly reluctant to sell us these licenses according to the terms of our MSSP partnership. We tried to literally buy the licenses on over twenty separate occasions between March and October, but the attempts were thwarted each time.

While this struggle might suggest that we should have given up long ago and just gone with a second-tier endpoint detection product, that was not an option for us, especially with our strong emphasis on a top-tier Technology Stack. We simply had to bring Cortex XDR to our contract customers.

Don’t get us wrong: Palo Alto is terrific to work with and we’re delighted to be an MSSP partner. Their technology across the board is unmatched – all uncompromising in their state-of-the-art security protections and capabilities. Sometimes though, even great companies struggle to align their sales process with the needs of their customers, resulting in distribution roadblocks that keep the technology from landing in the hands of customers.

Our lucky break came when a single individual within Palo Alto was transferred from the northeast sales region into our region, and she turned into our advocate within the organization. I knew in my first brief call with her in September 2020 that I’d found our Cortex XDR champion, and sure enough she delivered a few weeks later. She had to fight hard for us, channeling our passion and mission internally within Palo Alto to turn our dream into reality. We find that it takes great people to ensure great things happen – a major reason why we repeatedly say that “Our Power is Our People” at Net Friends.

If you are a small business with fewer than 200 people, we can now bring you Cortex XDR Prevent to help you access the future of managed security operations. We also include Cortex XDR Prevent by default in our managed services NetVisor contract offering, protecting all Windows, Mac, and Linux workstations under our care.

We invite you to reach out to us regarding any curiosities you may have about this best-in-class solution. We’re passionate about it and we’re happy to talk about the difference it will make for your network.

- Net Friends Recognized by Palo Alto Networks as a NextWave MSSP Partner
- The Next Big Thing: Technology Stacks
- What Is A Technology Stack & Why Should I Care?

At Net Friends, we believe in the power of human expertise. While we leverage AI to enhance our content and processes, all blog posts are written and edited by our knowledgeable staff. You can trust you are getting insights directly from our team.

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