Michael Pfaff, Director of Operations at Network Data Security Experts (NDSE), shares insights into the importance of selecting a security partner that functions as an extension of your team. He discusses the challenges of understanding customer needs and aligning the right tools, and vendor solutions, for the right problems. Pfaff explains how Blackpoint Cyber stands out in the security space with their confident, responsive, and communicative approach to partnership. Pfaff praises Blackpoint for transforming his prior experience of a client-vendor relationship into a collaborative and proactive engagement.


My name is Michael Pfaff. I’m with Network Data Security Experts, and I’m the director of operations for the company.

We are an MSSP and we’ve been around for 22 years or so, 20 to 23 years. And we started off doing just edge gear, the high-end firewalls, routers, things that needed a little bit more specialization and then found our customer base needed to have more support, and they wanted one group to take care of things for them.

So, we expanded into the MSP space. And over the years, we’ve kind of focused ourselves more around security and compliance. So now we are we’re in the category of an MSSP, as the few are, and we’re really starting to focus hard on just that security and compliance part.

What challenges led you to seek a partner like Blackpoint?

Alot of the challenges that we face, is between understanding the customer’s true needs, they have to be able to relate to us what their goals are as the customer, so that we can understand how to leverage technology to help them. And as we have grown in the security concerns, as security practitioners, we need to understand our toolset and the usage of our toolset.

So, aligning the right tool for the right problem that the customer has and or is trying to achieve. And it’s been a struggle with trying to find that that good pairing, not just a pairing, even the right partner that can help get you there and be there when you need them.

How is your partnership with Blackpoint?

When I had the question and I brought it up to them during my discussion to when I was speaking with Blackpoint to say, “Why is it that you’re better? What is your differentiator? Why should I trust you over the last one, or the one next to you?” And it was as if they were confident enough to say, “Listen, we look at things that nobody else is looking at, which is our number one differentiator. But we’re going to be there when you need us. And instead of just hearing me and trusting me, just try us. If you don’t like it, we shake hands. We part ways, no problem.”

Their confidence level in their products of Blackpoint is far superior and they can stand up behind it. Blackpoint’s solid in what they say and what they do lives up to what Blackpoint says.

What makes Blackpoint unique?

Communication with us is outstanding. I mean, it’s just something that almost feels like a remote worker and it’s time of age now, right, where people aren’t in your office anymore. You have employees or somewhere else that almost feels like your team is just a remote working team.

And that’s a great feeling when you’re working with especially a security vendor. You do need them to be that partner. You need them to feel like they’re an extension of who you are, and they do that very, very well. As far as response, they’re pretty quick on the response of anything that gets found. The fact that they see it, mitigate it and then reach out and let us know what’s going on is just more than we could have expected. So definitely one of the top things they do.

Have you worked with other security partners?

We were with another company, one of the one of the higher plate names in the industry for EDR and MDR, and it just felt like we weren’t getting what we needed. I felt like although we had a security operations center on the back end, we didn’t have much communication with them. And if we needed, we had to reach out to them – versus them reaching out to us. So, the relationship was just a client vendor relationship, and that’s not the way that we operate. We operate that we want partners, we want the engagements, we want to understand and make them feel like we’re all part of the same thing, and that’s what Blackpoint has done for sure.

The Blackpoint Blog

With expert insights directly from the frontlines, get ready to stay ahead of threat actors each and every time. Subscribe now for a weekly roundup of Blackpoint’s empowering articles.