From the weird to the wired, these are some of the most interesting and influential leaders in the MSP space today.
“Who we know and what we do – that influences, more than any other factor, who we will become. Because what you do puts you around people, and the people you’re around affects what you do.”
While social media can often be a distraction, if done right, it can also be a treasure trove of truly life-changing information. It all depends on how you use it and, more importantly, who you follow.
Here are 10 great leaders and influencers in the MSP space to surround yourself with online.
We’ve curated this list with our readers in mind, bringing you some names you may know and some you might not. All of these socialites are more than a name on a page: they are specialists, executives and leaders in their field. And what’s more, they post often, with content that is digestible, relevant and useful to YOU:
- Brian Krebs
For two decades, Krebs has been an investigative journalist, and he’s the author of the blog “KrebsOnSecurity,” which covers Internet-security-related stories. He was a reporter for the Washington Post from 1995 to 2009. Today, his daily blog focuses mainly on computer crime and on the cybercrime underground. His content is a great “swipe” for you to use as powerful proof to your prospects and clients that they are always a target for cybercrime.
- Jen Easterly
Easterly is truly a warrior in the field of cyber security. A West Point graduate and two-time recipient of the Bronze Star, she retired from the US Army after more than 20 years of service in intelligence and cyber operations, including tours of duty in Haiti, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Also an Oxford-educated Rhodes Scholar, Easterly founded the Cybersecurity Fusion Center at Morgan Stanley and is now the director of CISA, the United States’ cyber defense agency.
Nominated by President Biden in April 2021 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate on July 12, 2021, she leads CISA’s efforts to understand, manage and reduce risk to the cyber and physical infrastructure Americans rely on every day.
A self-proclaimed “proud mom, mental health advocate, Rubik’s Cube enthusiast and an aspiring electric guitarist,” Easterly has a large following of over 55,000 on LinkedIn alone.
- Jocko Willink
Willink isn’t an MSP leader – not technically, but he has found quite the following in our MSP community. The former Navy SEAL commander turned “lifestyle guru” is now a thought leader in the world of business and leadership. He is the founder of consultancy Echelon Front and hosts one of the most popular podcasts in the world: Jocko Podcast, where he discusses leadership, strategy, tales of combat and lessons from military history.
- Amy Babinchak
With a strong following on LinkedIn, Babinchak, the owner of Harbor Computer Services, a best-in-class MSP, has helped small and medium-sized businesses achieve their goals with high ROI computer consulting and support for over 23 years. A 17-time Microsoft MVP, an MSP 501 recipient and an SMB 150 awardee, Babinchak is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience with other IT professionals. She is also the president and founding board member of the National Society of IT Service Providers, the owner of ThirdTier and the author of several books and publications.
- Kathleen Martin
Formerly of CompTIA, Martin is now the Senior VP of Community at JSG and is an active poster and information sourcer on LinkedIn.
“My focus goes beyond numbers,” she says. “It’s about cultivating engaged and invested community members. We’re at the early stages of harnessing the immense potential of carefully crafted communities.
“Building a community of users is crucial for businesses,” she continues. “In fact, nearly 80% of startup founders consider it a competitive moat and critical to their success. Leading brands like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook have heavily invested in digital and in-person community engagement across their product portfolios.”
- Chris Wysopal
Wysopal is co-founder and chief technology officer at Veracode, which, in his own words, “pioneered the concept of using automated static binary analysis to discover vulnerabilities in software.”
He has been interviewed for most major technology and business publications and networks, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, WSJ, Forbes, Wired, BBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox News and NPR, and has keynoted cyber security and technical conferences on four continents.
In the 1990s, Chris was one of the original vulnerability researchers at the L0pht, a hacker think tank, and testified to the US Congress on the subjects of government security and how vulnerabilities are discovered in software.
Wysopal is also the author of The Art Of Software Security Testing and served on the Black Hat Review Board for 10 years.
- Ross Brouse
Brouse is president and COO of Continuous Networks, a TMT Producers Club member and a maker of hilarious and viral Internet videos about all things MSP and cyber. Back in 2018, he started the Continuous Threat Check, “an easy, structured, diagnostic check of your technology,” and since then has met with hundreds of IT leaders, helping them identify the hidden gaps that cause unnecessary disruptions and frustration and cost valuable time. Not only does he give a good laugh but he’s also a great study for good marketing.
- Kevin Lancaster
Lancaster is the co-founder and CEO of Channel Program and has built several industry-leading technology and consulting firms, including cyber security software vendor ID Agent, which he sold to Kaseya in 2019.
He has built channel programs that have generated more than $5 billion in revenue across both the commercial and public sectors and was named to the Top 25 Software Sales Executives by the Software Report.
Lancaster runs the popular Channel CEO Newsletter on LinkedIn, with 2,655 subscribers.
- Nicole Perlroth
Perlroth was the lead cyber security reporter at the New York Times for over a decade.
Her bio on LinkedIn reads like a movie script: “Her investigations rooted out Russian hacks of nuclear plants, airports, elections and petrochemical plants; North Korea’s cyberattack against Sony Pictures, Bangladesh banks and crypto exchanges; Iranian attacks on oil companies, banks and dams; and thousands of Chinese cyberattacks against American businesses.”
The TED speaker and frequent public lecturer is also the author of the bestseller This Is How They Tell Me The World Ends, about the global cyber arms race, which won the McKinsey’s and Financial Times’ 2021 Business Book of the Year Award. The book and several of her Times articles have been optioned, each to be made into a TV series on FX.
- Eugene Kaspersky
A KGB-educated cryptography expert, Kaspersky is a Russian cyber security leader and the CEO of the internationally acclaimed Kaspersky Lab, an IT security company with 4,000 employees.
Kaspersky co-founded the eponymous lab in 1997, and went on to help identify instances of government-sponsored cyber warfare as the head of research.
Since then, he has been an advocate for an international treaty prohibiting cyber warfare.
An interesting cyber and political figure for decades, Kaspersky was ranked 1,567 on Forbes’ “Billionaires List 2017” with a net worth of US$1.3 billion (as of March 2017).
Perhaps somewhat of an eastern counterpart to “real life Iron Man” Elon Musk, Kaspersky has “cultivated the image of a wild man with cash to burn,” according to Wired. He races sports cars as a hobby, sponsors various “quirky or scientific projects,” such as the Ferrari Formula 1 racing team, has trekked Mt. Everest and has a spot reserved on Virgin Galactic to travel to space, which seems like an ordinary thing for billionaires to do these days but nonetheless makes Kaspersky a continuingly quizzical figure in the world of technology and cyber security at large – and a fun follow on LinkedIn.
- BONUS: And last but not least, at #11 on our list – and perhaps the most important follow of all (we kid, but seriously) – follow us at MSP Success on Facebook, X (Twitter) and LinkedIn AND our founder, Robin Robins, for MSP industry news, trends and updates.
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