What are you announcing?

Today, we are announcing that Mike Rothman is joining Securosis as Analyst/President (Rich remains Analyst/CEO). This is a full merger of Securosis and Security Incite.

Why is this a good move for Securosis?

Not to sound trite, but bringing on Mike is a no-brainer. This immediately and significantly broadens Securosis’ coverage and positions us to grow materially in ways we couldn’t do without another great analyst. There are very few people out there with Mike’s experience as an independent analyst and entrepreneur. Mike proved he could thrive as a one-man operation (his jump to eIQ wasn’t a financial necessity), completely shares our values, and brings an incredible range of experience to the table.

Those who read our blog and free research reports gain additional content in areas we simply couldn’t cover. Mike will be leading our network and endpoint security coverage, as well as bringing over the Pragmatic CSO (sorry, you still have to pay for it) and the Daily Incite (which we’re restructuring a bit, as you’ll see later in this FAQ). Given Rich and Adrian’s coverage overlap, adding Mike nearly doubles our coverage… with our contributors (David Mortman, Dave Meier, and Chris Pepper) rounding us out even more. Mike is also a “high producer”, which means we’ll deliver even more free content to the community.

Our existing clients now gain access to an additional analyst, and Mike’s clients now gain access to all of the Securosis resources and people. Aside from covering different technical areas, Mike brings “in the trenches” strategy, marketing, and business analysis experience that neither Rich nor Adrian have, as they specialize more on the tech side.

In terms of the company, this also allows us to finally execute on the vision we first started building 18 months ago (Securosis has been around longer, but that’s when we came up with our long-term vision). As we’ll discuss in a second, we have some big plans for new products, and we honestly couldn’t achieve our goals without someone of Mike’s experience.

Why is this a good move for Security Incite and Mike Rothman?

Mike digs a lot deeper into his perspectives in a POPE (People, Opportunity, Product, Exit) analysis, but basically there was a limitation in the impact Mike could have and what he could do as a solo practitioner. Finding kindred spirits in Rich and Adrian enables us to build the next great IT research firm. This, in turn, is a prime opportunity to build products targeting a grossly underserved market (mid-market security and IT professionals), while continuing to give back to the community by publishing free research.

This allows Mike to get back to his roots as a network security analyst and enables Securosis to provide full and broad coverage of all security and compliance topics, which benefits both end user and vendor clients. But mostly it’s as Rich said: a great opportunity to work with great guys and build something great.

What is the research philosophy of Securosis? Will that change now that Mike Rothman is part of the team?

Securosis’ core operating philosophy is Totally Transparent Research. That says it all. Bringing Mike to the team doesn’t change a thing. In fact, he wouldn’t have it any other way. As Mike has produced (as a META analyst) and bought (as a vendor) “mostly opaque” research from the big research shops, he certainly understands the limitations of that approach and knows there is a better way.

Who is your target customer?

Securosis will target mid-market security and IT professionals. These folks have perhaps the worst job in IT. They have most of the same problems as larger enterprises, but far fewer resources and less funding. Helping these folks ensure and accelerate the success of their projects is our core objective for new information products and syndicated research offerings in 2010.

Will all the research remain free and available on the Securosis blog?

Yes, all of the Securosis primary research will continue to be published on the blog. Our research may be packaged up and available in document form from our sponsors, but the core research will always appear first on the blog. This is a critical leg of the Totally Transparent Research model. Our community picks apart our research and makes it better. That makes the end result more actionable and more effective.

What kind of information products are you going to produce?

We’re not ready to announce our product strategy quite yet, but suffice it to say we’ll have a family of products designed to accelerate security and compliance project success. The entry price will be modest and participating in a web-based community will be a key part of the customer experience.

What about the existing retainer clients of Securosis? How will they be supported?

Securosis will continue to support existing retainer customers. We’ve rolled out a new set of retainer packages for clients interested in an ongoing relationship. All our analysts participate in supporting our retainer clients.

What’s going to happen to the Daily Incite?

The Daily Incite is becoming the Securosis Incite and will continue to provide hard-hitting and hopefully entertaining commentary on the happenings in the security industry. Now we have 6 contributors to add their own “Incite” to the mix.

We are also supplementing the Incite with other structured weekly blog posts including the “Securosis FireStarter,” which will spur discussion and challenge the status quo. We’ll continue producing the Securosis Weekly Summary to keep everyone up to date on what we’ve been up to each week.

What about the Pragmatic CSO?

The Pragmatic CSO is alive and well. You can still buy the book on the website and that isn’t changing. You may have noticed many of the research models Securosis has rolled out over the past year are “Pragmatic” in both name and nature. That’s not an accident. Taking a pragmatic approach is central to our philosophy of security and the Pragmatic CSO is the centerpiece of that endeavor.

So you can expect lots more Pragmatism from Securosis over the coming years.