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Secure to the core

Cloud and data centre security company GuardiCore has unveiled a new two-tier channel strategy for the UK and EMEA. James Goulding found out more from the company’s regional director for the UK, Ireland and Nordics, Adrian Young

Adrian Young
Adrian Young

GuardiCore is one of a huge number of IT security companies – but it is one that it is worth investigating for a number of reasons: it is a proven solution that’s enjoying rapid growth; it is expanding its approach with a new managed security services offering; it has the power of distributor Exclusive Networks behind it; and it is on the look-out for new resellers to work with.

Having established a foothold in EMEA, the Israeli-US company founded in 2013 is rolling out a two-tier channel strategy in conjunction with value added distributor Exclusive Networks. Between them, the two have already appointed four value added resellers and are in the process of recruiting six more.

Graham Jones, UK managing director of Exclusive Networks, told Technology Reseller that he was attracted to the GuardiCore Centra Security Platform because it has already proven itself in the end user marketplace.

“We get swamped with so many cyber security start-ups – thousands, all with the best product, the best features – so last year we said let’s have a rethink about who we select for our new tech division,” he said.

“Drawing on our experience of what works and what doesn’t, we decided vendors had to have a product, not a feature. That eliminates half of start-ups. Because some start-ups are creating solutions to problems that don’t exist, another consideration was is the market ready for it, and then do they understand the local market.

“The other thing is focus. We asked GuardiCore initially to focus on end users, because a lot of people come off the plane and immediately start channel policies and forget all about getting end user experience. Until you start selling stuff, you don’t know how it fits in and what the real stories are. Adrian [Young] has been through that and already has quite a few live projects. On the back of that, we come in and start building the channel for them and with them.”

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

A good pedigree
Adrian Young, GuardiCore regional director for the UK, Ireland and Nordics, says that while GuardiCore may be new to the UK market, it has a mature product, a growing customer base and a strong market proposition.

“Organisations are transforming very quickly – they have complicated environments and this causes trouble. It is not unusual to see an organisation with its critical assets – its crown jewels – spread across a number of environments, from an old fashioned on-premise datacentre to a virtual private cloud that somebody might be hosting on its behalf, to a full-blown public cloud like Azure or Google Cloud Services or Amazon. This creates a huge problem, because traditional products don’t span those environments particularly well,” he said.

Young added: “The fact that you have business transformation going on in most organisations adds another layer of complexity. Businesses want to introduce new services; they want to move to the cloud; they want to create competitive advantage by transforming. Unfortunately, security will often lag behind that and become an inhibitor rather than an enabler. Our product is written to address that complexity, to address that rate of change, to address the failings of different security models and augment them and keep up with the demands of the business.”

It does this by supplementing traditional perimeter and endpoint security with four main elements:

1 Visibility – “A GuardiCore user can see all the assets in their organisation, whether they are on premise or in the cloud, on old fashioned bare metal servers or running on a virtualised platform, as a snapshot or as a historical view, with very rich contextual data around what the applications are doing and what processes they are running. That itself is a major step forward,” explained Young.

2 Micro-segmentation – “GuardiCore enables you to create policies for communication and interaction between applications regardless of whether they sit on-premise, in the cloud or in the public cloud. You can set the policy when it is in one environment and if you move it to a different location, e.g. the cloud or a virtualised environment, the policy goes with it. There’s a huge TCO and ROI benefit to that, as well as better security,” he said.

3 Breach detection – “Based on those two things elements, the tool is able to recognise when something untoward is happening, whether somebody has landed in your network and is trying to do something they shouldn’t be doing.”

4 Response – “The fourth area is that the tool is also able to recommend actions to remediate that situation and provide forensics and analysis automatically on what is happening in the data centre. That knowledge lets you work out what has gone on, how to stop it and how to remediate it. It also saves you a lot of money. Because the tool is doing is automatically, it reduces the resources and core levels of skill you need to protect yourself. You don’t need an army of PHD-qualified people to remediate the situation.”

Broad customer base


Young says that the company’s existing customer base spans a wide range of organisations, from a global media streaming company with 100,000 assets under its protection; to Santander Bank, which is using the solution’s deception and detection capabilities across 40,000 assets worldwide; to the OpenLink trading platform, which uses GuardiCore to protect a relatively small number of extremely high value servers.

“The reality is the typical customer for GuardiCore is going to have some kind of complexity or transformation going on in the background and they are going to be interested in one of those four areas of visibility, segmentation, breach detection/deception and response. If the customer has no real complexity in the background and their environment is static and they think they are very secure, they are not going to be interested. But we don’t come across that very often,” he said.

Young adds that a new managed services capability will enable managed security services providers (MSSPs) to reach many more customers and offer a range of additional services, including, but not limited to, security assessments, application dependency mapping, cloud migration and incident response.

“Larger organisations will want to run GuardiCore themselves. However, there will be a lot of organisations that don’t want to invest in staff or skills, or they might already have a trusted partner who’s doing managed security services and want to add this as part of that services stack. You can use GuardiCore yourself and run it on premise as your own in-house service or it can be run in the cloud like a traditional SaaS solution, so it does play extremely well for any reseller that wants to offer visibility, segmentation, breach detection and response as a service,” he said.

He added: “Encouraging people to offer the GuardiCore Centra Security Platform as a service is brand new and part of the partner launch story that we have.”

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