SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Interview: Aruba's new security offering, changing partner ecosystem

By Kai Ping Lew
Fri 7 Sep 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Recently at their APAC partner and user conference, Hewlett Packard-owned network infrastructure provider Aruba announced a stronger focus on user experience and cloud enablement. 

Techday spoke to Aruba Worldwide Channels Vice President Donna Grothjans and APAC regional channels and alliances director George Ni about their new security offering, how this pivot will affect their partners, and what Aruba is doing to continue attracting more partners to the brand.

What does Aruba’s pivot to the experience platform strategy mean for your partners?

I don’t think we’re changing our strategy as much as continuing to evolve it. 

Our strategy when we had a networking channel and a wireless LAN channel was focusing on getting them to cross-sell across the entire portfolio. 

With the drive towards customer experience and enabling experiences, that requires other technology. So when we think about ClearPass, we talked about security analytics, and that’s the reason we have introduced a security specialisation as part of the programme because we want to acknowledge and recognise the partners who have a security practice and so that ultimately enables them to deliver better solutions to drive experiences. 

So we’ll continue to create what we call competencies.

Competencies are where we want to have them focused on a specific technology, and they’re our early adopters.

We just introduced a user and entity behavioural analytics UEBA competency with IntroSpect because it’s a new product in the market for us, so we want to seek out any early adopter partners so we can start working closely with them.

That’s how we go about our strategy of recruiting new partners, getting them as they grow and the products become more mass market, then we move the competencies into our standard programme. 

In some markets like Korea, customers are resisting the change to subscription-based business models as they prefer to buy and own their assets. What is Aruba’s strategy for handling these markets?

We already have subscription-based products in these markets that have been adopted.

For example, ClearPass has the appliance piece, which you have to buy the first time, which is a box.

Then you buy the licenses on top, which have different levels of numbers of users for different packs, and the licenses renewals are annual, or on a three-yearly basis, etc. 

The point is we do have licenses sold as part of a subscription model on top of the appliance.

We also have financing services via HPE Finance, so they can still buy the equipment and then HPE Finance can finance it and either lease it back to the partner or work from a leasing perspective with the customer.

But in that structure, we can create an operational expenditure model for the partner to sell to the customer so if they’re concerned, we just manage it from the finance perspective. 

When did you realise there was a need for security competencies, and why did you pick a UEBA solution as a starting point?

It came from understanding our partner base and the heritage of our partner base, and the need for them to be able to sell and explain the new security solution. 

The perimeter of security is changing. 

In the old days, the attack was from outside to inside, and physical protection was enough to protect the perimeter.

The nature of attacks has become more sophisticated, allowing anybody to steal credentials and get into networks. 

This can be done remotely - in security, we call this land speed valuation.

Land speed valuation is causing network security to be breached within the network, so the traditional way of handling security, with ClearPass using role-based authentication is no longer enough because 80% of these attacks come from compromised credentials.

On top of that, we have IoT devices - by year 2020 there will be 20 billion IoT devices connected with mobile devices and more data moving to the cloud. 

85% of that infrastructure is subject to attack, and even for advanced sophisticated attacks, the gestation period for those attacks have been reduced to 8 weeks.

So the landscape is changing dramatically, so the traditional way of protecting your perimeter no longer works.

So on top ClearPass, where we handle the role-based authentication, we add this layer of UEBA on top, which basically looks at user credentials and its past history, and then looking at the patterns through machine learning capabilities to be able to identify a risk level of a profile. Profiles are assigned a risk score, and if that score is rising, that means this user profile has a tendency to go rogue, and therefore, we will quarantine that profile. 

That’s how we’re able to manage the network and the goal is to preempt the risk from happening. 

The machine learning capability looks at the previous historical data and makes decisions in the event of the risk score being triggered above the threshold, then ClearPass, IntroSpect will work together to trigger that alarm, send it to ClearPass, and ClearPass can then quarantine the user. 

That’s the reason we developed UEBA based on machine learning analytics and also to provide adaptive and proactive response to unforeseeable security risk. 

How is Aruba’s partner ecosystem changing?

Cloud is changing the partner base, so we have many more partners who have built managed services as part of their business models so certainly from a services perspective, we have many more partners. 

The landscape itself, I think we’re seeing evolution happen within a portion of our partner base today.

We’re also seeing partners who are very attracted to Aruba right now based on the technology, the offerings, and partner value proposition. 

So our landscape is changing more from not only the fact that we’ve inherited partners from HPE and from Aruba, but we’re also attracting new partners based on the technology. 

Trend-wise, the managed services offerings, from a security perspective, understanding that today, a lot of the discussions around the network are also happening with the CISOs and CSOs. 

So we want to work with our existing partners and attract new partners that have those types of relationships. 

What do you see as the value propositions of partnering with Aruba? 

From a product perspective, the initial attraction lies with our technology, which has been recognised as leading edge by the Gartner Magic Quadrant. 

From a partner value proposition, if you look at our partner programmes, they’re intended for partners who want to make an investment and lead with Aruba.

We want to make sure they’re rewarded back and given the opportunity to grow within the programme.

It’s not just about the incentives, but t’s also about engagement with our sales teams and engagement with the organisations with events like Aruba Atmosphere. 

As recently as five years ago, our partners were selling hardware.

As we move into a software-led selling model, it requires a lot of competency beyond just generating revenue.

The other element from a value proposition is the Airhead community, where partners are becoming part of the Airhead community, in and of itself, having a community to rely on as opposed to just us as a vendor. 

The community is an engineering technical forum community, consisting of our own sales teams, systems engineering teams as well as customers and partners, so it’s very broad.

It is a mix of end users, customers, and partners.

How does Aruba reward its partners’ investments?

We do this through upfront discounts (because sales representatives are compensated on gross margins), so we want to ensure that they have the right pricing and discounting upfront so that they can have that opportunity to sell. 

We also offer backend incentives so as to help ongoing investments into Aruba and the business and for their own profit.

From a services perspective, we have partner-branded support.

So there’s an opportunity for a partner to sell support under their own brand, so there are margin opportunities that are provided to them to do that.     

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Delinea’s Joseph Carson recognised with OnCon Icon Award
Delinea chief security scientist and advisory CISO Joseph Carson has been recognised as a Top 50 Information Security Professional in the 2022 OnCon Icon Awards.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Eight top DevSecOps trends to support IT innovation in 2022
The use of DevSecOps practices is growing, as it is increasingly seen as the best way to produce high-quality and secure code. So what are the current trends?
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Vectra AI named as AWS security competency partner
Threat detection and response company Vectra AI has announced that it has become an Amazon Web Services Security Competency Partner.
Story image
Businesses unprepared to defend against ransomware attacks
Ransomware attacks continue to impact organisations worldwide with high costs, but businesses are still largely unprepared.
Story image
Stock security features inadequate in face of rising risk
"Organisations must proactively find ways of identifying unseen vulnerabilities and should take a diligent, holistic approach to cybersecurity."
Story image
WatchGuard Technologies
Ransomware volume doubled 2021 total by end of Q1 2022
Ransomware detections in the first quarter of this year doubled the total volume reported for 2021, according to a new report. 
Story image
Internet of Things
Domino's Pizza: A blueprint for secure enterprise IoT deployment
Increasingly, organisations are embracing smart technologies to underpin innovations that can enhance safety and productivity in every part of our lives, from industrial systems, utilities, and building management to various forms of business enablement.
Story image
Greater API usage raises concerns for protection - report
Radware has released its 2022 State of API Security report, which shows a rise in APIs, with 92% of the organisations surveyed significantly or somewhat increasing their usage.
Story image
Without trust, your security team is dead in the water
The rise of cyberattacks has increased the need for sound security that works across any type of business, but with any change, buy-in is essential. Airwallex explains why.
Story image
Forescout reveals top vulnerabilities impacting OT vendors
Forescout’s Vedere Labs has disclosed OT: ICEFALL, naming 56 vulnerabilities affecting devices from 10 operational technology vendors.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Juniper study reveals top AI trends in APAC region
Juniper's research shows an increase in enterprise artificial intelligence adoption over the last 12 months is yielding tangible benefits to organisations.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - ActiveCampaign, Arcserve, LogRhythm & Qlik
We round up all job appointments from June 17-22, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Rimini Street
Today we welcome back Daniel Benad, who is the GVP & regional GM for Oceania at Rimini Street.
Story image
Secureworks reveals new information on BRONZE STARLIGHT threat group
New research from Secureworks has uncovered new information on the Chinese threat group BRONZE STARLIGHT and how they are using targeted ransomware to initiate complicated attacks.
Story image
Digital Transformation
What CISOs think about cyber security, visibility and cloud
Seeking to uncover the minds of CISOs and CIOs across Asia Pacific, my company recently asked Frost & Sullivan to take a snapshot of cloud adoption behaviour in the region.
Story image
Gartner's top recommendations for security leaders
"Leaders now recognise that major disruption is only one crisis away. We can’t control it, but we can evolve our thinking, philosophy, program and architecture.”
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Varonis strengthens security capabilities for AWS and S3
Varonis has strengthened and expanded its cloud and security capabilities, with a critical aim of improving safety and boosting data visibility in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).
Story image
Sternum joins NXP, collaborates on IoT security and observability
Sternum has announced it has joined the software partner community of NXP Semiconductors, a manufacturer of and large marketplace for embedded controllers.
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CrowdStrike
Scott Jarkoff joins us today to discuss current trends in the cyber threat landscape, and the reporting work CrowdStrike is doing to prevent further cyber harm.
Story image
Cyber Criminal
Identity and access: the fight is on
Blue team defenders are used to protecting our data, applications, and users with access controls and other security mechanisms, which is why attacks like this are especially challenging when they target identity and access control systems.
Story image
Internet of Things
ManageEngine wins big in IDC MarketScape assessment
ManageEngine's Endpoint Central service has been recognised as a leader by IDC MarketScape in several categories including Internet of Things device deployments and UEM software for SMEs.
Story image
Vulnerable APIs costing businesses billions every year
Large companies are particularly vulnerable to the security risks associated with exposed or unprotected APIs as they accelerate digital transformation.  
Story image
Significant security concerns resulting from open source software ubiquity
"The risk is real, and the industry must work closely together in order to move away from poor open source or software supply chain security practices."
Story image
Email threats spike 101%, remains a top attack vector
"Each year we see innovation in the threat landscape, but each year email remains a major threat to organisations."
Story image
FIDO Alliance releases guidelines for optimising UX with FIDO Security Keys
The new guidelines aim to accelerate multi-factor authentication deployment and adoption with FIDO security keys.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Abnormal Security finds financial supply chain under threat
New research by Abnormal Security has found a rising trend in financial supply chain compromise as threat actors increasingly impersonate vendors.
Story image
Motorola Solutions
Motorola Solutions deploys communication system to 5th Japanese airport
Motorola Solutions with its partner, Nippon Airport Radio Services deployed the mission critical communication system to Kansai.
Story image
Aqua Security, CIS create software supply chain security guide
Aqua Securityand the Center for Internet Security have together released the industry’s first formal guidelines for software supply chain security.
Story image
Zero trust security adoption rises 27% in just two years
A survey of WAN managers has revealed that multi-factor authentication and single sign-on are the top zero trust features implemented.
Story image
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Preparing for the digital decade with the right workforce strategies
For a decade that started under the pall of the pandemic, the 2020s is poised to end with a bang with the digital economy swelling to a high across the world.
Story image
Oracle Cloud
Commvault, Oracle to deliver Metallic Data Management as a Service
"We are excited to partner with Commvault and enable our customers to restore and recover their most mission-critical cloud data."
Find out how you and your business can prevent being caught out by everything from ransomware to cryptojacking.
Link image
Story image
HP Inc
Firmware attacks significant threat in age of hybrid work
Changing workforce dynamics are creating new challenges for IT teams around firmware security, according to new research.
Story image
Tech and data’s role in the changing face of compliance
Accenture's study found that 93% of respondents agree or strongly agree new technologies such as AI and cloud make compliance easier.
Story image
Hundreds arrested, millions seized in global INTERPOL investigation
A two-month-long investigation by INTERPOL this year involved 76 countries and clamped down on organised crime groups behind telecommunications and social engineering scams.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
Ping Identity launches corporate venture capital fund
Ping Identity has launched a corporate venture capital fund to foster innovative offerings for the identity security market.
Story image
Network Security
Netskope announces zero trust network access updates
Customers can now apply zero trust principles across a range of hybrid work security needs, including SaaS, IaaS, private applications, and endpoint devices.
Story image
New study reveals 51% of employees using unauthorised apps
The research shows that 92% of employees and managers in large enterprises want full control over applications, but they don't have it.
Story image
Flashpoint unveils security offering for school boards
Flashpoint has released its K-12 risk management and security offering to provide school boards and education security practitioners with tools to recognise, prevent and manage cyber and physical threats.
Story image
Threat actors ramp up their social engineering attacks
As people get better at identifying potential threats in their inbox, threat actors must evolve their methods. Their new M.O? Social engineering.
Story image
SentinelOne integrates with Torq to empower security teams
"With Torq, security teams can extend the power of SentinelOne to systems across the organisation to benefit from a proactive security posture.”
Story image
IT and security team collaboration crucial to data security
Many IT and security decision makers are not collaborating as effectively as possible to address growing cyber threats.