'7 Minutes' with RedLock Director of Sales David McCaw

Sensitive data floating free around the public cloud is every CISO's worst nightmare.

Lorna Garey

August 8, 2017

9 Min Read

**Editor’s Note: “7 Minutes” is a feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies that may be new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**

Late last month, security provider RedLock made news by revealing a Google Groups misconfiguration that led to the exposure of sensitive data held by hundreds of organizations, reportedly including the Weather Company, The Onion, Lifehacker and others.

In May, RedLock released a Cloud Infrastructure Security Trends report which revealed that 82 percent of databases in public clouds environments are not encrypted — and that about one-third of them accept inbound connection requests from the internet, a really bad idea.

Those are hard acts to follow, PR-wise, but RedLock is making a game attempt by announcing Tuesday a commitment to sell 100-percent through its channel. We asked the company’s director of sales, David McCaw, to join our 7 Minutes series and fill Channel Partners readers in on the new CloudView Channel Program.


RedLock’s David McCaw

RedLock’s signature Cloud 360 Platform technology is aimed at finding all data that’s stored in the cloud (AWS and Google Cloud Platform are supported now) and seeing what protections and access control rules are applied. The company says the product can be installed in minutes, and partners can quickly run a proof of concept and provide a big-picture view of risk. Eric Parizo, senior analyst focusing on enterprise security with analysis firm GlobalData, says the platform offers a simple, intuitive system for preventing basic cloud security lapses, like misconfigurations, inappropriate user access and connections to malicious internet sources.

“It also offers one of the nicer web-based dashboards I’ve seen, offering a visualization of instances, network segments and relevant metadata to easily identify where bad configurations exist,” said Parizo. “Its planned pricing scheme –subscription-based, one-year terms based on number of workloads with volume discounting — is very sensible and channel-friendly.”

That said, as with any startup, there are some features on the “to come” list. Notably, that includes support for workloads in Microsoft Azure, which is slated for later this year. Parizo also cites an immature anomaly detection capability, based on logs.

“Perhaps my greatest concern is that RedLock seems to be setting itself up to unintentionally compete with CASBs, which offer a more robust set of similar capabilities for securing access to cloud-based assets,” said Parizo. Cloud access security broker technology enforces a customer’s policies on cloud use by, for example, requiring two-factor authentication, checking a device for malware or enforcing encryption. Still, he sees potential for success in addressing enterprise cloud security pain points, such as helping organizations prevent accidental exposure of AWS S3 buckets — if it can prove it can do that job well enough to earn its keep instead of or in addition to broader solutions.

The company is backed by Sierra Ventures, Storm Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital and other high-profile investors and recently raised $8 million in Series A funding.

Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?

David McCaw: RedLock customers love that, for the first time, their security teams can see a true picture of …

… risks over the entire cloud infrastructure, across multiple public clouds, and down to every component within them — all in a single view. They appreciate that we provide a level of holistic visibility that’s not available anywhere else on the market today.

Customers also communicate that RedLock’s ability to keep up with the public cloud’s ever-increasing rate of change is unmatched; in fact, our research shows that the average cloud workload exists for only 127 minutes. Without RedLock in place to provide automated monitoring, anomaly detection, cloud forensics, adaptive response and compliance reporting, organizations have little visibility into their public cloud environments and may not detect when security policies and best practices are being broken, or when attackers are attempting to access confidential information or systems.

But before RedLock Cloud 360 is implemented, a main goal of many of our customers is simply to know all the resources that the company has in the public cloud. With various lines of business adopting public cloud services in their own silos, security teams have been left in the dark with no visibility into those environments. Within minutes, the RedLock platform can be implemented by connecting to public cloud environments via 50-plus APIs, without requiring any agents or proxies, providing a complete view of the public cloud infrastructure, and ultimately enabling security and DevOps to confidently move together at the speed of business.

CP: Describe your channel program — metal levels, heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features?

DM: RedLock has tailored its CloudView Partner Program, benefits and requirements to suit comprehensive business needs. Success is achieved through a demonstrated, firm commitment to customer satisfaction, competency and revenue growth as well as a dedicated sales and certified technical team. CloudView partners receive the highest level of privileges and rewards, working closely with RedLock for mutual long-term growth and business success.

At RedLock, we believe that strong, long-term relationships with our channel partners are fundamental to the mutual success of our customers, partners and us. As a result, we are committed to driving 100-percent of our sales through the channel. The program is open to all partners that meet the eligibility requirements.

With rich margins, streamlined enablement and turnkey marketing programs, partners enjoy rewards that provide an outstanding return on their investment, including the following benefits:

  • Accelerated sales cycles: RedLock is a 100-percent cloud-based service that can be deployed in any customer environment within minutes. The value of the product is demonstrable within hours of deployment, which accelerates the POC and procurement processes. Channel teams are no longer required to spend time supporting architecture reviews, or performing complex hardware/software configurations.

  • Rich rewards and recognition: With worldwide spending on public cloud infrastructure hardware and software growing from $38 billion in 2016 to an estimated $173 billion in 2026, RedLock offers partners the chance to increase revenue with attractive discounts of up to 20 percent on net-price, and a recurring-revenue model from ongoing license renewals and …… business growth from customers as their cloud adoption grows.

  • Best-in-class collaboration and deal protection: With a commitment to drive all deals through the channel, a channel-neutral sales compensation plan and a well-defined deal registration process, RedLock enables partners to focus on growing their businesses without fear of channel conflict. Furthermore, we ensure partners can demonstrate maximum value to customers through early deal introductions and collaboration through the entire sales cycles, as opposed to just a fulfillment role.

  • Visionary product: Global brands across a variety of verticals trust RedLock to secure their public cloud infrastructure, including several Fortune 500 corporations. In addition, RedLock was a finalist among hundreds of startups for the coveted title of Most Innovative Startup at RSA 2017 in San Francisco. RedLock’s technically unrivaled platform, together with comprehensive marketing and sales tools, gives partners a competitive edge to ensure successful selling.

CP: Quick-hit answers: Percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners, average margin. Go.

DM: RedLock is committed to selling 100-percent through the channel. We … already have 10 partners signed up. The average margin is 20 percent.

CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better?

DM: RedLock’s main competitors include Dome9 and Evident.io, but these solutions create siloed views. Some leverage configuration data while others leverage user activity, network traffic or threat intelligence data — but unless all this data is correlated, blind spots will exist. Assessing the true risk across the entire public cloud infrastructure requires a solution to correlate configuration data, user activity, network traffic and threat intelligence data in a single platform to provide true holistic visibility.

This is RedLock’s mission, and part of what makes the company stand above the rest.

Take the following example as an illustration of how RedLock solves a problem versus its competitors:

Both RedLock as well as most of its competitors are able to detect an open security group in AWS (essentially an AWS firewall rule that allows inbound connections from any IP address), which is generally a bad security practice. While this situation is not ideal, an open security group is not necessarily an indicator of compromise; rather it’s a potential avenue for compromise.

Only RedLock takes the next step to determine what type of resources the open security group is associated with. For example, if the open security group is associated with a database, that is a major concern as databases should never be …

… communicating directly via the internet. Next, only RedLock looks at network traffic data to see if the database is actually communicating directly via the internet. Since competitors only look at configuration data, they have no visibility into this.

Additionally, only RedLock leverages threat intelligence data that it ingests from a third-party source to see if the database is communicating via the internet with any known suspicious IP addresses — if so, that is an indicator of compromise. Furthermore, only RedLock uses data science to determine if the traffic from the suspicious IP address was actually accepted by the database — and if so, now you have an active threat. But only RedLock would have been able to detect it.

CP: How do you think your technology portfolio will change in the next three years?

DM: Over the next three years, RedLock will increase the breadth and depth of its portfolio. Today we support Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform; we will add support for other platforms based on market demand. In addition, we integrate with enterprise security tools such as Splunk and will add support for additional enterprise integrations over the next several years.

Furthermore, RedLock provides policy packs for CIS, PCI and NIST today and will continue to add support for others.

CP: How do you expect your channel strategy to evolve over that timeframe?

DM: RedLock is committed to selling 100-percent through the channel and plans to expand the partner portfolio significantly. This includes broad national coverage as well as international expansion. We also anticipate creating differentiated tiers within our partner program to reward partners that outperform.

CP: What didn’t we ask that partners should know?

DM: Global brands across a variety of verticals trust RedLock to secure their public cloud infrastructure: Proofpoint, a cloud-based cybersecurity company, uses RedLock for holistic visibility across hundreds of workloads in multiple accounts; Veeva Systems, a leading provider of cloud-based applications for the global life sciences industry, uses RedLock to ensure that its AWS environment complies with regulations; and Nerdwallet, a personal finance application, uses RedLock to achieve real-time risk visibility across dynamic cloud infrastructure.

A Fortune 500 insurance corporation was able to achieve digital transformation with confidence by ensuring its AWS environment meets compliance mandates. A Fortune 1000 software provider gained visibility and control over risks across 10,000-plus workloads in 100 different AWS accounts.

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