Armis enables partners to identify and watch every IoT device in a customer's environment.

Lorna Garey

April 9, 2018

5 Min Read
IoT Security

**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.**

If you sell IoT sensors or connectivity, you should be worried about news of another major DDoS attack or breach like Mirai derailing IoT’s momentum. Gartner reports that by 2020, more than 25 percent of identified attacks in enterprises will involve IoT, and in a recent Lieberman Software survey of RSA attendees, one in four (24 percent) said there are at least 5,000 IoT devices connected to their networks at any given time. Most (80 percent) worry about the potential for attacks originating through those devices. 

Given that, it’s no wonder that the IoT security market will be worth almost $37 billion by 2021, according to MarketsandMarkets. Armis is looking to help the channel help customers keep those IoT networks secure. Partners who get a foot in with security solutions can add a range of services, from education to ensuring existing devices aren’t compromised.

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Armis’ Mike Baker

Armis provides the ability to discover and control IoT sensors without requiring that an agent be installed on each device. It has solutions for the financial services, health-care and manufacturing verticals, and competes with channel-focused IoT specialists like Pwnie Express, as well as industrial IoT players including Claroty, and large vendors such as Cisco, McAfee and Microsoft.

We caught up with Armis VP of global sales Mike Baker to ask why partners should choose the company’s eponymous system to secure customers’ IoT devices. Before joining Armis, Baker was VP of sales at Cylance.

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

Mike Baker: Our partners and customers love us because we are solving a very big issue. We’re in the middle of a huge digital transformation – the biggest growth in devices businesses have seen. It’s bigger than the growth of PC and mobile combined. And yet, we’ve found that enterprises can’t see around 40 percent of devices in their environments. That’s unacceptable. But because most of these new devices are designed to connect, and have no protection, agents or management, traditional security solutions can’t help.

Armis does three things. The first is discovery – Armis lets you see every device in your organization, on or off the network; managed, unmanaged, IoT. We can see what these devices are doing and how they are connected, whether that be wired, wireless, Bluetooth, Zigbee or other protocols. And we understand what a device should be doing, or if it is acting suspiciously or maliciously.

[That] leads to the second thing we do — threat mitigation to protect the enterprise. We can isolate and quarantine devices. We integrate into existing network security and firewall solutions. [That] leads to the third reason they love us: We leverage the existing infrastructure that our partners have already sold to their customers. This makes the current infrastructure even more valuable. Armis is agentless, and there is no hardware to install, so deployment is frictionless.

That makes Armis easy to sell and install and delivers fast protection and ROI for customers.

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

MB: Armis is very focused on our partners. Our expectation is that …

… 100 percent of our deals are registered by partners. Ideal partners for Armis are those that have interest in selling to both the IT and security side of their customers. Our channel program is margin-rich and also provides the unique opportunity for our partners to deliver all services for the Armis portfolio, because we know are partners are experts at delivering to their customers.

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

MB: 100 percent of Armis’ deals are expected to go through the channel. Armis has roughly 18 partners and our margin expectation is 20 percent.

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

MB: Armis is uniquely focused on seeing and understanding the billions of devices that are present in the enterprise — something traditional enterprise security solutions can’t do. And at the same time, we are complementary to most security technologies. That means we make existing security solutions [that] end users have in place more effective. As I mentioned, we have technology integrations with all the major firewall providers, NAC solutions and wireless providers, which increases ease of deployment for customers.

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

MB: Armis has created a significant change by providing endpoint discovery and control without an agent. This is a critical differentiator. IoT devices are entering and interacting with enterprise networks at a rapid pace. It is impossible to apply agents at this scale in hopes of relying on traditional agent-based security solutions. This applies to not just corporate sanctioned devices like VoIP telephones, MRIs, smart TVs, or robots on an assembly line, but employees’ fitness trackers, Bluetooth earphones and smart watches. These devices are creating an enterprise security risk, but their employees’ usage of them won’t stop The agentless approach leapfrogs this problem. Over the next three years, the agentless approach will change the entire endpoint-security landscape as the definition of the endpoint changes.

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

MB: Primarily, our channel strategy will mature. Today, we are very focused on regional partners along with a couple of national partners. In the next three years, our approach will grow both in depth and in breadth.

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

MB: Our technology is unique in that our partners can use it to provide near real-time endpoint assessments for their customers. Within hours, our partners using Armis can provide a detailed map of every device that is within their customers’ enterprise, as well as list the security threats being introduced through them. This helps the end user understand what a huge value-add partners are to them. Our partners have had measurable success with this approach.

Looking to get into the IoT space? Join Channel Partners and some special guest speakers at a channel-focused preconference at IoT World in May. 

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