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Dell Boots Cylance, Revamps PC Endpoint Protection with CrowdStrike, Secureworks

Secureworks had already inked a go-to-market alliance with CrowdStrike.

Jeffrey Schwartz

February 1, 2019

5 Min Read
PC Endpoint Security
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Dell plans to offer small and midsize business (SMB) customers a new and broader slate of add-on security options with its PCs purchased directly or from commercial channel partners.

A new three-way alliance with Secureworks and CrowdStrike will let SMBs opt for the more expansive portfolio of advanced endpoint detection and remediation (EDR) software, tied with managed security services. The new Dell Safeguard and Response option with the cloud-native EDR tools from CrowdStrike leaves Dell’s current preferred endpoint protection alliance partner, Cylance, out in the cold.

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Dell’s Brett Hansen

While Dell will continue to offer and support the Cylance endpoint protection software, the company will no longer promote it.

“It’s still available but we’re not pushing it,” said Brett Hansen, Dell’s VP of client software and general manager for data security.

Dell started integrating Cylance artificial intelligence-based threat protection software with its Dell Endpoint Enterprise Suite more than three years ago. Just last April, Dell enhanced the offering from Cylance. The suite also includes Data Guardian, data in-motion and data at-rest encryption, and enterprise digital rights management software, technology it gained from its 2012 acquisition of Credant.

While Dell still offers Data Guardian, Cylance didn’t fit in with its plan to offer managed security services.

“We will focus on our partnership with Dell Technologies,” Hansen said.

Dell Technologies holds a majority stake in Secureworks, though it spun off the giant managed security services provider (MSSP) three years ago.

As such, bringing in Secureworks fits in with the parent company’s “better together” mantra, perhaps even more so now that Dell Technologies is a public company, following its recent purchase of the company’s tracking stock.

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Secureworks’ Wendy Thomas

Secureworks had already inked a go-to-market alliance with CrowdStrike, all but sealing the deal to bring it into this week’s trifecta.

“We were looking to move really deep into the EDR space, and Cylance didn’t have the ability to manage an optimal endpoint detection and response outcome with in the current state of their technology,” said Wendy Thomas, senior VP of product and strategy at Secureworks. “To be able to provide the full end-to-end, managed protection and incident response, we thought CrowdStrike worked best.”

The new Dell SafeGuard and Response bundles will be available next month with four different options, all available through a single PC-as-a-service monthly fee from Dell. Two of the options are available without the managed security services from Secureworks, for those preferring  only the CrowdStrike tools.

Among the two CrowdStrike-only options are Falcon Prevent, CrowdStrike’s next generation antivirus (NGAV) software, which uses machine learning to detect and prevent malware without requiring signatures, and CrowdStrike Prevent and Insight, a higher level of detection and incident investigation offering.

Customers opting to work with Secureworks can add its around-the-clock monitoring of endpoints via its security operations center using CrowdStrike Prevent and Insight on each PC and provide investigations and remediation advice. The highest tier offering is Secureworks Incident Management Retainer, which will provide specialist teams to …

… address major incidents.

“I like the way this offering is laid out as it is probably useful for midmarket customers,” said industry analyst Roger Kay of Endpoint Technology Associates. “For customers who can’t afford [their] own security operation center, this is a reasonable alternative.”

Indeed, Dell’s Hansen pointed to the many SMBs, including branches of government and higher ed, that typically lack the resources to hire skilled cybersecurity professionals and therefore often can’t adequately protect against and respond to attacks and incidents.

“Dell now brings the scale of our channel and ability for both our direct sales force as well as our large partner community to take these solutions to a much larger part of the market,” Hansen said.

Upon agreeing to align with Secureworks, Dell left it in the MSSP’s hands to evaluate the EDR solution to include with the bundle.

The move comes as CrowdStrike is in the process of rolling out a new tiered reseller program and has committed to extending its alliances. Matthew Polly, CrowdStrike‘s vice president of worldwide business development and channels, acknowledged that some of its MSSP partners may not welcome that the company is teaming with Secureworks and Dell.  

“It’s going to create a little bit of friction … particularly for those who are trying to do managed security services,” Polly said. “But we think there are more than enough for everybody to say grace over. It’s a very, very large market. We think it’s going to really elevate CrowdStrike in the marketplace.”

Forrester principal analyst Jay McBain doesn’t believe it will cause much friction.

“It probably won’t ruffle feathers because it won’t get much visibility,” McBain said. “Alliances like this, announced around a bundle of product and services, [are] rarely successful in the tech world because customers tend to dictate the software and services stacks that they want.”

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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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