Videos

The State of Secure Access Interview - Part One

Presenters:
Sudhakar Ramakrishna, CEO Pulse Secure
Jeff Wilson, Senior Research Director Omdia
Read Transcript

Sudhakar Ramakrishna:

I'm Sudhakar Ramakrishna, CEO at Pulse Secure. Today, I have the distinct pleasure of being with Jeff Wilson, the Security Analyst at Omdia Group.

Sudhakar Ramakrishna:

Jeff, what's driving new interest in Secure Access worldwide?

Jeff Wilson:

It's not just Secure Access when we look at really any development in security technology. I always like to frame the discussion by talking about a couple of key points. One is, folks are changing their infrastructure pretty significantly and moving towards cloud and hybrid cloud architectures, which has pretty significant impact on how users access data and applications. The other is, we have lots of new devices coming online. Some of them are managed, some of them have operating systems, some of them have neither of those things; unmanaged devices, they are difficult to identify and secure. We have always a new wave of threats coming and targeting, in particular, these new architectures that have... The cloud offers new opportunities for attacks that we haven't seen before. So folks are trying to rationalize all of those things, and at the same time, reduce the complexity of their security system, their security architecture by looking maybe at fewer vendors, fewer individual boxes, and siloed solutions.

Jeff Wilson:

So, how does that line up with what your customers are telling you?

Sudhakar Ramakrishna:

It is in great alignment with what we are hearing from our customers. Increasingly, what customers are telling us is, threat surface has now expanded to the inside of their networks, which has now created the need for a broader zero trust strategy. Obviously, though, they do not want to proliferate policy islands, management systems, et cetera, so they want a single unified policy engine that can support the inside and the outside thereby providing Secure Access and supporting zero trust. However, the key requirement is hybrid, as you mentioned, where they want choices of moving to the cloud and deploying in the cloud at the pace at which their business needs dictate. So we are seeing a significant alignment with what your observations are from our customer feedback, as it relates to zero trust, as it relates to hybrid IT, and Secure Access for hybrid IT in a world of zero trust as we like to say it.

Sudhakar Ramakrishna:

Given the requirements, Jeff, what do you see as the key trade-offs that customers have to keep in mind of when they think about, should I move policy and user information into the cloud, should I keep it on-premise, et cetera?

Jeff Wilson:

Yeah. This is something that buyers are wrestling with across all areas of security. So many parts of their infrastructure are moving into the cloud. Obviously, one of the key issues is that there is a lot that we haven't uncovered about how to secure anything in the cloud. If you look at the CSA's, Cloud Security Architecture Recommendation, there's hundreds of technologies that you have to look at, and any time we have that sort of diverse set of technologies, you're going to have holes, and things that we haven't even discovered yet, new types of attacks that will come out the cloud, but at the same time, the argument for moving infrastructure and applications into the cloud is so compelling in some cases that they move forward anyways.

Jeff Wilson:

So I think the real key is you understand that you're going to be on prem for now very few cloud only, cloud native companies, you're going to be in the cloud and probably in more than one cloud, so from a Secure Access perspective, it's having visibility, policy and control that can go across all of that, and is ready for the future, where there is a new cloud that we don't know about yet, or another architecture that we haven't seen yet that that Secure Access can adapt to.

Sudhakar Ramakrishna:

That's an interesting observation because many of our customers have told us that having unified policy across premises and multicloud as you put it has been one of our key differentiators for them because it greatly improves their productivity, reduces their threat surface, and provide superior economics.

Jeff Wilson:

It sounds like you guys have already worked through a solution to the hybrid offering, so what's unique about your offering there if customers are already jumping on board?

Sudhakar Ramakrishna:

Definitely. One of the main things we orient everyone at Pulse is towards this notion of customer success, so everything that we do, including product design and development is focused on customer success. In that context, what that means to us and to our customers is, we want to have them move to the cloud and leverage the power of the cloud, which I think is enormous, at the pace at which their business needs dictate, whether it be infrastructure, or applications, rewriting applications, et cetera, and we do not want to force them into a single paradigm. So to that end, we focused on a few simple aspects of simple, yet incredibly difficult to implement aspects, which is we are religious about delivering a unified policy engine that spans SAS applications, and on premises applications; I believe we are the only vendor that can lay true claim to that.

Sudhakar Ramakrishna:

Two is extreme simplicity in everything that we do, whether it be for the administrator, or whether it be for the end user. So to that end, we have unified our client's software, we provide client base, and client list models.

Sudhakar Ramakrishna:

Three is from a policy and visibility standpoint. We extend the device types to IOT devices as well, so customers do not have to learn new technologies, or build, or deploy new technologies. So by creating this, but with always having a hybrid IT mindset, we had different [inaudible 00:06:12], then the pure play vendors who are forcing customers to move to the cloud, and as you pointed out, there's a lot of still many unknowns in the cloud architectures, and we want customers not to be bitten by the same problems again.

Jeff Wilson:

Yeah. Yeah. I think that the IOT discussion is interesting because anytime a new challenge like that pops up, we see lots of new vendors appear, and I think it's very clear from the customer's perspective that they don't want to have to go with the new vendor in order to provide Secure Access and connectivity for all those IOT devices. So it's critical that all be part of one life.

Sudhakar Ramakrishna:

Yeah, absolutely. Given visibility was a very important element of how we delivered, and there and again lays our flexibility because if you have laptops, phone devices, or call it, tech clients, you can deploy a client from Pulse on it, and get better visibility. If you do not have it, like a IOT device, for instance, we still provide you visibility by essentially learning about the system, classifying it, and giving you a better way of understanding your network as well as your assets.