Industry Trends

Fabric-Ready: Q&A with Ziften’s Josh Applebaum

By Darlene Gannon | November 09, 2016

Fortinet recently sat down with Fabric-Ready Partner Ziften to learn what’s top of mind for its customers, the key IT challenges they are facing, and how Ziften’s approach to integrated security is helping drive business and customer success.

Tell us a bit about Ziften’s business and the types of customers that you serve.

Ziften provides client-to-cloud visibility and security, offering unprecedented access to user behavior, system, application, and network data originating from client devices, data centers, and the cloud. With our ZDR and patent pending ZFlow technology, we deliver continuous and look-back visibility, security posture assessment and enforcement, and real-time detection and response capabilities for security, operations, and risk and compliance teams. The primary goal is to harden a customer’s environment, thereby minimizing their overall attack surface, and to give them the right tools to deal with unexpected threats that manage to get through, all while improving their security and operational efficiencies and delivering real, hard dollar cost savings.

Over the last few years, Ziften has been experiencing tremendous customer and revenue growth due to the market success of our solutions. Our target customers are primarily large enterprises, governments, and managed security service providers (MSSP) – essentially any organization with its own security operations center (SOC). Within the enterprise segment we have customers in almost every market, including financial services, healthcare, energy and utilities, technology, telecommunications, and education.

What is the top IT challenge or concern that your customers face today?

There are a variety of issues we help customers address, but three really stick out that Ziften helps customers deal with daily.

There isn’t a security or IT operations team that doesn’t feel understaffed. In fact, what’s killing most security teams isn’t a lack of technology. It’s operations. Ziften improves customer’s operational efficiencies so security and IT teams can focus on higher value work and getting more done with their existing staff.

Second, organizations struggle with a lack of visibility into their IT environments. With the data Ziften collects from client, data center, and cloud endpoints, we help customers “connect the dots” when investigating issues and threats. Ziften starts by passively discovering everything connected to the network, and then continuously monitors each endpoint, including off network client devices, virtualized and containerized data centers, and enterprise server environments hosted in private or public clouds.

Third, organizations are still figuring out how to detect threats that make it into their environments. Everyone wants to reduce the dwell time of threats that get through, but many do not have the detection, incident response, and look-back forensics capabilities necessary to do so. Ziften arms operations teams with the ability to quickly detect and contain threats, and then provides months of historical data for conducting forensic investigations to ensure that all threat propagation is eliminated, and that the root cause is understood and quickly addressed and fixed across the entire IT infrastructure.

Ziften recently joined Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready Partner Program. Can you share a bit about your history of working with Fortinet and why being an initial alliance partner of our program is important for your business and customers?

Since its founding, Ziften has believed strongly in an open approach to providing security solutions. And for our customers, it’s an operational imperative that our products easily integrate into their broader security framework.

Working directly with Fortinet for the last couple of years has allowed our joint customers to benefit from our technology integrations. And becoming a validated Fortinet Security Fabric Partner is a continued example of our belief in an open security framework that involves tightly integrating network and endpoint security solutions for better overall security orchestration and operational improvements.

With Fortinet, we will continue to take an open and integrated approach to the long-term benefit of our joint clients.

Are you seeing a shift in IT or cybersecurity buying criteria from your customers for solutions that are by nature more open and able to interoperate with their existing infrastructure?

Most definitely! I’ve already mentioned that operational efficiency is one of our customer’s biggest issues today. Their networks and data center environments are already too complex and difficult to manage and secure. So security and IT decision makers are looking for solutions that play nice together. In fact, many customers demand that Ziften’s solutions provide security data not only through our own analytics console, but to their other security and orchestration systems as well, through open APIs or joint integrations. Operationally automating these steps increases their overall efficiency. For instance, the integration of Ziften’s client-to-cloud endpoint security solution with firewall tools like ForitGate, sandbox technologies like FortiSandbox, and SIEM tools like FortiSIEM provides our customers with better overall protection and operational efficiency.

In an industry where continued technology innovation is a business driver imperative, how do competition and open collaboration across multi-vendor ecosystems, like Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready Program, give you a leg up to deliver what your customers demand today and into the future?

Providing an open framework for security and visibility solutions is a core Ziften design principle. Without industry collaboration and intelligence data sharing, the security industry will continue to simply play catch up with attackers. And companies that choose to not cooperate, or to only share summary intelligence data, are not working in their customer’s best interests.

We are truly excited about working hand-in-hand with leading security companies like Fortinet. And partnerships like the Fortinet Fabric Ready Program allow us to innovate and deliver solutions that best meet our joint customer’s needs.