It’s that time of year again when we look back at who the Innovators were over the past 12 months.
It’s that time of year again when we look back at who the Innovators were over the past 12 months.

GuardiCore

Vendor GuardiCore

Flagship product GuardiCore Centra Security Platform

Price $25,000.

Web guardicore.com

Innovation A virtual data center security infrastructure that provides the protection of a similar stack in a physical data center, but with the addition of functionality that explicitly addresses the challenges of the software-defined data center.

Greatest strength Dedication and passion for security coupled with extensive experience in security and IT infrastructure.

GuardiCore was founded with the vision that security for the data center needs to not only be able to keep up with the rate of constant change, but also be able to close the gap between traditional security technology and a sophisticated threat actor's ingenuity. In order to address that ingenuity, innovators need to be equally – or, perhaps, a bit more – ingenious. The GuardiCore Centra Platform provides a single, scalable platform that covers five elements of effective data center security: visibility, micro-segmentation, breach detection, automated analysis and response.

This Innovator starts by mixing the right people with a set of tough problems to solve. On the product side, the company has innovated by building a unique, highly converged platform within the data center. It combines visibility, both in real time and historically; microsegmentation of the infrastructure, by developing policy with very high resolution; continuous monitoring for breaches and quick reporting of the breach, using deception, reputation, lateral movement detection and semantic analysis to determine forensic details of the breach – all automated of course. Part of this Innovator's philosophy that we really liked is: Create a resilient network that assumes a compromise and learn how to live with it.

The company has combined multiple capabilities in the security space into a single product. This allows the tool to be deployed across hybrid infrastructures. Questions of scale require innovation for analysis and detection across multiple terabytes of data and virtual devices. The company views itself as being forced by the industry in which it works to be innovative. It is driven by the complexity of the environment. Niches no longer work. One needs a highly connected approach. There are no simple solutions.

We liked that approach. Here is a case where the industry and the creativity of the adversary are the predominating drivers. In our experience, that is a pretty good formula for success as long as you recognize and respond to it. GuardiCore does all of that. To get to that point, however, you need a group of people passionate about security and infrastructure with lots of experience in both the security and IT infrastructure fields. They have that too.


vArmour

Vendor vArmour

Flagship product vArmour Distributed Security System (DSS)

Price
Starting at annual subscription of $5,000 per hypervisor for base functionality.

Web
varmour.com

Innovation
Multi-cloud security stack using microsegmentation.

Greatest strength
Vision and ability to get ahead of the market and stay there by understanding the nature of the cloud as well as their technology.

vArmour describes itself on its website as being a “distributed security system that provides insight and control for multi-cloud environments...vArmour microsegments each application by wrapping protection around every workload – increasing visibility, security and operational efficiency.”

That's a pretty big order. What we found as we looked into this Innovator is that it does a good job of meeting that marketing statement. How?

vArmour learned some unique and important lessons from the evolution of the public cloud: Show value quickly, kill adjacent product interactions by segmenting, deploy quickly, and illustrate value. To accomplish these goals, the company is infrastructure agnostic. That allows it to be more flexible. This Innovator believes that security should be as portable as the applications. So, it focused on taking out what is not necessary and making its product more efficient and more secure.

Networks usually have been built incrementally and that adds complexity and leaves the networks unsecure. This is especially true in the “multi-cloud” (public and private) environment. So, to address that complexity, vArmour has created an abstraction layer that lets customers straddle both kinds of clouds. Built for virtual and cloud environment, this is a purpose-built software designed specifically for virtualized and multi-cloud environments that uses a single logical system consisting of multiple, autonomous sensors rather than agents. These sensors are connected through the vArmour Fabric, which shares information and context across the system.

The system arbitrarily redirects devices to a deception point which allows the use of very few actual deception points and ties segmentation to deception. The tool views deception as a capability of the overall security stack rather than a standalone product.

vArmour customers are focused on protecting workloads in such industries as health care, financial services and government. Only 3.5 years old, the company has been shipping product for two years. Shipping products after only a year and a half of development requires innovation and vision – both on the technical side and on the business and marketing side. Entering a new market struggling to find its way, as the cloud market space, requires an immediate development of trust and confidence on the part of prospective customers. vArmour has done as good a job of this as it has in developing its product which, by the way, is in its third major release.

Click here for Industry Innovators 2016: Security infrastructure