Wedge has partnered with Cylance to bring its AI-based technology into Wedge’s new enterprise product, which also marks the first time Cylance’s technology will be used beyond the endpoint.
Wedge Networks has been making Web security solutions, mainly for telcos, since 2002. Now the Calgary based company is making a major move into the enterprise with WedgeAMB, a new advanced malware blocking product which brings Cylance’s technology onto their platform. While Wedge’s telco business is overwhelmingly direct, the plan is to go after the enterprise through channel partners.
“Our cloud-based security platform is used by multiple telcos,” said Frank Wiener, Wedge’s Vice President Marketing. “Our technology allows us to reconstruct entire files and scan it as low as the individual packet, while doing this at scale and at very low latency. Our world class inspection engine also lets us plug in security technologies from other vendors, and bring it all together. That’s a big part of our core competency.”
Wiener said that with WedgeAMB, Wedge is repackaging its technology in a form more suitable to sell through channel partners to enterprise customers.
“Historically, we worked with partners but primarily sold direct, because it was not a transactional sale, and it required a fair amount of integration,” Wiener said. “The enterprise market, unlike the telco market, is all about channel partners. So we will approach it with an offering that can be packaged up as a VM or appliance and bring it to market that way.”
Wiener said that because the enterprise market is very crowded, Wedge needed something very different and very compelling to differentiate itself. They are looking to Cylance to provide that differentiation.
“As we talked to enterprise customers, they said new advanced threats routinely get past their next generation firewalls,” Wiener said. “As a result, they are using sandboxes more and more. Some potential threats can be handled in a sandbox in milliseconds, but others may have to be evaluated for several minutes. So the usual procedure is to let it though, and if it is found to be malware, shut it down and begin remediation. We wanted the effectiveness of a Sandbox, but to do it in real time.”
Wiener said that is what brought Wedge to the conclusion that they needed to do this with better artificial intelligence, which in turn brought them to Cylance, whose Infinity Advanced Threat Engine is AI-based.
“Cylance has some very interesting technology, and as we looked at what they were doing, and that they could up the game in terms of our ability to detect more malware, we saw an opportunity to bring their technology into our platform,” Wiener said. The Cylance AI enables threats to be blocked in real time, rather than after they have penetrated the network.
“Cylance’s model has been about the endpoint, but they recognized customers also want a network solution that protect some things that aren’t at the endpoint, so they saw this as complementary,” Wiener said. The WedgeAMB solution is the first to bring the Cylance AI to the network level, combining it with Wedge’s patented hyper-inspection technology and their threat analytics.
“The solution provides the customer with actionable threat intelligence, so they can figure out what they need to do,” Wiener said.
While Wedge as a company has limited contacts with the kind of top-drawer reseller partners that they want, they do have senior execs with those contacts.
“Wedge is currently led by CEO James Hamilton who led Tipping Point before, and our sales head was also head of sales for Tipping Point, Riverbed and others,” Wiener said. Both have a history of selling through distributors and resellers. Both have a deep rolodex of partners in the space. We know security is very crowded and partners get besieged every week by vendors, but their contacts have got us an audience, and that audience has been showing some interest.”
Wedge is starting its new initiative with a relatively small channel, but plan to expand that, although never to volume channel dimensions.
“Out of the gate, we have announced a whole new series of products, and as we round out the portfolio, we will likely expand more aggressively through a broader set of distribution and resellers,” Wiener said.
Like many successful Canadian companies, Wedge’s Canadian business is disproportionately small compared to its total business, but they believe the enterprise market will open up more home-grown opportunities for them.
“The Canadian market is limited in revenue right now, although the backing of the Canadian government and trade commission has opened a lot of doors for us to reach out on the global frontier,” Wiener said. “We do see some Canadian opportunities in the enterprise. There will be Canadian partners as part of the initial rollout.”